If any good came from the shooting rampage in Tucson last month, it's an institution opening today at the University of Arizona with the goal of getting politicos to tone down the rhetoric.
The National Institute for Civil Discourse opens today in Tucson. The organization is described as a "center for debate, research, education, and policy about civility in public discourse," and is in direct response to Jared Loughner's murderous rampage that left six dead, and 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, injured last month.
Loughner, by all accounts, suffers from mental illness, so it seems the tragedy in Tucson probably would have happened regardless of how civilly politicians act towards each other -- despite what Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has to say about it. But he's probably right in saying the bickering between parties certainly didn't help things.
Greta Van Susteren announced on her blog yesterday that she would be serving on the board of the Institute.
"I received a call asking if I would serve on the newly created Institute Board and I jumped at the chance," she writes, noting that she encourages spirited debate that doesn't "get personal (or worse)."
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Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will serve as honorary chairmen of the new Institute.
"Our country needs a setting for political debate that is both frank and civil," Bush says in a statement. In a statement from Clinton, he says that the new institute "can elevate the tone of dialogue in our country."
The Institute reportedly has about $1 million in funding, which will be used for things like organize conferences and other events aimed at toning down the rhetoric.
Click here for more information on the Institute.