Michelle Goldberg in a bracing piece for The New York Times:
Millions and millions of Americans watch helplessly as the president cages children, dehumanizes immigrants, spurns other democracies, guts health care protections, uses his office to enrich himself and turns public life into a deranged phantasmagoria with his incontinent flood of lies. The civility police might point out that many conservatives hated Obama just as much, but that only demonstrates the limits of content-neutral analysis. The right’s revulsion against a black president targeted by birther conspiracy theories is not the same as the left’s revulsion against a racist president who spread birther conspiracy theories.
The demand for civility in the face of deplorable lies and inhumane policies enables those lies and policies. Angry voices on the left will return to civility once violent rhetoric has ceased and civil rights have been restored.