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I have family and friends who vote differently from the way Ivote. I have colleagues who wrestle with me about what will work in publicpolicy and what won't. We often don't agree on policybut still we respect each other. We bring our values to the table and see whatwe can hash out. Is that too much to ask of our leadership?

Yesterday on "Anderson Cooper's 360" the following was theinteraction between Cooper and TEA party leader Mark Williams:

Cooper: "I read on your blog, you say, you call thepresident an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief."

Williams: "Yeah, that'sthe way he's behaving. He's certainly acting like it. Until he embraces thewhole country what else can I conclude?"

"What else can I conclude?" Are youserious, "What else can I conclude?" BecausePresident Obama wants to move the country out of the health care mess, youthink that you must conclude that he is an "Indonesian Muslim welfare thug and a racist in chief"? There are so many issues with that phrase I don't know where to start. First, why tie thug to Indonesian or to Muslim? What does that mean? Second racist in chief, what? Is Republican leadership going to denounce this? We can do better than this. We have done better than this

You may not agree with how the President wants to do this. But this isn't us. You may not agree with how he wants to do this. But we need to do something. The current system cannot hold. And reasonable, respectful voices are going tobe the only way to get something done here together.

Can we all commit to reasonable, respectful engagement? Can we conclude thatwe can work together to get something done? Can we decide to shun the unreasonable, disrespectfulvoices, to shut them out, to cut them off?To say, this is not what we value in our interactions. Time to call for a quieter conversation inorder to make a difference, together.