[guest post by Dana]
A decent and reasonable man opens the floodgates:
I have stayed quiet with the approach of the election. But I’m troubled by our politics, as it has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation – let alone the birthplace of modern democracy. The President calls the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate “a monster;” he repeatedly labels the Speaker of the House “crazy;” he calls for the Justice Department to put the prior president in jail; he attacks the governor of Michigan on the very day a plot is discovered to kidnap her. Democrats launch blistering attacks of their own – though their presidential nominee refuses to stoop as low as others. Pelosi tears up the President’s State of the Union speech on national television. Keith Olbermann calls the president a “terrorist”. Media on the left and right amplify all of it.
The rabid attacks kindle the conspiracy mongers and the haters who take the small and predictable step from intemperate word to dangerous action. The world is watching America with abject horror; more consequentially, our children are watching. Many Americans are frightened for our country – so divided, so angry, so mean, so violent.
It is time to lower the heat. Leaders must tone it down. Leaders from the top and leaders from all stripes. Parents, bosses, reporters columnists, professors, union chiefs, everyone. The consequence of the crescendo of anger leads to a very bad place. No sane person can want that.
While I agree with the points he makes, here’s the problem: elected officials mentioned by name (and those not named, but who deserve to be included in the ‘behaving badly’ group) were put into office by the American people. If this isn’t a cautionary tale to thoughtfully pause before checking off the ballot boxes, I don’t know what is.
Me, I’m just biting my lip: On one hand, November 3 can’t come fast enough. On the other hand, what fresh hell will that bring?
[Ed. I’m not sure why Keith Olbermann was included in this rant, because who is he that Romney (or any of us) should care what he says? This especially as he is not an elected official. He can shoot his mouth off any time that he wants, as much as he wants, and make as many stupid comments as he wants. And I’m glad he has the right to do so.]
[guest post from JVW]
Here is the latest post from your Patterico’s Pontifications campaign merchandise correspondent, me.
I have just been made aware that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has her own merchandising store. No, you can’t get replica pens with her embossed signature like the ones used in signing the Articles of Impeachment then handed out as souvenirs, but you can purchase all sorts of items with her schoolmarm neat autograph (a replica autograph and not the real McCoy for you, plebe), as well as many other items with a “Yassss Queen!” vibe suitable to the female leader of a gaggle of elderly timeserving hacks, painfully woke nincompoops, and callow social media influencers who have somehow found themselves elected to office. But just in time for the coming election, her team has coughed up some apparel so breathtakingly ugly that it seems like it is almost an epic joke being played on the social justice hipsters whom we all believe Wicked Aunt Nancy secretly despises:
But gosh, gang, they express the universal and nonpartisan exhortation to vote — sorry, Vote — so even those marking their ballot for the Glowing Orange or for some third-party loser can purchase those overpriced odes to democracy! And because they are in fact nonpartisan, we can proudly wear them to the polling place to cast our votes, even if we’re actually going to cast them at home this year and then present them to the nice young purple-haired gender-nonconforming person with the eleven eyelid piercings whom the DNC thoughtfully sends to our door to collect and deliver our ballot. As to the pricing for this limited-edition collector’s item that will always remind us of that fantastic year 2020, well, I’ve seen worse.
Supplies are limited; make sure to order right away.
I don’t have much to say. I support her being confirmed; she will be confirmed; in the meantime there is a ton of hypocrisy being spouted and I am not wasting my time watching it.
I saw Ben Sasse had a lovely little lecture about how civics is different from politics and constitutes the stuff we should al agree on, like the proper role of each branch. It was well done, but I could not take it seriously coming from him. After all, one would think that basic civics would compel uniform opposition to a president leveraging critical foreign assistance to seek an announcement of a criminal investigation of his chief political rival. And yet, here we are, aren’t we, Senator Sasse?
It’s true nobody can get along in the country anymore. Far too many on both sides assume that the other side is evil and is actively out to destroy America, and each side has a trove of actual facts that they can both cite and exaggerate in service of their own pet narrative. This is the theme of David French’s latest book, which sees a danger of the country splitting apart due to our mutual hostility and suspicion. I’ll likely report on it before the election, but first I owe you posts on Woodward’s and Andrew Weissman’s books.
Anyway, if you have urgent thoughts on the kabuki theater that is a Supreme Court justice’s confirmation process, that’s why we have a comments section. Have at it!
UPDATE: I think this is notable: