He’s apparently not calling for a government watchdog group but rather a private one of the sort of government watchdogs that already exist. “It would be a good idea if some of these watchdog groups, if there would emerge a ‘civility watchdog group,’” says Democrat Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver.
“They would somehow rank us on the basis of our civility because nothing is going to be done here, with all the major issues facing us, until we become more civil.”
The problem here is that what is and is not “civil” discourse is subjective. To hear Democrats tell it, cutting spending is evil because it puts seniors out into the street and starves little children, etc., etc. Thus, the Republican policy agenda is uncivil in their minds.
And while we’re nominally in favor of civility, after all we all learned about the Golden Rule in kindergarten, civility has never existed in politics. There was no golden age of gentlemanly discourse. It’s always been a rough-and-tumble affair, and that’s just fine.
Better fighting in the legislatures of this country than warring factions killing each other.
Besides, heated debate means spirited political competition.