'civility' help Democrats?
third grader asking that question?
If the current frenzy for
"civility" means Republicans have to take the sharp edges off their
Tea Partyish rhetoric, will that really help Democrats? Democrats may
Byron York speculates that they're
quietly congratulating Obama for raising the civility issue
in his Tucson address even as he denied that incivility had anything to
do with the shooting
- a strategy Obamaphile Jon Alter had advocated before the
speech. Boy did it make Palin look bad!
What's more, just when the number
of GOP representatives is about to dwarf the number of
Democrats who'll be listening to the State of the Union address,
there's MSM momentum behind
the idea that the parties should sit in an interspersed jumble so
viewers won't be able to tell.
Republicans are in a position to be
mean to Democrats, and there's suddenly a campaign
against meanness. What a happy coincidence!
But, like many seemingly clever, intuitive MSM/Dem strategies - "Let's
nominate a Vietnam
war hero to run against President Bush!" - this one may prove to be a
dud, or worse.
There's a reason, after all, why
the White House has consistently attacked and therefore
elevated relatively intemperate Republican figures such as Pigboy and
Glenn Beck (Rape & Murder)
—making them the public faces of the GOP. The reason is that wild
Beckish rhetoric turns off
independent and moderate voters. For the same reason, the White House
has always seemed to
kind of like having the Birthers around. They're a great foil.
Why would Republican politicians ever fall into this "too hot" trap?
Because hot rhetoric gins up
their base. But now that they've won the House in an off year election,
GOP pols don't need to
please the base so much. They need the middle. They need swing
congressmen to vote for their
bills and they need supportive poll numbers to encourage those
congressmen to do so.
If a "civility" crusade succeeds in
getting the most volatile Republicans to cool it and stop irritating
the center, it won't be doing Obama's work for him. It will be doing
John Boehner's work for him.
If Obama and the Democrats want to use civility as a
tactic, I'm all for that.
But Obama, so far, has shown he doesn't have the heart to play in the
He tends to go into these negotiations with "Surrender" written on his
and he's proven again and again that he has trouble learning from his
I'm hoping he'll learn/change but in his first two years, a gambler can
more money betting on Obama to surrender than to win.
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