Posted by Curt on 17 January, 2011 at 8:35 pm. 32 comments already!

You just have to love how the MSM is walking in lockstep with the Democrats on this “civility” issue. It seems when the Republican message starts to gather steam and the country begins tilting right, all of sudden….we’re meanies. What these calls for civility are is the left telling Conservatives to sit down and shut up. And the MSM is doing their bidding. Case in point, Time Magazine conducting a forum about civility in politics….and who did they invite?

Mr. Markos “I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries” Moulitsas:

..we now have a side that is gun-obsessed, whipping people up into a frenzy with lies about Obama taking their guns away and interning conservatives in FEMA concentration camps (to name just two conspiracy theories).

When Sarah Palin tells her followers not to retreat, but to “reload,” when Sharron Angle says people should resort to “Second Amendment remedies” if they don’t get their way at the ballot box, and when Glenn Beck spreads the latest insane conspiracy theory, well then, it’s only a matter of time before people start getting killed.

Hypocrites one and all.

Andrew Klaven described this tactic in a video made in April 2009:

I guess we are just supposed to forget and ignore the non-stop hatefest from the left during the Bush years. Hell, they even made a movie about his assassination while he was President. Did they screech about civility when Montell Williams urged Michelle Bachmann to slit her wrists? Or when Chris Matthews had a fantasy about Rush’s head exploding? Or when Sandra Bernhard warned Palin she would be “gang-raped by my big black brothers”? Or how about when they used bullseye on their own political targets?

Were there calls for “civility” then?

Nope.


But now, after the midterm trouncing the Democrats received….NOW, there should be some civility in politics.

Please.

However, Mickey Kaus believes this may not be the silver bullet the left believes it to be.

…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 think so. 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. Brilliant! 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 Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck—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.

You could easily see a rhetorically modulated GOP achieving much more in the way of health care reform rollback, Social Security cuts, immigration enforcement, and educational choice than a GOP that insists Obama is a liar, a socialist, and unAmerican, that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, that illegal immigrants are mostly gang-bangers, etc. There’s a reason the slicker Tea Partiers (Ron Johnson,, Rand Paul) won in 2010 while the jagged ones (Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell) lost. It’s not because Rand Paul is moderate in substance.

Kaus also notes that this sudden political civility may help Obama look better and give Boehner some legislative victories:

The result: Obama winds up signing new laws that are more conservative than he might like, just as he wound up signing a lame duck bill that preserved the Bush tax cuts. As with the lame duck tax bill, these concessions to Boehner (and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell) are likely to boost the president’s poll numbers while leaving Nancy Pelosi and the relatively liberal Congressional Democratic caucus seething.

Kaus made some excellent points. This may come back and bite them in the ass for awhile. But, if these victories do pile up, as he predicts, how long until the left’s call for civility goes by the wayside and we see their bloodlust fantasies see the light of day again?

Of course the MSM will be strangely quiet on the subject by then so no one will care.

More here.