CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS) – I’m here in Charlotte at the Democratic Convention with 6,000 partisans, and after spending last week with several thousand Republican activists, I have the same question – why?
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
Listen, I applaud anyone who cares enough about our country and its future to get actively involved in the political process.
Our problem isn’t too much activism, it’s too little. And for the most part, the partisans I meet on both sides are decent folks with passion for their beliefs and their conviction that promoting them will make their community better.
And I get it about the basic human need to share your passion with others, to be part of a group with shared principles and goals, banding together in the hope that as a group they can accomplish more than as individuals.
But there appears to be something toxic about political partisanship these days that makes otherwise-lovely, thoughtful people lose their balance.
A case in point is John Walsh, the chairman of the Mass. Democratic Party, an accomplished organizer who is one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.
Yesterday, Walsh got so excited addressing a Massachusetts delegation breakfast, he blurted out that those Scott Brown TV ads where the senator is seen folding laundry at home amounted to Brown “pretending to be a girl,” as if most men worth the name don’t also help out with the laundry.
Hours later, Walsh apologized for that juvenile comment.
But even more troubling was his attempt to cut into Brown’s substantial apparent appeal to Democrats by claiming the party needs someone who will vote the party line “all the time.”
Why not just send a robot to Congress, programmed to obey the party leadership at all times?
There are many valid criticisms to be made of Brown’s voting record, but this isn’t one of them.
In fact, it’s so tone deaf and off the rails, it’s scary.
If partisanship can make a good man say such crazy stuff, maybe it’s more poison than politics.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.