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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Thu 28 Aug 2008, 06:46 PM
Both Democrats and Republicans get to about this point in the campaign and play an increasingly silly game of "gotcha" in which wild misinterpretations replace any real talking points.  For example, a woman at a town meeting went on a long tirade to John McCain about people in the military, and asked him if he agreed.  He was agreeable and said "Yes", without really focusing on the fact that one point in her tirade included supporting the draft.  Now, he is on record as not supporting a draft, but the liberal blogosphere has had a wild time accusing him of first saying he would support the draft and then flip-flopping.  Pure silliness!  Even if he should be careful about what he agrees to, it was a far, far cry from endorsing the draft.  

The Republicans have also been at it, with ever sillier claims about Barack Obama.  My favorite has to be the hoopla about how Barack Obama is "building a temple" to himself, and how it shows his ego that he would accept the nomination in front of columns "like a god".  You might be tempted to think this, but the following picture of George Bush accepting the nomination in front of similar columns shows just how silly the argument is.

Of course, the even more obvious reason for the set Barack Obama will use is that he is reproducing the scene where Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech, 45 years ago today.  Note those columns!

So, the set is not because of of some god-complex, but out of respect and honor for a cherished moment in history made more poignant by where Barack Obama is today.

You have to wonder what the silly season will bring next.

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