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I'm a fan of civility.  I'm not one of those folks who thinks that efforts to encourage civility (like this one) are worthless.  However, if you're the president of an organization with a project dedicated to "restoring civility to America's discourse," you ought to be darn careful not to be blatantly and publicly uncivil yourself.  Via Taranto (link, link), I saw that Froma Harrop recently wrote the following by way of criticizing Obama's negotiating skills:

Make no mistake: The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States--threatening to blow up the economy if they don't get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate. . . . Americans are not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but that's what Obama has been doing. . . . That the Republican leadership couldn't control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party. But oddly, Obama's passivity made it hard for responsible Republicans to control their destructive children. The GOP extremists would ask Obama for his firstborn, and he'd say, 'OK.' So they think, why not ask for his second-born, to which he responds, 'Let's talk.'

And if someone calls you on it, admit your mistake instead of digging the hole deeper.



I noticed that you didn't mention the comments Harrop made about the tea party Republicans [ie. economic terrorists, ignoramuses]. Questioning someone's negotiationing skills isn't as uncivil as calling someone derogatory names, which is a personal attack. Agree?

Harrop's comments about the Tea Party was what I was referring to, not her criticism of Obama's negotiating skills. A criticism of Obama's negotiating skills was the context within which she was uncivil, not how she was uncivil. Her comments about the Tea Party was how she was uncivil.

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