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It's not so much what you say, it's how. But it's also what.

Updated: Jan 5, 2019

It happens all the time in the NFL: a player scores a touchdown, then waves a ball in the defender's face, thereby incurring a fifteen-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. Given that advantage, the team which should be down and out, is slightly less of both.

I'm going to guess that Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan does not watch a lot of football—no great drawback—except a little life's lesson could have been gained by observing obnoxious behavior on the athletic field, like maybe stay away from it in real life.

By now Tlaib's vulgar little outburst has ensured her position as America's most often quoted politician for January 4, 2019, but I'm not sure if this particular achievement should be anyone's goal; after all, Donald J. Trump has been our most often-quoted politician for close to four years, and he has become little more than the laughing stock of this country...and several others.

Admittedly, very few will doubt the veracity of Tlaib's comments, or even dispute the justifiable anger the Democrats should feel after two years of Trumpian malfeasance and several years before that of a recalcitrant and obstructionist Republican Congress, but if Democrats want to be considered better than that, then they have to be...well...better than that.

The stifling and anachronistic conservatism under which this country is suffering today did not spring up overnight. Instead it is the result of close to a half century of careful planning and many failures before the Tea Party and its inevitable spawn, Donald Trump. To think it will end by simple fiat is ludicrous. The waiting, as we've all learned, is the hardest part.

This little brouhaha will fade quickly enough, of course, and Representative Tlaib's political career will be measured not by some harmless indiscretion but by her efficaciousness as an elected official and her contributions to her party and country. But when you score a touchdown against a bully like Trump, you let it sink in and let him wallow in his misery. You don't give him a head start on catching up with you again. His own flunkies will take care of that.

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