Over at First Things, I have a piece about how intensely personal our politics have become. Why does that matter? From “The Political Has Become Too Personal”:
Of course politics, like law, is a rough-and-tumble profession. But like law it requires some level of comity to keep political adversaries from being seen instead as enemies. The former are still “us,” but enemies are seen as “the other” — to be destroyed, not accommodated and persuaded.
I cite three examples of bad winning that sparked bitter political revenge-seeking: Nancy Pelosi leading a triumphant “I kicked Republican butt” parade of Democrats across Capital Hill on the day Obamacare was voted into law; George W. Bush glory-hogging with the tragically premature “Mission Accomplished” speech (he should have shared the stage with war-voting Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid); and, the recent filibuster power grab by Senate Democrats.
We are becoming the political equivalent of the Hatfields and McCoys. Indeed, we may be so deep into the feud there is no clear way out.