What is happening to common decency in American politics?
On Sunday, in Troy, Ohio, Mitt Romney’s entire six-minute speech was pretty much drowned out by protesters — no doubt Democrats — shouting, “Go home!” Romney was appearing with House Speaker John Boehner in Boehner’s home district. I’ll admit that a couple of weeks ago (May 31) Republican hecklers disrupted David Axelrod, President Obama’s Communications Director, when he was trying to deliver a speech on the steps of the state building in Boston, but I’ve found out two wrongs don’t make a right.
Seventy-five years ago, my parents taught me the necessity for politeness, part of that lesson being not to interrupt others when they are speaking. If I remember correctly, that lesson was delivered at the dinner table, but politeness is as essential to good politics, as it is in the home. In both of the incidents mentioned above it was done with an air of combativeness, a lesson that kids learn in intra-school athletic activities these days. Sure, when I was in high school we yelled a lot at sporting events, but we yelled for our team, not against our opponents.
But where was the following conduct learned?
This weekend, at the Montana Republican Party convention in Missoula, they featured a bullet-ridden outhouse described as the “Obama Presidential Library.” It was adorned with a fake birth certificate, and displays that made sexual references to First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
According to The Missoulian newspaper, Montana State Republican Chairman Will Deschamps dismissed the outhouse as a “sideshow.” “It’s not something I’m going to agonize over,” Deschamps told The Missoulian. “Some of that stuff is not real good taste. We do have a president of the United States, and we have to honor that.”
Let’s all hope the GOP doesn’t figure out some way to dishonor our President (and Democrats should let Mitt Romney speak).