Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Only In Gabrielle Giffords' Medical Condition: "No Change Is Good"; Our Nation's Political Condition: "No Change Is Dangerous"

Updated: This post initially ran on Monday morning. Because President Obama is about to address Tucson - and the world - at McKale Center, I chose to re-post this. It is widely expected that he will NOT directly address the firestorm that has been (re-)ignited about the status of our nation's political discourse. That would be wise, even though I do not believe that calls for beginning to unpoison our political atmosphere are ever unwise. Even in the wake of Saturday's tragedy. It would be unwise for the President because the firestorm has already spread in too many directions, and he cannot hope to fight the fire with more fire; the best approach may be to starve it of new oxygen.  (minor, non-substantive edits have been made)

I covered many briefings at University Medical Center in years gone by. Now, I find myself watching them on TV or the internet, or reading accounts of them on the Arizona Daily Star's website.

I searched a few minutes ago for the latest from UMC, and was happy to see the headline of the Star's summary of this morning's briefing: "Giffords, other shooting victims continue to improve".

Of course, the headline does not tell the story fully. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8) remains in the ICU, a portion of her skull is still unattached, and her condition has not changed. This is the quote from UMC doctor G. Michael Lemole, Jr.: "At this point in the game no change is good, and we have no change."

Seven other victims of the murder spree remain at UMC - five in serious condition and two in fair condition. (Apparently, there are six others who were injured who are either at other hospitals or have been treated and released.)

I have been reluctant to post too much since learning of the tragic events on Saturday while with my family at an all-day event. I have tried to maintain this site as one as close to an objectively-reported blog as possible. A few readers have tried to guess what my personal political pov is - some correctly, a few incorrectly. Maybe that means that I am succeeding, to an extent.

One theme that does appear to run through Arizona's Politics, however, is that moving "beyond hyper-partisanship" is a good thing. That is why most of my limited posting (and Tweeting) in the past 48 hours has been to re-post some specific examples of the rhetoric by and against Giffords.

I have long been concerned with the rhetoric that ridicules and demonizes people with whom you (or your party) do not agree with. No matter which side is doing the demonizing. I have spoken out against both. (However, I will not repeat a false equivalency and suggest that the two major sides in this country's political debate have reached equal levels of demonization.)

The demonization at all levels of our political discourse has to be ratcheted down. Far down. Our politicians have to ratchet down their levels and have to call out their allied forces when they do not ratchet down their stream of vitriol.

In Giffords' current medical situation, "at this point in the game no change is good, and we have no change." In the longer-term, political situation, "no change" is NOT good and will lead to further deterioration of our democracy and our country. And, that deterioration is something I will continue to fight.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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