In other words, the calls for a general toning down of rhetoric translate far more into a toning down of both an effective media opposition and a rising political obstruction to the Obama agenda. “Can’t we all get along?” in essence means, “Can’t we all just keep quiet and keep going on with the big-government, agreed-on politics of the last fifty years?”
And why it will fail:
bipartisan friendly dialogue cannot and will not be adhered to by those now calling for its implementation, since divisive language often achieves what an unpersuasive ideology cannot.
And the end result?
I predict that 18 months from now the president himself will still be calling for a new civility in the manner of his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention — and will once again adopt the sorts of over-the-top metaphors, similes, allusions, and rough-stuff politics that got him elected senator in 2004 and president in 2008, and pushed his health-care legislation through in 2009. If anything, the language of division will be shriller even than in 2010, as the administration grasps that loaded language, coupled with calls for an end to rancor, must now do what a record of unpopular governance cannot.