Alan Ehrenhalt at Governing:

the real problem in the Legislature this year wasn’t partisan voting — it was partisan bitterness and an overall absence of the civility for which Nebraska politics has long been appreciated.

It’s obvious, of course, that Nebraska politics, even if it is historically unique, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Politics has grown more partisan and more conflict-ridden in most states. Nebraska, thanks in large part to George Norris, was about the last one to get there

On the Saturday in 2020 when Joe Biden was finally declared president-elect, he gave a speech that was clearly heartfelt and at times eloquent. But one choice of words stuck out for me at the time, and continues to do so now. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify … to make America respected around the world again. And to unite us here at home.”

A plea for unity is, in many times and circumstances, a noble gesture. But it rarely succeeds. We are not only far from unity right now in this country, we are unlikely to achieve it any time soon. What we can achieve, and what I wish Biden had stressed, is civility. Even if we disagree about almost everything in politics — even if we are not united — we can treat each other with courtesy and respect.

Politicians in Nebraska practiced civility in their Legislature for the better part of a century. It wouldn’t be that difficult to restore it. My hope is that before long they will figure out a way to get it back.