RNC, DNC Chairs spar about civility on Twitter

posted at 4:15 pm on January 12, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Yesterday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz revived an old meme. At the traditional New Hampshire “Politics and Eggs” breakfast, DWS suggested that the “edginess and … lack of civility” of Tea Party rhetoric is somehow related to last year’s tragic shooting of her close friend, Rep. Gabby Giffords, in Tucson.

It’s questionable as to whether Tea Party rhetoric is characterized by “edginess” and a “lack of civility” — but, even if it is, the Tucson shooter was a loner with no apparent partisan agenda. DWS’ comments were uncalled for and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus would have none of it.

“@DWStweets should apologize immediately for her reckless comments blaming the Tea Party for the horrific Tucson shooting,” Priebus quickly tweeted.

The ubiquitously calm and composed RNC leader then appeared on CNN to respond to DWS’ out-of-line remarks.

“To take such a tragedy and such a remarkable story and to try to score political points on it, it’s just … it’s pathetic,” Priebus said on air. Later, he tweeted the video of his appearance.

That did it for DWS, who apparently didn’t expect to be called out for her comments.

“I’d NEVER politicize Tucson — my close friend was shot,” she tweeted at the Chairman. “Your comment=lack of civility [I] was talking about.”

That sparked a hailstorm of responses, but none better than that from Priebus himself. “Check your own transcript,” he tweeted back.

As I wrote yesterday, DWS has no legs to stand on when it comes to civility. It’d be nice if the rancor and blame between parties would evaporate, but, in the meantime, let’s at least be clear on what constitutes incivility. According to DWS, it’s not civil of Priebus to accuse her of politicizing Tucson, but it is civil of her to say Tea Party rhetoric might have incited the shooting itself. Once again, we learn the all-too-common liberal definition: Whatever you say is rude, whatever I say is polite. (After all, she did preface her comments about the Tea Party with an all-purpose phrase, “I hesitate to place blame,” which we all know is code for, “Allow me to place blame.”) Again, the hypocrisy has got to stop.


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