Wake-Up Call: A very civil insurrection

At a round of town-hall meetings on health care that kick off today, first-term congresswoman Betsy Markey will hand out copies (abridged) of a George Washington favorite, "Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation," originally a 110-item list of Jesuit guidelines for civil behavior.

Great idea, but it raises two questions: Did she send a copy to Dick Wadhams, chair of the Colorado Republican Party, who's labeled Markey's small-form meetings a "sham"? And if so, what did he make of this: "In the Presence of Others, Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet."

And why didn't the crafters of the huge, convoluted health-care bill follow this rule: "Let your Discourse with Men of Business Be Short and Comprehensive."


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