To the editor:
Garrison Keillor (Journal-World, Sept. 25) is the latest in a line of commentators to assert that political incivility has sprung in its nasty entirety from the “cranky Right.” You really have to feel for him, though. In his dotage he seems to have trouble remembering things.
Herewith, a few correctives to the wisdom of the Sage of Lake Wobegon. Let us note, for example, that Harry Reid referred to President Bush as a liar and an idiot and that Democrats in Congress responded with boos to Bush’s 2004 and 2005 State of the Union addresses. Let us further recall that Bush was likened to Adolph Hitler every day of his presidency. And how can we overlook Jimmy Carter (and others) referring to the current president’s health care opponents as racists?
Keillor longs for the days when unions “knew how to deal with hecklers.” Too bad he doesn’t remember that SEIU members were arrested in August for beating Kenneth Gladney outside a town hall meeting in St. Louis where he was selling “Don’t Tread on Me” paraphernalia (now there’s some irony).
Once, we might have referred to these heckler-dealing SEIU folks as “goons” or “thugs,” but thanks to Keillor we are above that now. And fortunately we can look to the Sage himself for an uplifting example of how to describe our opponents in civil terms; Joe Wilson is not a Congressman from South Carolina, but rather a “gin-soaked cracker from South Carolina.” No incivility here on the “center-Left” — move along.