Want civil discourse? Look no further than the House of Representatives.Really, are those the only examples to cite?
The House this year has been a relative bastion of politeness, according to a new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. But the center said the 112th Congress looks ripe for incivility to spike with the upcoming 2012 election and the heater campaign rhetoric that comes with it.
Thus far — historically, at least — the House has been surprisingly civil.
Despite some blips — Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama referred to “socialist members of this body” in April, and North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt said in June that Republicans “just make stuff up,” members’ language has been mild compared with attacks in past decades, the study shows.
How did they miss this?
“This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree,” Carson said at a Aug. 22 Congressional Black Caucus Job Tour even in Miami.Must have been on vacation or something. Somehow this civil discourse flew under the radar.
“Some of them right now in Congress right now are comfortable with where we were fifty or sixty years ago,” Carson added. “But it’s a new day with a black president and a Congressional Black Caucus.”
California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who had some tough words for the leaders of her own party last week, took aim at the other side on Saturday, saying that the tea party could "go straight to hell."Can you handle any more civility?
"I'm not afraid of anybody," Waters said at a weekend community meeting in Inglewood, California. "This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the tea party can go straight to hell."
Republicans' budget plan would put seniors' lives at risk, the incoming chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said Thursday.Those are just a few of dozens of example we could use of this "surprisingly civil" discourse we've witnessed.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman tapped by President Obama to lead the DNC, said she stood by her characterization of Republicans' 2012 budget as a "death trap" for seniors.
There's also an endless supply of clips calling Republicans "hostage takers" from throughout the year. But according to Annenberg we're merely "at risk" of a spike in incivility. So you Republicans are on notice. Don't be mean-spirited or it will be your fault that things become uncivil.