Republicans Cry About Lack of ‘Civility’ at DNC

My Thursday column examines the Republican definition of “civility” and “class.”

Predictably, the Romney campaign and its apparatchiks at Fox News accused the Democrats of lacking “civility” during the first day of their convention. RNC chairman Reince Priebus called the Democrats “classless” for showing an old 1994 video of Ted Kennedy debating (and embarrassing) a decidedly more liberal Mitt Romney.

Boo-hoo.

You know who shouldn’t be lecturing the Democrats about civility? The people who gave us swift-boating, the Southern Strategy, the outing of Valerie Plame, Birthers, Reverend Wright videos around the clock, “Obama pals around with domestic terrorists,” the exploitation of 9/11, comparing a triple amputee Vietnam veteran to Saddam Hussein, the booing of a gay soldier, and the party that sported Purple Heart band-aids at the 2004 convention to mock another decorated Vietnam veteran, John Kerry, who was wounded in combat. And no one on the floor of the Democratic convention hurled peanuts at an African American camerawomen, shouting, “This is how we feed the animals.”

Yes, the Democratic speakers unapologetically jabbed Romney for having a Swiss bank account and for being a shameless prevaricator. They criticized his policy proposals for being the usual Reaganomics claptrap we’ve heard during every election and, accurately enough, how eerily similar policies caused the recession. There’s a difference between taking fair shots at an opponent and the reprehensible tactics routinely exercised by the Republicans. Continue reading here.

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  • Susan Jodoin

    Republicans can dish it out, but they can’t take it. My heart pumps purple grape juice for them.

  • mrbrink

    Quite the contrary. This convention has been like the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.

    It’s a Wonderful Convention!

    It’s like Michelle Obama as Mary and Bill Clinton as Uncle Billy and they’re running around collecting the $8,000 dollars Potter Romney’s using to undermine the economy with Ted Kennedy as Clarence while George Bailey Obama all try to hold the Building and Loan building together explaining to the good people of Bedford Falls America that “Potter’s not selling, he’s buying!”

    This convention has been a beat down for Republicans and their years-long phony narrative of this administration and a highlight reel of their greatest sins.

    Despicably unworthy contenders and it’s all coming to light.

  • zirgar

    I bet Romney and Ryan hate that the GOP convention was held before the Democratic one–it would’ve made their jobs so much easier to have the president state his positions first so all they’d have to do is respond, “The opposite of that.”

    The GOP reminds me of every drunken “tough guy” bum I had to toss out of bars onto their butts. They’d talk trash and try to act threatening and I’d take it because I needed to remain calm and stay focused in order to handle the situation (plus I didn’t want to give them any ammunition for accusations of misconduct on my part or the establishment’s), and it only served to egg them on, so when it finally got to the point where I had to physically take over, they’d almost always cry “foul.” As long as I wasn’t responding, or I was just talking to them, trying to calm them down, they were tough guys, but when I stepped in and took over they’d go limp and cry and whine about how I was abusing them.

    • GrafZeppelin127

      I think the incumbent party gets to go second, but I’m not sure where that comes from, whether it’s tradition or rule, &c.

  • http://twitter.com/SugaRazor Razor

    Bob, I’m trying to work and your columns keep making me visibly giddy.

    And yes, I’m one of those mythical liberals who work. Crazy, right?!

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I don’t know how many more times Jon Stewart can replay this stuff, look into the camera and deadpan, “Waah.” For a party and a cohort that prides itself on toughness and independence, not to mention one that has made pure meanness into a virtue as well as a core political strategy, they put an awful lot of time and effort into complaining that other people are being mean.

    One of the reasons they get away with this is because their cohort, viz., the people living inside the GOP/Fox paracosm, don’t actually listen or pay attention to what Democrats and their cohort actually say. They don’t listen to the speeches or interviews, they don’t watch or read the “liberal” (pro-Democratic Party) punditry. What they do listen to, watch and read is what the “conservative” (pro-GOP) punditry says about the speeches, interviews, and “liberal” punditry.

    By way of illustration: If you listened to one of President Obama’s stump speeches, in full, unedited and without commentary, you’d hear him talking about his record and it would be clear to you that he is, at least in part, running on his record. That’s fairly straightforward. But if you don’t listen to the speeches, and instead turn on Fox and hear Sean Hannity say “The President won’t talk about his record,” and Bill O’Reilly say “The President can’t run on his record, so he’s attacking [X],” you’ll believe what they say and run over to HuffPo to troll the comment threads.

    Of course, there are those who could do both, and still believe the latter. But I’m not so much talking about cognitive dissonance here as the difference between primary and secondary sources of information. The cohort, lacking exposure to the primary sources (often deliberately), gets its information and understanding only from secondary sources. Since the secondary sources know that the audience does not and will not expose itself to primary sources, the secondary sources are free to say whatever they want about the primary sources, free to distort, exaggerate, and flat-out make stuff up.

    • stacib23

      If you listened to one of President Obama’s stump speeches, in full, unedited and without commentary, you’d hear him talking about his record and it would be clear to you that he is, at least in part, running on his record.

      Exactly!

    • Treading_Water

      Much like an angry old man ranting at an empty chair, the Republican Party finds it much easier to run against an imaginary President Obama than the one that actually sits in the chair, makes decisions, and implements policy.

      Why let facts and truth get in the way of a good narrative?

  • Ned F

    I have no idea how showing a video of Ted Kennedy, a lion in the Senate, a scion of the most famous (Democratic) political family in history, is classless, or lacking civility. We may have joked about a Reagan hologram if they had gotten it working, but the joke would have been that, in today’s Republican party, Reagan wouldn’t have lasted as long as Jon Huntsman in the primary.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Or Nixon. Or Eisenhower. Or Teddy Roosevelt.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Or Lincoln.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Great piece, Bob.

    Republicans are such a bunch of thin-skinned crybabies, but I am grateful as hell that Democrats have FINALLY found their backbones. Republicans can cry all they want, we aren’t backing down because we’re right!

    • Treading_Water

      You know, I think we actually have the Tea Party to thank for the Democrats finally finding their spine. Without the full bore, nonstop crazy coming from the other side of the aisle, I’m afraid that the Democrats wouldn’t have had the will (or the political cover) to take a stand.

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

        You may be right.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    “So the contrast between a strong Democratic Party and a flaky, unstable, flip-floppy Republican Party has prompted the GOP to spend the week whining and pooping its big boy pants about how the Democrats are being so mean.”

    Republicans have been behaving like big diaper babies for a long, long time now.

    Great column, Bob.

  • muselet

    Republicans are whining about the Democrats’ lack of civility.

    This is further proof that Righties do not understand irony.

    –alopecia