If you are tired of the gaseous bigotry of Rush Limbaugh and the verbose inability of Mitt Romney (the "weather vane") to directly criticize Limbaugh, check out the hearing about the State Department budget from Feb. 29. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) exchanged civil and respectful words about President Obama's recent apology regarding Afghanistan. This exchange suggests why Ron Paul runs better against Obama than most other Republicans, why Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHouse Judiciary Committee subpoenas FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts Clapper: Trump was serious when he said he wants citizens to act like North Koreans do for Kim Hillary Clinton: Fundamental rights are 'under assault like never before' MORE towers above all other national political figures in popularity, and why other Republicans could learn a lot from Ron Paul about how they could avoid the landslide defeat that might be approaching them.

While I have recently been critical of Paul, he does bring a civility, respect and good faith to our political discussion. The anger and derision wing of the Republican Party would profit from Paul's example. It is interesting that at the moment Hillary Clinton would obliterate all Republican opponents for president in epic landslides, Ron Paul runs stronger than most of them against President Obama, and Obama now crushes Republicans in most general-election polls, though this may (or may not) change.

I agree with the president and Clinton about the apology and deplore the fanatical hyper-partisan Republicans who are driving the GOP on what I have called a death march. I applaud the ability of Ron Paul to avoid demagoguery about the apology, conduct a mutually respectful discussion with Secretary of State Clinton and use the moment to advance a serious debate about foreign policy.

In this case, three cheers for both Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul for conducting the kind of civil discourse that voters deserve.