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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 18, 2009 / 22 Adar 5769

Getting Too Ugly Too Soon

By Tony Blankley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the past few weeks, the language of national political debate has turned too ugly too soon. The temperature is rising, and I have felt it in the rising of my own political blood. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column on President Barack Obama's budget that I opened with a disparaging characterization of the president. The response was powerful. I received fivefold the normal number of e-mail responses. The column drew vastly more comment at various political Web sites. I was invited on national television and radio to discuss it — where the focus was on my intemperate words more than my policy analysis.


And I am not alone on both sides of the political divide. In the past fortnight, the most high-toned, rarely partisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning Brahmins of Washington print commentary have used the following phrases to describe the president or his words: "double talker," "opportunistic," "brazen deception," a "great pretender," practicing "deception at the core" of his plans, and a "fantasy."


On the president's side, a high-toned prizewinner called the GOP arguments "fraudulent," saying they intend to push the U.S. economy over "the edge of catastrophe." A prominent opponent of the president's was identified as having a history of drug dependency.


The White House itself ran a campaign to demonize Rush Limbaugh. And according to Politico, President Obama's transition chief is coordinating a "left-wing conspiracy" that intends to go after the president's critics personally. Politico quotes one of the participants: "There's a coordination in terms of exposing the people who are trying to come out against reform — they've all got backgrounds and histories and pasts, and it's not taking long to unearth that and to unleash that, because we're all working together."


Things have gotten nasty fast, even on the same sides. Conservatives have had two very vituperative intramural fights, over Rush Limbaugh and over Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. On the liberal side, Jon Stewart has been personally very rough with fellow Obama supporter Jim Cramer — after Cramer sharply criticized the president's economic policy.


And in the media, Newsweek had a full-cover picture of Rush Limbaugh with what looks like black tape across his mouth with the word "enough!" on it. For a storied journalistic enterprise such as Newsweek to suggest the forcible silencing of dissent should be considered shocking to all journalists and others who champion the First Amendment right of free speech. And we are less than two months into President Obama's term.


In my 30 years as a Washington player, I never have seen the tone deteriorate on both sides so fast. In the summer of 1993, Newt Gingrich still was working cooperatively with President Bill Clinton on passing the North American Free Trade Agreement. While there were periodic outbursts, it took a couple of years for things to get really ugly back then. Even George W. Bush, who came to office viewed by some of his critics as an illegitimate president because of the way he got into the White House, was able to work in partnership with no less than Ted Kennedy on education reform during his first year in office.


The old joke that debates in academic lounges are so nasty because so little is at risk does not apply, in my opinion, to national politics right now. Rather, precisely because we stand on the edge of possible economic catastrophe in a world that seems more out of control than anytime since 1939, both sides feel more deeply about policy decisions soon to be made.


We earnestly believe — on both sides — that decisions made in Washington in the next several months or few years may drastically reshape the very nature of our country forever. So policy argument easily slips into personal calumny in a desperate effort to win the debate.


But precisely because these fateful policy decisions may well be decided by a few votes in the Senate — leaving almost half the country appalled at the decision — it is vital to dial back the rhetoric of the debate to make acceptance of such decisions more manageable. At least I am going to try to dial back my rhetoric.


Don't construe the foregoing as an ode to goo-goo bipartisanship. I stand with Maggie Thatcher in believing in conviction politics, in which individuals and parties do not compromise their first principles in order to get along. It is better to lose a vote or an election on principle and let the public judge whose policy was the wiser than to stand for nothing — and thus stand for anything.


But with gun, ammunition and gold sales way up these past few months, the American public obviously is bracing for some very rough times in some very practical ways.


And as we Americans are going to be in the same boat as we enter what may be a pitiless storm, we owe it to ourselves to be as united as possible. We will need to bail out water together, not bash one another over the head with the bailing pails. So at least here in Washington, at the most visible level of national political debate, a better effort at civility should be sustained.


Here is the deal. Fight vehemently on all sides over the fateful policy disputes. But for the opposition: Be respectful of the office of president and its current occupant and his supporters. And for the president's side: Respect dissent. Don't try to chill its exercise either directly or by disparaging the character or motives of the opposition.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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