Within days of the "national conversation" provoked by the Tucson violence, union demonstrators were drawing Hitler moustaches on pictures of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and describing his supporters as "pigs." The civility crowd was unmoved.
It's easy to decry incivility on the part of your opponents -- much harder to call out those on your own side. Peter Wehner, a former Bush administration official and respected conservative commentator, has been critical of Herman Cain (for his comments about Muslims) and Tea Party Nation CEO Judson Phillips (for describing liberalism as a philosophy responsible for a billion deaths), among others. It's harder to cite examples of liberals policing their own ranks. Barbara Walters condemned those who rushed to blame Sarah Palin for the Giffords shooting. But no other examples spring to mind.
Here's a new opportunity. If the Democrats meant even one word of what they said in January about civil discourse -- they can loudly and unequivocally condemn the following:
Rep. Maxine Waters has invited the Tea Party "to go to hell." Fellow Black Caucus member Rep. Andre Carson recently said, "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens . . . This Tea Party movement would love to see you and me . . . hanging on a tree."
Vice President Biden described the AFL-CIO as the "only thing keeping the barbarians from the gates."
Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa topped them all. Warming up the crowd for an Obama speech, he said "We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're going to win that war. President Obama: This is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."
President Obama, are those the kind of "healing" words you had in mind?