Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Overheated rhetoric – it’s in the ear of the beholder?

Yours truly had another item make it into print today; this one in the local paper.  We’re running it here as well for your convenience.


What about the Democrats?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 2:10 PM EDT

We’ve been scolded twice now by the editors for the “violent metaphors, overheated rhetoric and threats of violence” in today’s political debate; once by using Bob Herbert of The New York Times as a proxy (“A distinct absence of class,” March 24) and, more recently, in an editorial (“Halting Armageddon near and far,” March 26).

Both justified their outrage and calls for restraint and civility only with citations of Republican transgressions.  Somehow, no examples of Democrat misbehavior came across the news wires.

There’s no need to rehash the years and years of despicable rhetoric aimed at the prior administration and Republicans in general on these very same pages over the years; some from the editors, and some far worse from readers. Immature, hateful, vitriolic rants and worse were frequently on display, and frequently from highly educated members of the region’s aristocracy.
No matter, it was appropriate to the circumstances, right?

Perhaps the editors, in the spirit of recent pleas, could find a way to address Democrat behavior as well when discussing “violent metaphors, overheated rhetoric and threats of violence.”

For example, if one Googles “‘Pingree + ‘fighting for’” the result is several thousand listings, describing what both of the Pingrees in our political life are “fighting for.” And it’s safe to say that virtually every “report from the State House” we’ve received over the years is filled with the same aggressive and combative imagery.

How can this be? Who do the Pingrees have to “fight?” Both have lopsided majorities in each chamber plus the executive branch on their side! Are they putting on the gloves to pummel vastly outnumbered Republicans just for the sheer fun of it all? 

That would make them thugs and bullies. They would be threatening “the foundation of our democracy, which depends on healthy political debate, not the verbal equivalent of all-out war,” to borrow some words I read recently.

How unlady-like!  Haven’t we been told that women in political leadership would bring an end to the nasty aggression that the male animal brings to his politics?

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