“Traditionally, there was a kind of courtesy extended to the party having the convention — the [other] party would basically stay out of the public eye.”
—- Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker, commenting on the Obama campaign breaking with tradition to schedule the President and Vice-president Biden in high-profile campaign appearances during GOP Convention week, in which they will be “assaulting” the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Such traditions build and preserve comity, collegiality, civility and cooperation between the two parties, which, of course, greatly facilitates responsive and responsible government. It also creates trust. In an environment where neither party trusts the other, however (“If we don’t bash them during their convention, they’ll still bash us during ours!”…which is almost certainly true, by the way…), and where neither party–neither party—possesses leadership with the skills, integrity, courage or statesmanship to broker a mutual agreement to preserve such a useful symbolic gesture of respect and courtesy, such traditions are doomed.
Don’t think we are not the worse for the abandonment of these traditions, because we are, and will be until a commitment to cooperation and mutual respect regenerates, if it ever does. Responsible leadership would help.
Yes, Candidate Obama promised an end to “politics as usual.” Funny…I never though that would mean that politics would get even nastier.
Graphic: Where’s My Fucking Money?
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