Free Markets, Free People
Political Dialogue Is Just Now “Coarsening”?
In his 60 Minutes interview yesterday, President Obama remarked on the state of political dialogue:
President Barack Obama said in an interview to be aired Sunday night on “60 Minutes” that he sees “a coarsening of our political dialogue.”
“The truth of the matter is that there has been, I think, a coarsening of our political dialogue,” Obama told Steve Kroft in an interview taped at the White House on Friday evening.
“I will also say that in the era of 24-hour cable news cycles, that the loudest, shrillest voices get the most attention. And so one of the things that I’m trying to figure out is: How can we make sure that civility is interesting?”
So what’s his point? Well there are two. One is he doesn’t believe he and his ideas/agenda aren’t getting the news coverage they deserve because the “loudest and shrillest voices get the most attention”.
Of course, that was something the left counted on when they were in opposition to the Bush administration. But now that they are the establishment, they suffer the same problem the right did for 8 years. They’re not news. You’d think the “reality based” community would understand that dynamic.
That brings us to the “coarsening political dialogue”. The premise, of course, is it wasn’t coarse before, or at least, not as coarse.
Two points: one – it was just as coarse if not coarser prior to January 20th of this year. Anyone remember Harry Reid calling the president a liar and a loser? Nancy Pelosi claiming Bush was “incompetent?” Those are two of a myriad of examples that any reasonable person would agree are examples of “coarse political dialogue”. So I’m not buying the “coarsening of political speech” that Obama believes is happening. The difference between now and then is the “coarse speech” is aimed at him and what he’s doing.
Two – the coarsened speech occurred after January 20th of this year and well before Joe Wilson – the target of this particular riff by Obama – uttered a word. Citizens were denounced as “un-American” by Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. They were called “evil mongers” by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. Various Democratic Congress persons called them “brownshirts”, political terrorists and a mob.
Certainly political dialogue is coarse right now, but it is nothing new, certainly not worse than before and when you consider the examples I’ve given, definitely not the exclusive provenance of the right.
Obama’s remark about all of this seems to have a slight hint of whining about it.