Past performance is no guarantee of future results: On January 14th 2011, the leftwing Mother Jones Website asked, “A Kinder, Gentler Congress? Tucson may have forced a temporary cease-fire on Capitol Hill, but don’t expect a lasting détente:”
After the Tucson tragedy and President Obama’s call to “sharpen our instincts for empathy” in the face of a fractious national political discourse, will Congress become a more civil place? Here’s a small case study.
As lawmakers gathered on Wednesday to honor Tucson’s victims and pray for the recovery of their colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) vowed in an interview with Mother Jones that the Republican Party would resume—as aggressively as ever—their effort to repeal health care reform next week. But he stumbled over his own words when he began to invoke his party’s signature critique of the Obama administration—its “job-killing” agenda. “Imposing this health care regime on our businesses and our families is going to—I don’t want use the word ‘kill’—is going to stifle, it’s going to hinder, it’s going to stop businesses from creating jobs,” he said. That is: kill, but not “kill.”
In the wake of Tucson, lawmakers are surely going to think twice about what they say and how they say it, says Tevi Troy, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and former Bush administration official who opposes health care reform [sic–Ed]. “Elected officials will be more careful going forward—they will read over prepared remarks and speeches make sure there aren’t inappropriate metaphors or demonization,” he said.
Perhaps—but for how long?
I think we have our answer:
— Alex Strouss (@AskiTan) November 1, 2014
I’d say demonization has made an awfully strong comeback — not that it ever went away, of course. And don’t get Mother Jones started on the terrifying dangers of Halloween.
Related: Reason’s Cathy Young on “GamerGate and Misandry,” a pretty good primer on this incredibly convoluted story (at least for those of us who don’t play videogames).