Can we just get along?
This question is being asked more and more, what with the bitter polarization of the nation. The answer, right now, would appear to be a resounding no.
It’s not because we can’t. We don’t want to.
I had that thought the other day when I was listening to the Seattle City Council. Many council meetings of late involve left-wingers shouting at other left-wingers for not being left-wing enough. But on this day, a new purity test of left-wingedness was revealed.
The council was debating the juvenile-justice issue. Not everyone agrees whether a new jail should be built. But everyone in the room seemed aligned that incarcerating kids is to be avoided, and that other forms of justice and rehabilitation should be pursued, except maybe in the most extreme violent cases.
One council member, Tim Burgess, tried to highlight this basic agreement by noting that “even some of our Republican friends” have been calling for seismic changes to the incarceration system. Burgess cited an article by the Seattle brothers Mike and John McKay, former U.S. attorneys and, yep, both Republicans, who excoriated their own party’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for calling for harsher sentences even on low-level crimes.
Kshama Sawant wasn’t having any of that. She stood up and said Burgess wasn’t speaking for her with this “our Republican friends” stuff. Because, she assured the crowd, she doesn’t have any Republican friends....