Post #71, Bob McKnight's Political Blog
....are Republican Senator Howard Baker, Democratic Senator Sam Nunn; Republican Florida Representative Jim Hill and Democratic Representative Anne Mackenzie.
Having served in office so many years ago, I almost didn't know what it was like to have the partisan bickering we have today at every level of government. I think my side, the Democrats will blame it all on Trump, but truth is both sides have engaged in the vitriol. My memory is the last vestiges of civility were led by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil. Without trying to lay blame with either party, I recall the change in tone started when President George Bush I was losing to Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis. Bush adviser Lee Atwater began a more edgy campaign for Bush. I don't think Bush wanted attacks, but felt they were within the bounds of fair play. Republican candidate Pat Buchanan didn't like Bush's moderate philosophy so he began attacking Bush a little out of bounds. When Bill Clinton was elected President without a majority, the Republicans, led by Speaker Newt Gingrich felt the only way to combat Clinton was to take off the gloves. And so it has gone, back and forth, to the detriment of our country.
I am often asked examples of bi-partisanship beyond my own experience. How about at the Federal level, Republican Senator Howard Baker ("What did the Republican President know and when did he know it?") and Democratic Senator Sam Nunn, a long leader in bi-partisan politics? Closer to home, after I served are Republican Representative Jim Hill and Democratic House Majority Leader Anne Mackenzie, deeply respectful of each other, even today.
But some are more convinced that the level of discord, like at the recent Trump Rally, in our country has gotten very serious. Even Trump agreed, then said he didn't (?), but does not let up. This is from long time Conservative Commentator George Will:
"I believe that what this president has done to our culture, to our civic discourse ... you cannot unring these bells and you cannot unsay what he has said, and you cannot change that he has now in a very short time made it seem normal for schoolboy taunts and obvious lies to be spun out in a constant stream. I think this will do more lasting damage than Richard Nixon's surreptitious burglaries did."
We need our heroes back.