Sen. Kirk Encourages Politicians To "Be More Civil"

January 12, 2011 2:31 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Sen. Mark Kirk

In contrast to Sarah Palin's self-serving defense of incendiary political rhetoric, here's an example of an elected Republican saying the right thing. At a town hall meeting on Monday night, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) agreed that politicians should take the tragedy in Arizona as an " agree to be more civil." 

Kirk said it would serve the nation well to tone down the level of rhetoric being thrown about the political arena: to choose language that is "a little more genteel," he said.

"This is an opportunity for us, not to agree, but agree to be more civil," he said.

Shortly after the shootings, an anonymous GOP senator told Politico that Republicans should take the violence as a "cautionary tale" and reconsider what kind of political speech goes "too far." Since then, however, some conservatives have pushed back against the idea that they should tone down their rhetoric.