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I will start with a definition of civility straight out of Merriam Websters:

a : civilized conduct; especially : courtesy, politeness
b : a polite act or expression
To me civility equates to "please and thank you" or "Yes Sir." Plain and simple I do not see courtesy and politeness as a part of political rhetoric. Nor do I see "civilized conduct" as important to politics or to congress.

Rules of order fall into an entirely different category. Rules of order are critical for legislative bodies and court rooms. I really do not want civility. I want clear argument.

Intro

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Yelling out "You Lie" when the President is giving a state of the union addressed is not civility. I believe that the yell itself was important to politics. Why? The yell showed us all exactly who Joe Wilson was, a rude crude congressman. Just as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito mouthing the words "Not true" was important for voters to see. Similarly to hear speaker Boehner shouting "Hell No" is important.

None of this is civil. What amazes me is when a major political party nominates a candidate for the Senate who calls for insurrection. Sharon Angle's call for "second amendment solutions" is a call for insurrection. That over forty percent of the voters voted for her, I find to be incredible. And the we have the "I'll take you out" republican candidate for governor of New York, Carl Paladino. He didn't mean to dinner. Next there is the secessionist Governor of Texas, Rich Perry. And then there is Representative Adam West who briefly considered Joyce Kaufman for his Chief of Staff. She talked of hanging immigrants and on insurrection said:

“And I don’t care how this gets painted by the mainstream media. I don’t care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing the founding fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will. I’ve never in my life thought that the day would come where I would tell individual citizens that you are responsible for being the militia that the founding fathers designed – they were very specific. You need to be prepared to fight tyranny: whether it comes from outside or it comes from inside.”
Treason in the US Constitution is defined as "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." While I do not consider the above calls for insurrection treasonous, I believe they come too damn close  for voters to vote for such candidates.

The call for states rights in order to oppose federal legislation or court rulings that you do not like is reprehensible to me. If one believes legislation is unconstitutional, then take the legislation to federal court. If one believes that a court ruling is unconstitutional, then take it to court. If one believes a court ruling is unconstitutional then seek an amendment. But do not ever call for insurrection.

Calls for insurrection or secession may be civil. But I believe they have no place in political discourse. I say Hell No to civil discourse and to calls for insurrection.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Lawrence A. Welsch on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 08:15 AM PST.

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