A new era of civility will commence when Congress gets back to business this week:
Item 1: House Speaker Boehner may still be spurning White House jetrides and free food, but he ended a Republican retreat in Baltimore by blasting the Democrats’ “job-destroying spending spree” instead of the harsher, pre-Tucson shooting “job-killing” phraseology that Republicans preferred. Doesn’t it just fill your heart with the warm glow of civilized discourse?
The gesture, expected to be replicated by colleagues, stands to alter the seemingly timeless image of lawmakers on one side of the House chamber standing and applauding a president from their own party, while lawmakers on the other side sit stone-faced, their hands in their laps.
They’ll still stand up and sit down at the same points in the speech, but they’ll be next to each other. That is what political scientists call “barely perceptible progress.”
Item 3: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, known for his combative exchanges with critics at town hall meetings, has vowed to change absolutely nothing about his combative behavior.
He told “Fox News Sunday” hosts, after they aired a classic of the genre:
What I think the president was talking about was the type of things where people are getting so emotional and trying to get people to become in some cases violent,” Christie said. “What you just saw is being straight….I don’t think there is a thing about that that is not civil.”