Friday, August 28, 2015

How crude and infantile has political rhetoric become in post-America?

Donald Trump may be the king of reckless pronouncements (he's the king of everything, is he not? That's the impression he leaves with his every public appearance), but he doesn't have a monopoly on it.

Hillionaire is no slouch when it comes to wild utterances:

Republicans are reacting furiously to Hillary Clinton linking terrorists and anti-abortion GOPs in a Cleveland speech today.
Clinton referenced Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in saying that Republicans would ban abortion without exceptions. “Now extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States,” she said. “Yet they espouse out of touch, out of date policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America.”

Republican National Committee press secretary Allison Moore said in a statement: “For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric.”

There is a certain type of Republican who can dish it out pretty handily, too:

Juicy, but I don’t know how scandalized we should be at learning that Boehner holds a view we all assumed he held in the first place. Next we’ll find out that Mitch McConnell thinks Cruz is a jackass too.
This isn’t the first time he’s been accused of saying something privately to fundraisers that he wouldn’t dare dream of saying publicly. Remember when he allegedly told a bunch of donor-class amnesty fans that he was “hellbent” on passing comprehensive immigration reform in 2014? Two months later Dave Brat upset Eric Cantor in their House primary by running hard against illegal immigration. Alas, the elusive dream of more cheap labor for corporate America had to be postponed again.
At a Steamboat Springs event for GOP Rep. Scott Tipton, the Ohio Republican quipped that he likes how Cruz’s presidential campaign keeps “that jackass” out of Washington, and from telling Boehner how to do his job…
“I don’t think it’s terribly speaker-like, and I think it kind of goes against everything that Reagan ever said about disparaging Republicans,” said Ed MacArthur, the president of Native Excavating, who attended the fundraiser…
Another Steamboat Springs resident confirmed Boehner’s remark: “I about fell on the floor.”
“To build coalitions to work together in Washington, D.C., you don’t start it out by calling your colleague a ‘jackass,’” she said.
Turns out the GOP leadership hates grassroots favorites just as much as the grassroots hates the GOP leadership. Dare we assume that Boehner also holds Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh in low regard?
If one is interested in elevating the level of discourse, winnowing the field of not just presidential candidates but admirable public figures generally becomes easier.

We can be fierce in defense of our principles, but let us not leave ourselves vulnerable to charges of going off half-cocked by lobbing the kinds of ill-advised salvos to which the rudderless increasingly resort.

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