Do We Hate Each Other THAT Much?

In the last week, Hon. Richard Cebul, Chief United States District Judge (Montana), wrote a letter to President Obama apologizing for a racially charged joke sent from his court email account. In his apology Judge Cebul wrote,

“I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded. I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself.”  Politico 
Given what appears to be a sincere apology, as well as Judge Cebul’s letter to the Chief Judge of the Ninth District asking that an inquiry be opened regarding his “misconduct”, one wonders if this issue will disappear into the hall of fame of lettered “wardrobe malfunctions.”   This however, appears not to be the case, as Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, in an appearance on “The Ed Show” on MSNBC on Friday, stated that an apology is not sufficient and that only resignation will be a satisfactory outcome

Judge Cebul takes his place on the hot seat beside Rush Limbaugh who recently equated a young woman who testified before Congress on the necessity to uphold the payment for contraceptives under reimbursed health plans, with being a “slut” and “prostitute”, going so far as to offer to pay for a sexual performance by the woman, or perhaps any woman who dares to use insurance reimbursed contraceptives.  This, of course, might cause us to wonder if Mr. Limbaugh’s own previous illicit drug use was reimbursed.

These and many other recent nasty social encounters (not limited to politics!)  have us questioning, “What is the limit to societal coarseness and individual nastiness?”

 Sen.Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in her news conference announcing her plans to leave the Senate senses the barriers to insensibility are ever expanding when she said, “The sensible center has virtually disappeared in Washington.”
Yet in an appearance on “Hardball with Chris Matthews”  on MSNBC on March 2nd, Joan Walsh of Salon.com said in reference to Limbaugh’s unrestrained gutter mouth,
“I think something different is going on here, and I think we have reached the tipping point in this country where people are talking back to this kind of garbage and misogyny.”
One wonders if the tipping point has been reached.  Much like the beginning of the end of “The Summer of  Love” in San Francisco in 1967 submerged by homelessness and rampant drug use, uncivil American discourse may have reached its denouement, dragged down by the weight of anger, falsehood, and unsustainable self righteousness.

One can only hope!

published on The Daily Kos - March 3, 2012

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