No, civility isn't optional

The idea that if you lose an election, you should delegitimize the winner, is dangerous business that, once put in motion, can swing out of control. Similarly, if you lose a Supreme Court nomination fight, impugning the court as a whole is no less dangerous.

No party has had clean hands in the last 25 years. Republicans went after Bill Clinton hard, even eventually impeaching him; I vigorously opposed those moves then and pointed fingers at the Republicans for playing a dangerously divisive game that ultimately boomeranged on them.

Today, Hillary Clinton declares that Democrats do not have to be civil until the party wins back a branch of government. Implied in her statement is that the Democrats don’t have to be fair, truthful, or condemn the outrageous actions of fringe groups like Antifa. They do — and her comments have so far only been a gift to Republicans.

I think campaigns should be hard-fought. They should have ideas, and point out the legitimate flaws of opponents. But our democracy must be the envy of the world, not a laughing stock.