Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apparently Civility is Stoooooopid

    In January 2011, after the shooting in Arizona that killed six and wounded many others including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, President Obama said the following at a memorial for the victims:
At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do,” he said, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds...
If, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse,” Mr. Obama said, “let us remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy — it did not — but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. 
    More recently, however, the president seemed less sanguine about changing business as usual in Washington (via Fox):
"The fact that we haven't been able to change the tone in Washington is disappointing," Obama said, in response to a question about his greatest failure.
    Based on recent tweets from the BarackObama and TruthTeam2012 campaign Twitter accounts, the president has thrown in the towel on civility and changing the tone:

    Ironically, that first quote is from Mark Halperin who was suspended from MSNBC in 2011 for calling President Obama and unprintable (at least on my blog) and unbroadcastable name on live TV. (Come to think of it, Halperin would fit right in on the Obama campaign team.)  I guess we're fortunate Governor Romney is not as free with his use of uncivil Halperin quotes as the president.

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