By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – So you wouldn’t have to, I dipped into the outfall pipe of right-and left-wing commentary Wednesday night to sample the coliform count of the knee-jerk reaction to President Obama’s statement on the IRS scandal.

Here it is in a nutshell:

On Fox, two out of three pundits agreed his comments had only bought him about 12 hours of peace and quiet.

Not 11, not 13, 12.

On the lefty website Daily Kos, one recommended poster was calling it a “fake” scandal.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

For true wisdom on this, we’ll have to turn to Cooter.

Yes, Cooter from the TV series “Dukes of Hazzard,” who tended to the souped-up Dodge Charger with the confederate flag on the roof featured in the show’s many car chases.

Cooter’s real name is Ben Jones, a former congressman who was set to play with his band at a fundraiser for Ed Markey when he was told to stay away because of his past comments defending the confederate flag against complaints that it is a racially-offensive symbol.

Cooter has struck back with an op-ed piece on accusing Markey of misplaced political correctness. (I bet more voters here agree with Markey than not.) But at one point he argues: “In this Internet world…things are being simplified to the point of idiocy.”

I believe Cooter is on to something.

For those who wallow in it, the boil of left- and right-wing rhetoric reduces any issue immediately to its partisan bones, which are so calcified with grievance and stereotyping that no honest exchange is possible.

And that leaves us in for weeks, maybe months of harsh partisan warfare.

Is that really anybody’s idea of a good thing for the country right now?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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