The quest for civility in politics is a largely quixotic one. While still recovering from two gunshot wounds suffered in the January 2011 assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, aide Ron Barber launched The Fund For Civility, Respect and Understanding. This spring, when Barber announced he would seek the Arizona Democrat's seat, a consultant declared that it would be "a civil campaign."
Washington Post writer Felicia Sonmez wonders if that's even possible.
"Can a candidate in 2012 run a campaign based on civility?" she blogged. "And what does a pledge to stay civil matter, in the end, if outside groups and party committees will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars launching negative attacks on the candidates' behalf, anyway?"
Earlier this month, comedian Judah Friedlander — best known for his role as hirsute writer Frank Rossitano on NBC's "30 Rock" — announced his candidacy for president. In a mock news conference, Friedlander said he was fed up with Democrats AND Republicans.
"We're the Party Party," said the self-anointed "World Champion" in the polyester baseball cap. "Enough of people hating each other. Enough of red states and blue states. Last time I checked, this country was red, white AND blue."
Black and blue is more like it. Though, as we close, it's worth putting out this footnote: Barber, the civility candidate in Arizona, won his primary Tuesday.
AP Writer Julie Pace aboard Air Force One and Julie Mazziotta in Tampa also contributed to this report. Follow AP National Writer Allen G. Breed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AllenGBreed
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