Saturday, March 17, 2007

Engaging rather than interrupting; reasoning rather than rabble-rousing

It seems like the pendulum of political discourse is swinging back to reality instead of sarcastic, provocative entertainment.
  • When Ann Coulter said what she did about John Edwards, the backlash was swift and across the board non-partisan. Republicans, Democrats, gays, straights, they all reacted similarly suggesting that Coulter wasn't just out of line, but instead making a desperate attempt for self promotion at the expense of Edwards.

  • When the Attorney General fired the eight Federal attornies and it became apparent that they were all political firings - that there was nothing negative on any of their records (in fact, quite the opposite) - the press, the attorneys themselves, and the public all reacted quickly with dismay that Gonzalez could be so petty and robotically following the whims of President Bush and that the lies coming out daily from Rove's office, Gonzales', and the White House were so blatant that it's become painfully clear that there's total disorganization at the top of our government.

  • Valerie Plame-Wilson made the clearest statement of how she and her husband were misused for purely vindictive political purposes while public sentiment suggests that Libby (who was found guilty for the leak that harmed Plame-Wilson) was the Vice President's fall guy and should get pardoned.

  • NBC News recently reported that 73% of Americans say they are following the Presidential election process closely - "an astounding figure in a country in which it's a big deal if more than half the electorate votes. Everywhere there's talk that this may be the most momentous race in our lifetime, that it's clear that the country is teetering on the cusp of something good, bad or cataclysmic" says Anna Quindlen in a Newsweek editorial.
Finally the blinders are off and we're all seeing what has been happening and the harm that's been done: that the bias has been so unfriendly and unwavering, that there's a backlash wanting silence (or at least the toning down of the rhetoric), that issues have gone wanting, and that partisan politics - particularly President Bush's brand of politics - has abandoned the will and wishes of the bill-paying electorate.

Quoting again from Anna Quindlen: "If, as many suspect, this is either a moment for the United States to prevail or to implode, a radio program, a column, or a TV talk show really matters. It's a valuable piece of public real estate that should be earned every day, by engaging rather than interrupting, by reasoning rather than rabble rousing. Maybe even by doing the really unthinkable in the civic auditorium and trying to move the conversation in fruitful directions."

I fervently hope that this is the case!