Without a doubt there’s a significant degree of civility missing from today’s political climate, and after last week, no sign that civility will make a comeback anytime soon. Take, for example, Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla), a tea party candidate who unseat Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla).
West has hired local conservative talk radio commentator Joyce Kaufman to act as his chief of staff. Kaufman is known more for her offensive and provocative comments then any ability to manage a Congressional representative and has wasted little time in letting the public know just what she thinks of her soon-to-be colleagues, including outgoing Democratic leadership. According to Kaufman, they are “garbage.” Lovely.
It’ll be interesting to see just how far this kind of rhetoric takes both West and Kaufman. Just a few of Kaufman’s gems include a call to hang illegal immigrants and charge their families the cost of returning the bodies to “where they came from” and criticizing regional supermarket chains for recognizing the Islamic New Year.
It’s one thing to campaign as an outsider and to try and force the Washington status quo out of its slumber. It’s quite another thing to come into Washington with open disdain for the job and the people you were elected (or in Kaufman’s case hired) to serve. There is nothing “mavericky” about the later. In fact it smacks of poor taste and a rudeness that is nothing short of a total disservice to our democracy. If government is so bad, and the people who serve such “garbage” then do everyone a favor and opt out. There are serious issues to tackle and shock-jock radio tantrums won’t get the job done.
photo courtesy of ghindo via Flickr