Daily Archives: April 6, 2011

Taunting? A way of life on Capitol Hill.

Remember yesterday when, in the midst of important budget negotiations, the President of the United States said that the Congress needed to start acting like adults? (I think he was referring specifically the Republicans, but that’s just a guess).

Well, turns out that such taunting is not so uncommon. A new study by a Harvard professor finds that Congress (and I guess as a former member of Congress President Obama might be included in this group) spends about a quarter of its time taunting the other side.

Yeah. Taunting. As in “to reproach or challenge in a mocking or insulting manner.”

“The entire government may go bankrupt, I guess. This week, right?” King said in a telephone interview. “We probably want our representatives to be listening to each other rather than calling each other names.”

via 27% of communication by members of Congress is taunting, professor concludes – The Washington Post.

Maybe it’s not so crazy that our country has such a hard time forming good public policy. When we spend a quarter of our time “mocking or insulting” each other, it’s a good bet were not trying to listen, find common ground, or formulate good policy. Rather, we’re just trying to score political points.

We’ve got a place for that kind of thing. It’s called talk radio.