Friday, February 18, 2005

Civility in Congress

There has been a lot of interest in the civility discussion in the blogoverse lately. (Definitely check out all of the posts, if you haven't already. Quite good reading.)

And what good timing. As it turns out, the issue of "civility" has also become an important topic in Congress.

Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill., is fed up with the name-calling and nastiness that he sees between Republicans and Democrats. He says it's getting in the way of House members doing their jobs.

He's joined with Democrat Steve Israel of New York to create a bipartisan caucus aimed at promoting greater civility among House members.

"I've seen an exponential increase in the level of rancor, in the level of acrimony, in the level of politicizing everything ... which we believe disserves the Congress, disserves the country, and disserves our constituents," Johnson told reporters Wednesday.

The new caucus will meet regularly to promote mutual respect and discourage personal attacks. They want lawmakers "to disagree agreeably," Johnson said.

Hee Hee.


Pseudo-Adrienne said...

Well, "civility" seems to be the new buzz word in the blogsphere and on Capitol Hill. You can have lively debates without sh*t-flinging and personal attacks.

It just takes more of an effort to do so. Viciously attacking your opponent is far more easier than respectfully disagreeing with them and then engaging in a rational and polite discussion. Sadly, people sometimes give into to knee-jerk reactions way too many times. I'm guilty of that too.

As for this possible caucus, who knows what will be its success or otherwise should it ever be created?

Trish said...

I don't think civility is a new buzz word in the blogosphere. It's been discussed before, as well as discussed on Internet bulletin boards in general as well as in (a surprising source) online role-playing games. Sometimes it just gets more attention than it usually gets. I think that's the case now.

It's interesting that Congress feels it necessary to "promote mutual respect." I'm not surprised that Congress has devolved into a free-for-all. The Bush administration is hostile in numerous ways, and it's obvious to me that Congress would go down that road.

Mary said...

It's here too on the local level. Our city council is so abusive to each other at times and the public that when people complained about it, they moved the discussion to a sub-committee then instead of dealing with their own bad behavior, they pushed for further restrictions on the free speech of the public. So, I have a problem believing that politicians ever really seriously address their own conduct. Instead, they appear more intent on using "civility" to shut down their constituents comments.