Having said all that, however, I should also recognize that "Kristy from Louisiana" reminded Dickinson about those McCain supporters on the other side of the podium who booed just about every reference to the Democrats. It seemed as if McCain was the only one at that massive gathering willing to honor the phrase "loyal opposition;" and this led me to wonder if the general level of civility at Democrat gatherings was significantly higher than among the Republicans or if this distinction was just a bias of my own perception. On the other hand an observation less susceptible to bias showed up in Seth Bornstein's Associated Press report on the high voter turnout. He interviewed Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan Committee for the Study of the American Electorate at American University, who observed that party membership seemed to correlate with turnout level:
Breakdown by party voting also shows that Republican turnout rates are down quite a bit, while Democratic turnout rates are up, Gans said.
Republican states, such as Wyoming and South Dakota, saw turnout drop. "I think they were discouraged," Gans said.
Bearing in mind Obama's injunction to put aside cynicism, I still have to wonder if the motto of today's Republican party, as reflected by both civility in public gatherings and participating in the electoral process, is "I believe in democracy, as long as things get done my way!" This could well be the party that is already laying out plans for Sarah Palin to stand in the next Presidential election. If such is the case, then Obama would to well not to discard all cynicism and start watching his back, even before Inauguration Day!