We’re debating civility in the media because a few people who are deliberately malfeasant in their taxpayer funded jobs each day got some push back from pissed off people. Children have been kidnapped in our names, by our government, but it’s poor form to disrupt a Trumper’s meal or call them out for their lies in public. It’s just politics.
No it’s not. I said that we were in a cold civil war years ago. Now I’m seeing those words in print on the intertubes on a regular basis. People were being way too civil then, really doing nothing in the face of the wrecking of the Constitution, the more than unsportsmanlike accretion of advantage.
In a corollary debate on civility I heard two Republicans, who are anti-Trump, deride Democrats for calling George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and John McCain “Nazis” and “indecent”. Well, I’m not sure I recall Romney and McCain being called ‘Nazis”. I do recall some people being angry about the very indecent actions of George W. Bush in Florida in 2000, Iraq in 2002 and Louisiana in 2005, politicizing the U.S. Attorneys Office, etc. These Republicans were blaming the actions of the deplorables in part on that purported (and supposedly inappropriate) name calling. Well, that’s some bullshit there.
George W. Bush was not a decent person. Or if he was, he let the rampantly indecent around him like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney have too much say in how his decency would be exploited for indecent purposes. At the very least.
The indecent and thuggish actions of Republicans to ignore norms did not actually start with Trump. They didn’t even start with McConnell’s theft of a Supreme Court seat that is paying off for them in diamond encrusted spades now. It didn’t even start in 2000 with the unleashing of every rat fucking dirty trickster in the GOP Rolodex to ensure a Bush presidency, voting notwithstanding. The Tea Party was not decent. The toxic gerrymandering that ensued was not decent. The rolling over of norms all over the country in order to disenfranchise votes was not decent.
But I digress. In a series of 5-4 votes our esteemed Supreme Court has approved toxic gerrymandering, Trump’s travel ban, and supported phony anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers”. One doesn’t need a fevered imagination to know that Justice Merrick Garland would have flipped that tally to 5-4 against those and other historically ridiculous decisions. We know the Supreme Court is not really a court and the justices are not judges and the body is intensely political. Which is why making sure those robes only go to people who truly do read and respect the Constitution and precedent, rather than rationalize ideological or party first rulings, is kind of an important thing.
We could have used some people screaming outside Mitch McConnell’s house in 2016. Maybe a restaurant owner or two denying him a meal. Some civil disobedience in his offices and marches in front of the Capitol, along with some uncivil language from elected Democrats might have been appropriate then.
We can’t turn back the clock to undo the injustices of a supine Democratic Party bringing a proverbial butter knife to a nuclear war, but we can sure toughen up now and make the correct argument that civility, like respect is earned.
If you shit on people, shit on norms, shit on democracy, you might get some push back from angry people. And no one should apologize for that.