The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

A very good demonstration of how not to elevate the political debate with Rudy Giuliani, courtesy of Rep. Steve Cohen

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Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) decided to weigh in on the still-burbling Rudy Giuliani debate on Friday with a tweet.

This tweet.

The reference, if you missed it, is to the three-fifths compromise written into the Constitution. The men drafting the document were torn between whether or not to include slaves in population counts for the states. Since higher populations meant more members of the House of Representatives, states wanted as many citizens as possible. But slaves, who made up a large percentage of many states, particularly in the South, were considered property, not people. (Things get tricky when you're being horrible.) So the compromise: Slaves counted as three-fifths of a person for the sake of representative apportionment.

Or, to put all of this much more succinctly: Cohen is suggesting that Giuliani's comments were made because the president is black.

If you go back to the first line in this article, it's easy to see the myriad ways in which Cohen erred besides casting a similar sort of aspersion at Giuliani as the one Giuliani cast at President Obama. Do not make snarky jokes on Twitter, particularly if you are a member of Congress. Do not punch down at former elected officials who are (pretty clearly) seeking attention (even if you have the same motivation). And don't do any of this on a slow Friday afternoon.

If you are interested in seeing a much better example of how to eviscerate an opponent, voila. Study up, Rep. Cohen.