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Political Discourse In America

Weekly commentary by Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

As someone who writes the occasional book, I have a passing interest in the best-seller list. Well, more honestly, when my book "This Just In" came out in February, the list became an addiction. I'd get up in the middle of the night to see if my book was moving up the list, just the way I used to get up in the middle of the night to smoke.

One thing I discovered was that most best-sellers today are about lying, which is why the parody Best-Seller List by Sean Kelly printed in yesterday's "New York Times" made me laugh out loud.

He had some real best-sellers about liars bunched at the top: "Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them," "Slander: Liberal Lies About The American Right," "Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine."

But toward the bottom of the list, he made up some books that may soon make it on the list. Number 14, "The Liberal Media Won't Review My Book!" followed by "I Heard Fox Liked Your Book!" followed by "Oh, Yeah? Well, Shut Up!" followed by "No, You Shut Up! Bush Lied!" "Did Not!" "Did Too!" "Mom!"

Well, I called it parody, but as I read that list aloud, it sounded like a playback of what we hear on television these days, where what passes for political discourse usually comes down to, `I'm right, you're wrong, and everybody who disagrees is unpatriotic.'

I had this dream that someone came on one of the cable shows the other night, and after he spoke, the next person said, `Why, that's a very good point. I never thought of it until you said it.' It woke me up in a sweat. I thought I'd lost my mind.

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