OK, I am back in Arizona. Pejman has a great piece on inflamed rhetoric which reminds me of this jaw-dropper - a Democratic Congressman who last fall said a Republican candidate for Governor should be shot has a guest piece in today's NY Times talking about civility. I kid you not.
Here is the voted-out Rep. Kanjorski (D, PA) last fall:
"Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him [Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for Florida governor] and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks."
Here he is today:
Why Politicians Need to Stay Out in the Open
By PAUL E. KANJORSKI
Nevertheless, even in this post-9/11 world, the shooting of Ms. Giffords was especially shocking, because it was so personal. She was hunted down far from the symbolic halls of power while performing the most fundamental responsibility of her job, listening to her constituents.
As far as we know, her attacker had no grand political point; I doubt we will ever really understand his motives. What the shooting does tell us, however, is that it is impossible to eliminate the risks faced by elected officials when they interact with their constituents.
We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.
Geez - someone should put Kanjorski against a wall and... read him his public statements. And the Times editors might want to reflect on just who they are turning to for advice on creating "an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation".
And let's not skip past the Krugman connection. Yesterday Professor Hate told us this:
It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized...
Looks like that ostracism thing is strictly in Krugman's imagination. The same guy who called for a Republican to be shot down is now lecturing the rest of us about preserving civility - in the pages of the Times!