Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That's How It's Done

Barney Frank is my hero of the day. I've always admired the fact that he is perfectly willing to use his superior intellect and encyclopedic knowledge of politics, process, and policy to just dismantle his opponents. He understands that sometimes politics is about listening, engaging your opponents, and compromise, and sometimes it is just about beating them. I'm a big fan of respectfully participating in civil dialogue, and I have been disappointed on countless occasions by my fellow liberals' refusal or inability to thoughtfully consider conservative or Republican arguments.

But there are limits to how long you can keep turning the other cheek when the other side insists on slapping you in the face. There is a time to disagree without being disagreeable. Conservatives doe not consider this to be one of those moments. So liberals are starting to recognize that there is a moment to be dismissive and argumentative, and this is one of those moments. There is a time to listen, and there is a time for flat-out ridicule. This is a time to be harsh, and call idiots what they are.

Obama himself is, as always, calm, cool, collected, and rational. I still think there are lots of Republicans and conservatives who are worth listening to, and who are capable of responding with intelligence and grace. But the inmates have taken over the asylum, and demagogues are framing the debate on the other side.

This is how it's done:

1 comment:

Phil Ha said...

yeah! Go Barney! I love it. this is my favorite thing I've seen in the last couple weeks. Why did it take so long for someone to respond appropriately to these crazy people.