In the scant time since the president's call for civility, Democrats have compared Republicans to Nazis, called one Republican in Congress a "nut case" and the White House has suggested those who remain skeptical of the president's place of birth are irrational.
This is the new civility?
Will Republicans and Democrats sitting together at the State of the Union speech Tuesday night change the incivility coming from the liberal left? When will they practice what they preach?
Apparently not anytime soon. Immediately after the hopeful sacking of the Most Uncivil Person in the World Keith Olbermann -- whose MSNBC show used to feature "The Worst Person in the World" -- his replacement, Lawrence O'Donnell, called ammunition manufacturers "merchants of death." His MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews tied the Tea Party to "Nazi stuff."
Still, O'Donnell promises to be a vast improvement over Olbermann, whose rantings, as compiled by the Media Research Center, have been unequaled for their nastiness:
- He called the health-care system "terrorists" who are "killing" 45,000 Americans a year. Really? "Terrorists"? That's just totally detached from reality; however imperfect, the American health-care system has saved more lives than any construct ever devised by man.
- He personally blamed conservative talker Rush Limbaugh for the deaths in the siege of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, saying, "Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now and you have had it for 15 years."
- Of Tea Party Republicans, he said they are "a group of unqualified, unstable individuals who will do what they are told, in exchange for money and power, and march this nation as far backward as they can get, backward to Jim Crow, or backward to the breadlines of the '30s, or backward to hanging union organizers ..."
So conservatives worried about the nation's financial situation want segregation, hunger and lynchings? Nice.
- Of Scott Brown, whom Massachusetts voters selected for the U.S. Senate, he said, "we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees."
Olbermann may have reached the summit of spite with that string of invectives. But the "teabagging" slur, if you haven't already heard, is a most disgusting reference to a sexual act -- one that liberals, even on CNN, have used with regularity to attack the good people of the Tea Party movement.
- He called conservative writer Michelle Malkin "a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."
- He called the respected and genteel journalist Chris Wallace "a monkey posing as a newscaster."
Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik aptly called Olbermann "more McCarthy than Murrow."
With the blessed end of this bitterly hateful man's show, we pray the nation's dialogue is lifted out of the foul back alleys of the human soul.