Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Civil vs. Uncivil

Discussing people who disagree with his Iraq policy, Pres. Bush today said:
....And those are good, decent, patriotic people who believe that way -- I just happen to believe they're absolutely wrong.
Contrast that with a Democrat discussing the same topic (as reported by the Guardian):
Al Gore has made his sharpest attack yet on the George Bush presidency, describing the current US administration as "a renegade band of rightwing extremists".
The Anchoress has noticed the same thing. She remembers viewing one of the Bush-Gore presidential debates:
At the time of that debate, I was no longer calling myself a “liberal democrat” but I still had not gone over to “the dark side” and pulled a lever for a Republican. But I was struck by Dubya in this debate, both by his amused look at Gore, and by a response he made to a woman in the audience. She got up with a little bit of an attitude, doing the “powerful woman and angry Dem” thing. I don’t recall the question, but Dubya’s answer made me pick my head up from my needlework. He said, simply, “well, this is just a difference of opinion…”

A difference of opinion…after 8 years of the Clintonistas turning every issue into a morality play with the Democrats always on the side of the angels against the “morally reprehensible” Republicans, after listening to Al Gore declare that the 2000 election was “a fight between good and evil…” I was more than relieved to hear “this is just a difference of opinion…”
While the MSM contempt for Republicans long preceded Clinton, I think she is right that Clinton's approach of replacing rational debates with name-calling does seem to have been widely adopted by establishment Democratic politicians. While Hubert Humphrey strongly disagreed with Richard Nixon, it is hard to imagine him referring to Republicans as "renegade right-wing extremists."

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