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Mike Gallagher on Ted Kennedy and Political Disagreement

I heard the news of Ted Kennedy’s passing this morning; sad, although hardly unexpected. Here’s a comprehensive obit.

Well, I was driving to work when I heard the news, so I thought I’d listen to what the conservative talking heads were saying. Glenn Beck, nothing (too busy going on about ACORN and other reliable red meat). But Mike Gallagher, whom I’d never listened to and, frankly, barely knew existed, brought me up short. After playing Obama’s tribute, he then went on an extended riff about Kennedy’s many friendships in the Senate, some with conservative Republicans (Orrin Hatch, for example), with whom he disagreed. Gallagher then allowed that his wife and his kids were Democrats.

He expressed surprise at the fact that many people can’t get along, or even tolerate in polite company, those with whom they have political disagreement. Having lived with a family of dissenters, Gallagher isn’t in that group. His talk was a welcome call to civility, and I found it surprisingly moving.

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