a1 Colby College
Congressman Alan West (R-FL) passed the incivility duck test when he described his fellow Floridian Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) as “the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the House of Representatives.” That read like incivility, sounded like incivility, and was universally interpreted to be uncivil, thus it probably was.
L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government and founding director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College. A former candidate for Congress and a Democratic party activist, he is the author of From Obscurity to Oblivion: Running in the Congressional Primary; Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process (now in its sixth edition, with Mark Brewer); and Two Parties—Or More? The American Party System, with John Bibby, and co-editor of The Parties Respond: Changes in American Parties and Campaigns (now in its fifth edition, with Mark Brewer) and of The Oxford Handbook of Political Parties and Interest Groups (with Jeffrey Berry); as well as more than 40 published articles. He can be reached at email@example.com.