Nobody should lay a hand or anything else on Tom Daschle.

I get a lot of email from viewers about Daschle. A lot of you don't like him. You don't like what he stands for, and you don't like his tactics.

I have no doubts he has gotten email threats. I get email from people who loathe Daschle, but also email from people who loathe Trent Lott, all the Bushes, my bosses and even me.

While expected, that stuff is still bad.

One of the good things that has happened in the media-driven politics of today is that one side doesn't dominate the debate anymore by keeping the other side out of the media.

Now the debate is open, and the views of Daschle on the Left and others on the Right are challenged, praised, criticized, supported, rebuked, scorned, rejected, loved, honored or embraced.

But if Daschle can say, "Hey, I get threats and the reason I do is that there is a conservative media out there that unfairly targets me," then he can fire up his side, get the conservatives to chill, and win by chicanery what he couldn't win in a straight-up contest of ideas.

I don't know what kind of threats Daschle is getting. I know what kind I get. It isn't pleasant, and some are very worrisome, but most are just people blowing off steam.

This is politics. People yell.

But the fact that Daschle is very often wrong does not mean he shouldn't be afforded civility and respect.

That's My Word .

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