“I think all of us need to be more careful about the words that we choose to use.” So admonished Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in January 2011. Although she said “all of us,” she really meant “all of you,” meaning the knuckle-dragging neanderthals on the right. (Actually, the use of neanderthal as an endearment for conservatives was the work of Vice President Joe Biden, but I digress.)
Liberal calls for a more civil political discourse (with the requisite amount of finger-wagging) were occasioned by the shooting in Tuscon that ended the lives of six people and the career of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The prevailing opinion among lefties was that the gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, had been roused to violent action by the emotionally charged language conservatives used in their defamation of the president and Democrats.
Some of the criticisms of the right interestingly were themselves less-than-civil. Not those by Wasserman Schultz, however, who spoke out often on the need for civility and even wrote a book about it in late 2013. In a chapter titled “Discourse, Not Discord,” she wrote:
Differences of opinion are natural and healthy aspects of a democracy governed by two parties, and we must be able to express these differences with civility. But as anyone who has observed Washington knows, we are not always able to hold ourselves to these standards of conduct. The modern political climate is nastier than any in recent memory, marked by party members who tend to hector one another when they should be engaged in constructive debate.
Smart advice. Wasserman Schultz would have done well to follow in it when she lashed out yesterday at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The DNC chairwoman was attending a forum on women’s issues at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, when she said:
Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality.
What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch.
Wasserman Schultz is probably tugging at her own locks today now that the story of her antics has gone viral (watch video from CNN).
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