Keller @ Large: Politicians And The ‘Terrorist’ Smear

BOSTON (CBS) – Emotions ran high in the final hours of the debt crisis.

During an 11th-hour meeting with the Vice President, Democrats were reportedly describing their Republican adversaries as “terrorists.”

Some voices in both parties say that’s going too far.

Tuesday afternoon the White House denounced the “terrorist” name-calling, and Republican outrage is all over the airwaves and the Internet. But conservatives can’t claim to be surprised it happened. It’s been a smear of choice for both parties for years.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large

Vice President Joe Biden concedes he didn’t dispute it when other Democrats called Tea Party congressmen “terrorists” in front of him.

It’s a far cry from all the calls last winter for more civility in politics following the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who returned to the house floor last night.

But the truth is, the terrorist smear has become a staple of our politics since 9/11.

Politics is a contact sport, and keep in mind, at least our lawmakers don’t bludgeon each other with canes the way they did in the 1850s. But “terrorist” is a loaded term, to be applied with care.

Those who use it inappropriately tell you more about themselves, than their target.

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