How Will the Right React to "Rhetoric Disarmament"?
What's going to be fascinating to watch in the weeks and months ahead is how the Right adjusts to the new "kinder, gentler" rhetorical environment everyone (but them) is demanding.
If you have been a student of the new Right you understand that the gains they've made in American politics have come in direct proportion to a rising level of anger. Some of that anger was there just waiting to for affirmation, but much more of it has been ginned up by rightwing talkers like Limbaugh, Beck and FOX News.
The anti-government mantra now hammered home 24/7/365 by these demagogic forces provided both cover and opportunity for rightwing politicians in Congress. It did so by rounding up the lower-common denominator types at the grassroots level by affirming their unease and distrust of a changing nation and world they simply cannot understand, much less accept.
Money and votes followed; money from corporate sources that always fund efforts to neuter government regulations and regulators, and votes from a class of voters only Barnum and Bailey could appreciate.
But, what if now the voices stoking all this rightwing blind fury are forced to clean up their acts? And, gasp, forced to stick to provable facts rather than the ones they manufacture to fuel more anger? What then?
Of course no one gives up a "good thing" if they can avoid it, and initially the Right will try blunt any trajectory towards tolerance and moderation.
Then there are the genuinely looney members of Congress who rode the Right's Anger Express to elected office. You know --like this one.
What I expect to see and hear in the days and weeks just ahead is a new -- and frankly jarring -- argument from the Right; civility in politics is a liberal plot. A plot against who? Well against the Right, of course. There's nothing a zealot likes more than to claim the cloak persecution. It's always the last refuge of the scoundrelist of scoundrels, be it demagogic politicians or Christians, Jews, Muslims or Scientologists. Call them on their nonsense and they scream "persecution."
In this case the Right is going to be forced to take a position that unmasks them once and for all. Without their patented violent, hate-filled, inciting rhetoric, the Right has nothing to offer America. Nothing.
Which explains why they're going to fight -- not for civility -- but for more incivility.