Browsing through the Washington Post website, I stumbled upon a pair of editorials about the political discourse in the US.  Both draw from the recent incident in Arizona, share essentially the same response, but do so in different ways.

As the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball”, Chris Matthews is in a unique position to offer perspective on the state of debate in the US today, and the way he does so in his editorial is masterful. He draws from his experience as an aide for the Speaker of the House during the Reagan administration to remind us that even in the fiercest political debates we should still respect our opponents. Although this may seem like common sense, it certainly is something that has been replaced in favor of naming the worst person in the world or doodling on a chalkboard.

On the other end of the ideological spectrum John McCain added his thoughts to the marketplace. McCain has earned his share of mockery recenlty, especially with the DADT repeal, but he has encouraged a healthier approach to politics on some occassions (like his presidential concession speech). His editorial in the Washington Post applauded Obama’s speech and defended those accused of fueling the shooting. McCain advanced a valid and important viewpoint but the editorial as a whole lacked the impact or value to justify the word count.