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Katie van Schaijik

Rules of civility

Jul. 7, 2009, at 10:56am

David Brooks mars an otherwise excellent column about the relation between rules of etiquette, personal dignity and the public good with a gratuitous dig at Sarah Palin and strange admiration for Obama.

Whatever policy differences people may have with him, we can all agree that he exemplifies reticence, dispassion and the other traits associated with dignity. The cultural effects of his presidency are not yet clear, but they may surpass his policy impact. He may revitalize the concept of dignity for a new generation and embody a new set of rules for self-mastery.

To me, Obama comes across as detached, unserious and full of self-regard. On several occasions, most conspicuously toward his

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