(The candidate) blamed both parties for what he called ”eight years of excessive partisanship and finger-pointing.”
”The administration has been the most relentlessly partisan administration in our nation’s history,” (the candidate ) charged in a speech to a lavish political fund-raising dinner here. ”But sometimes some in our party have responded in kind. Americans have seen a cycle of bitterness: an arms race of anger. The legacy is cynicism, a generic distrust.”
(The candidate) said he would break that cycle by setting ”a different tone” that restores ”civility and respect to our national politics.” He also promised to welcome ideas from ”conservatives and moderates and New Democrats.”
STILL CAN’T FIGURE OUT “THE CANDIDATE? HERE’S A BIGGER CLUE
That latter reference was especially striking because it refers specifically to the centrist ”New Democrat” movement that has been a critical source of ideas for both President Clinton and Gore.. In a measure of his efforts to reposition his party, (the candidate) has recently moved closer than Gore to the positions of the Democratic Leadership Council — the principle New Democratic organization — on a series of issues led by entitlement reform and health care.
Aides to Gore dismissed the call for a more civil political tone as hypocritical, noting that (the candidate) has repeatedly attacked the vice-president’s honesty and integrity during the campaign.
Here is the original Los Angeles Times headline, date and author.
Reaching out to center, Bush urges return to civility
Los Angeles Times
“Return to Civility” was also a theme of Bush’ 2001 inaugural address in which he define it as such: “Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.”
“Civility” is just one of those concepts that “civilized” people cannot argue or impeach. Personally, I’m a complete sucker for the ideal and I have a variety of my own expanded definitions, the simplest of which is “I know it when I see it.”
I hope I’ll see it stick around this time.