I’m not writing to defend conservative Republicans or bash liberal Democrats; an informed debate is healthy for our republic.

After the tragic shooting in Arizona, seriously wounding U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., pundits were quick to blame conservatives for violent symbolism in political discourse.

Local left-leaning amateur pundits, often published in Readers’ Views, do flirt with crossing the line of civil discourse.

Starting with the premise of an informed debate, does the letter from Rhonda Browning, published on Tuesday, qualify as one side of an informed debate?

Her letter referenced President Barack Obama’s recent speech as an “excellent program” that will tax the rich and turn the recession around.

She immediately began to categorize the Republicans as obstructionists, who will oppose the president’s job plan because of who he is and not because of the bill’s substance.

In reality, she supports the unseen plan because of who the president is, and not because of substance.

According to her, the Republican Party is “infested with what is called tea parties,” the only goal to keep unemployment high and make Obama look bad. “They don’t care what happens to the middle class or the working poor.”

The infested Republican Party is willing to sacrifice millions of our fellow citizens and destroy our economy for the political destruction of one man?

Does this sound like informed debate or partisan hatred?

I’m not suggesting tea party ideology is or is not the path forward for America to flourish, but certainly the movement’s agenda is rooted in conservatism, and not in the destruction of one man.

Rhonda Browning then crossed the line of civil discourse, suggesting if Republicans do not support the president’s plan, then they are traitors, ending her letter with, “only un-American traitors would oppose it.”

Keep in mind, no bill was presented to Congress before the speech or when she submitted her letter. She is suggesting legislation should be made law, based on a speech, without reading, understanding or debating the merits of an unseen bill.

I expect our elected officials, Republicans or Democrats, to vet all legislation before casting an informed vote, up or down.

I submit that dissension in the arena of ideas is quintessential patriotism and is fundamental to execution of government in America.

Let me end with a quote from another patriotic American.

“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” — Hillary Clinton

Darrell Daigle

expense analyst

Baton Rouge