Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I call it killing them with kindness

Obama Handshake and the Politics of Civility
Those who are alarmed about President Obama's easy, casual camaraderie with Chavez misunderstand the role of civility in public life. Barack Obama is, if nothing else, a civil and gracious political leader. In all honesty, he is a little too civil for my taste. I am cut from the sarcastic, snarky, blogger cloth. I hold grudges and prefer to punish my political foes with biting commentary whenever possible. Barack Obama appoints his adversaries to cabinet positions and asks those he disagrees with to pray at his inauguration. It is a core element of who he is. Even in Obama's pre-presidential book, The Audacity of Hope, he displays his brand of polite restraint. He condemns racism, but doesn't name racists. He blames conservative policies for creating our national mess, but doesn't attack conservatives. You don't have to like it, but that handshake was authentic Obama.
See how Obama is doing it with the Republicans. I think his civility drives Limbaugh rabid and only increases the distaste independents feel towards the Republicans.

Who thought post-partisanship meant we had to be co-opted by the Republicans?

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