Frank "The Fist" Ortis Tells Nation's Mayors to Play Nice | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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Frank "The Fist" Ortis Tells Nation's Mayors to Play Nice

That's video from August 29, when Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis climbed in the ring with NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Considering that LT could have crushed Ortis' skull with one swing, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the rolly-polly mayor is an advocate of civility and good sportsmanship.

In an op-ed that he wrote for the San Antonio Express-News, Ortis called on the mayors attending this past weekend's Congress of Cities to keep the political punches above the waist in an era when the low-blow has become so common.

"What passes for public discourse today has more in common with pro wrestling than the Lincoln-Douglas debates," Ortis complained in the column. He invited city officials to "lead the way in creating a more informed citizenry and provide a more civil discourse on issues that matter to all of us."

The "You lie!" moment during Obama's health care speech to Congress and Sarah Palin's "death panels" are two examples Ortis cited as evidence that modern politics has become undignified, an argument that is all the more amusing when it's being made by a guy who appears to be wearing Apollo Creed's trunks from Rocky IV, trying to outslug a massive football player who, coincidentally, was arrested last week for leaving the scene of a car accident.

But yeah, we should have more civility in American politics. The point is not one for the nation's mayors, however, so much as for Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and a whole terrifying army of Tea Party activists who prefer the sound of their own screaming to actual discussion.