Incivility Isn’t What’s Wrong With American Politics

Hillary Clinton may not be president, but she retains the power to enrage Mitch McConnell.

On Tuesday, Clinton told CNN that Democrats “cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/ or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

In response, the Majority Leader took to the Senate floor to rail against Clinton’s remarks, and the “mob tactics” of others on the left.

“No peace until they get their way?” McConnell said. “More of these unhinged tactics? Apparently, this is the left’s rallying cry. But fortunately, the American people know that the fact-free politics of hate, fear and intimidation are not how we actually govern in our democratic republic.”

McConnell isn’t the only Republican calling for a return to civility in politics in the wake of the blistering fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. This week, Senator Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican who voted against Kavanaugh, came to the defense of fellow GOP moderate Susan Collins, saying on the Senate floor that the harassment over her “yes” vote must end.

“[Collins] is now enduring an active campaign against her,” Murkowski said. “To be protested at her home every weekend, to know that she cannot travel without a police escort. … I made comments as I prepared for the final vote last week, and I said we are better than this.”

Murkowski even urged her Senate colleagues to watch the new Mr. Rogers documentary, remarking, “It’s okay to be good with one another. It’s okay to accept people for who they are. It’s okay to just find the good.”

Despite McConnell’s broad attack on the left, some Democrats still sound closer to Murkowski than Clinton. Former First Lady Michelle Obama defended her old slogan — “when they go low, we go high” — Thursday on the Today show. “Fear is not — it’s not a proper motivator. Hope wins out,” she said. “And if you think about how you want your kids to be raised, how you want them to think about life and their opportunities, do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?”

But is it even worth attempting civility with the party of Donald Trump? Everyone can agree that death threats, which Collins reportedly received, are beyond the pale. But saying so isn’t an act of civility as much as it’s a plea to reduce or…

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