What Democrats Mean By “Civility”

The Democrats are big on civility these days, or pretend to be, anyway. When Congress returned from its Easter recess, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer took the opportunity to call for restraint:

“There are obviously clearly differences of opinion in the country and among members of Congress and between the parties,” Hoyer told reporters. “But that debate ought to be civil, it ought to be constructive, and it ought to be designed to educate the public, not to incite the public.”

Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum, who represents St. Paul and environs, wasted no time explaining what Hoyer meant. On the House floor on Tuesday, she claimed that today’s conservatives, especially Tea Partiers, are just like Timothy McVeigh. She did so, of course, in the name of “civility:”

Madam Speaker, today I rise to remember the victims of the 1995 terrorist attack in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. This act of American terrorism was committed by a man who viewed the federal government as such a threat that it justified mass murder.
I applaud my colleague from Oklahoma for her resolution because it serves as a reminder that right-wing, anti-government extremist groups are on the rise today. …
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center states, ‘Individuals associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing…’
Today, Mr. Potok states, ‘as the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians…’

Got that? The “Patriot” movement, which was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, “has exploded” today. And conservative commentators and Republican politicians are behind it. She continued:

Only last month a Fox News commentator, with Members of Congress next to him, rallied a Tea Party crowd by disparaging Congress and calling the crowd ‘all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here’ to the crowds cheers and applause.

This was the only “evidence” McCollum offered to tie Tea Partiers to Timothy McVeigh–the ostensible subject of her speech–but even McCollum isn’t dumb enough to fail to understand that Sean Hannity was making a sarcastic reference to the Democrats’ absurd claim that Tea Partiers have something in common with the mad bomber. He was, in other words, ridiculing McCollum’s claim, not supporting it.
She continued by renewing her call for civility:

The Members of this House Democrats and Republicans – have a duty and an obligation to end the dangerous name-calling that can only inspire the extremist militias and phony patriots.

Sure. And McCollum’s contribution to “ending name-calling” consists of saying that her political opponents are would-be mass murderers. Such is the twisted logic that dominates today’s Democratic Party.

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