Cry “Liar!” and let slip the dogs of incivility

Many lessons could be derived from this exchange between Bill O’Reilly and Alan Colmes (Jonathan Chait’s headline; “The Fox News–iest Segment in Fox News History”). Given my recent facepalm reaction to such political obstinacy, I’ll describe this as the perfect encapsulation of our current budgetary discourse:

That O’Reilly responds with what could be viewed as the type of moral indignation typically reserved for crimes against humanity is worth a chuckle or two. Perhaps that’s an unfair description of his feelings, or simply a fair characterization of his theatrical tactics. Thinking any deeper than that is probably useless and would be besides the point I’m trying to make, which is that normative political arguments should at least include what the other side is saying. I would encourage some conservatives to entertain the possibility of suspending their disbelief at the existence of their opponents proposals for the sake of moving forward in the discussion, if not also for the sake of basic civility.


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