September 08, 2018

My friend Jon says the world is getting less civil. I'm not sure whether that's a circular phenomenon that ebbs and flows, or a one-directional long-term trend. But I think it's a problem, and admit I'm as much to blame as anyone.

The difference between California’s two Democratic senators was evident when Sen. Chuck Grassley was only 13 words into his introduction to the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. That’s when Sen. Kamala Harris interrupted the Judiciary Committee chairman. She wanted to postpone the hearing.

13 words without interruption on the floor of the Senate. Is this something to be proud of?

I think the answer is "no" but a lot of people might see it differently, choosing to focus on the issue more than procedure. They love that Harris is "scoring points" against the nomination of Kavanaugh. They view the incivility as a necessary "by any means" measure to block his confirmation.

This is a tough line to draw but I think we've gone too far. It's one thing to be firm about your beliefs, quite another to turn a Congressional hearing into a shouting match.

I hope we can recognize the damage incivility causes and recognize it's not worth it.