BOSTON (CBS) — Interesting column in yesterday’s Globe by Joan Vennochi about Congressman Joe Kennedy, who is offering a different tone from many of his colleagues. At a moment of frenzied fingerpointing and inflammatory rhetoric in Washington, Kennedy says of the Tea Party Republicans in the House, “they’re people, too.”

Sorry if you had to pull over and park to safely absorb that.

Listen to Jon’s commentary

But it passes for shockingly temperate language in a culture where other members of our delegation prefer adjectives like “extremist” and “anarchist” when demonizing opponents they claim are out to destroy our country.

You know, pretty much the same smear tactics the right-wingers use when talking about our president.

Vennochi says of Kennedy’s approach: “It’s less passionate and more pragmatic than much of the rhetoric out of Washington, and maybe Washington needs more of it.”

But with most in the political class on their moral high horse and out for partisan blood at all times, it feels like we’re bound to see less of it, not more.

Consider the Globe editorial last week endorsing a candidate in Tuesday’s Democratic primary to fill the congressional seat vacated by Ed Markey.

The authors seemed to heap praise on Will Brownsberger, a state senator who they called “one of the few politicians of any state who approaches issues with a clean slate and open mind.”

But the endorsement went elsewhere.

Brownsberger, they wrote, “could prove so thoughtful and even-handed in his judgments that he’s not a force in pushing legislation forward.”

Thoughtfulness and moderation, it seems, have gone out of style across the partisan spectrum.

Bad news for those of us who prefer our leaders that way.

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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