NOW They Want Civility?
By Mimi Hall and Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
During a late September gathering with voters to talk about jobs and the economy, Scott Turner of Richmond, Va., had something more elementary than the unemployment rate on his mind when he posed a question to President Obama:
"Is there any hope for us returning to civility in our discourse?" Turner asked.
Six weeks later — at the end of a bitterly fought campaign that ended poorly for Obama and the Democrats — a chastened president professed optimism. "I do believe there is hope for civility," Obama said. "I do believe there is hope for progress." (Yeah,...how's that "Hope and Change" thing working out for you now, Barry?)
To that end, Obama on Nov. 30 will host new congressional leaders for a private meeting at the White House. How it goes — particularly between Obama and incoming Republican House speaker John Boehner of Ohio — will set the stage for new congressional debates over a range of crucial issues: how to create jobs, whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts, challenges to the health care overhaul Democrats pushed through Congress this year, and more.
As the 2012 presidential campaign looms and the economy stays stagnant, political tensions are high amid profound disagreements over the role and size of government. Moderates in both parties are launching a new push for civility, but the loudest voices tend to come from the extremes. The Tea Party movement that helped Republicans take over the House and narrow Democrats' advantage in the Senate was inspired largely by conservatives angered by the growth of government, most recently under Obama.
Even after Obama issued his invitation to the White House meeting, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Republicans should focus on a starkly political goal: to "deny President Obama a second term."
"The gloves are off," University of Texas presidential historian Bruce Buchanan says. "Ultimately, politics is a substitute for war. ... Is civility impossible? No. Is it likely? No." (The gloves came off when the media took sides)
The nastiness has been brewing for some time.
In the fall of 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., stunned fellow lawmakers during Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress on his health care legislation. When the president said the government would not provide coverage for illegal immigrants, Wilson shouted out, "You lie!" from the floor of the House. (Well, SOMEONE had to do it!)
Why is it no one called for civility when that cackling harpy, Nancy Pelosi, and her supermajority gleefully jolly-stomped the Republicans into silence while ramming one unpopular and failed spending bill after another down our throats?
I say "Reap what you sow, b***h!" At least Rep Boehner isn't in her office, "measuring the drapes" before taking over!