The Death Of Politics
I would like to blame pro wrestling. But I don't know which came first--the calling each other 'chicken' or the egging on members of one's own party to attack. Is politics more like pro wrestling because of that 'sport's popularity or is that sport popular because America no longer has any manners?
Allow me to share a paragraph from a fundraising email I received from The Democratic Party.
Over 7,000 Americans stepped forward to fund a campaign designed to show Republican leaders that there will be consequences for continuing their pattern of shamelessly attacking the service of veterans who don't share their warped view of reality.
I received this email on December 7th. The anniversary of Pearl Harbor. And a good few weeks after the Murtha/Schmidt kerfluffle.
There are some real problems in America. Taxes are too high. The wheels are falling off the Social Security bus. Illegal immigration is grit in the dentures for both parties. With Republicans as the party in power, the Democrats have the excellent opportunity to build their opposition platform. To craft clear ideals about the alternatives they offer, and to make themselves an attractive option to the Undistributed Middle. So they're spending cash money, public visibility and goodwill on a billboard that reads "Shame On You, Jean Schmidt. Stop attacking veterans. Keep your eye on the ball. We need a real plan for Iraq."
(How disengenuous. "Stop Attacking...." Even if you view her speech to Murtha as an attack on a veteran, the ad wording makes it appear as though Schmidt is mounting nightly raids against the VFW, not making a single oratorial faux pas on the House Floor. Weeks ago. In pursuit of a plan for Iraq. )
The Schmidt Billboard is just the teapot for this current tempest. The gasps from the dying man called Civility are heard in one single adjective. Warped. Isn't that a word generally saved for serial killers, assasins and pedophiles? I think it's awfully discourteous to apply that term to someone who merely disagrees with you.
Maybe I blame Rush Limbaugh. I've pulled a straight Republican ticket in every election. If there's an (R) I don't agree with, I've left them deselected. So Rush should be my guy, right? Except he lost me when he decided to raise the level of political discourse with deragotory nicknames and attacks on little girls. He spawned the likes of Ann Coulter, Michael Savage and countless bloggers who think that the best way to argue an idea is with invective and hyperbole.
Nashville's own Glen Dean is someone with whom I agree on nearly every issue. Yesterday he asked me why I always seem to disagree with him. I don't. But I'm getting old. I'll be 36 on May 23rd, which means I've already lived a full Marilyn Monroe complement of years, and I'm no longer part of the In Crowd. I can't see how the particular style employed on the Right by Glen,etc. and on the Left by egalia,etc. does anyone any good at all. How can you talk through ideas with someone while papering them with derogations? How can you win friends and influence people you belittle?
Do you smell what the Kat is cooking?!