Not Playing Nice

Republicans Say No to “Civility”

So much for bipartisanship: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has refused to co-sign a document created by the Democratic National Committee encouraging “elected officials of both parties to set an example of the civility we want to see in our citizenry.” The document comes in the midst of an increase in politically motivated threats and violence over the past week, much of it directed at Democrats in response to health-care reform. Many Republican officials view the “civility” statement as a political trap, however, and an RNC spokesman said, “Voters have a right to be angry. Unfortunately, some have chosen to engage in language and actions that go too far […] among the first voices to condemn such activities was Michael Steele’s.” The DNC’s communications director Brad Woodhouse hit back, saying, “Chairman Steele’s own overheated rhetoric and the Republican Party’s fear tactics have contributed to an environment of anger and frustration that is unhealthy and counterproductive to our political dialogue.”