I was one of the first columnists to endorse Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEven with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency Clinton suggests Russia grooming Gabbard to run as third-party 2020 candidate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings MORE a year ago and have spent much of that time supporting Obama and defending him from attacks that have no place in American politics. I deplored and attacked many of the tactics used by John McCain and Sarah Palin. I did then; I do now; I stand by every word I wrote in print and every word I said on radio, which were many.

But: What is happening today, with certain McCain people without the courage to use their name attacking Palin in vicious ways, to a salacious and superficial media with nothing better to discuss than repeating these attacks with glee, is wrong. This has now taken on a dimension of derision without limits, taste or class that is exactly what is wrong with our politics and media. I propose: Stop it.

Either we believe in bringing more civility to our politics, or we don’t. And if we do, the place to start is bringing some civility to those we oppose, while we defend those we support. No one has been stronger defending Barack Obama, or responding aggressively to unfair attacks against him, than I have, here in The Hill newspaper and the many other places I have been published or heard on radio or other media. But: Enough is enough.

As a Democrat, a progressive centrist, a columnist, someone who occasionally advises the high and mighty, a fierce defender of Obama, I say to my friends and those who are not my friends: enough. This is taking on a dimension of derision that is unhealthy and wrong. The salacious glee of a superficial media has crossed a line and become, in my view, sickening.

I have offered advice this morning, which may or may not be taken, that Barack Obama should reach out to Palin in a spirit of civility and that Democrats must resist the temptation (which I am not immune to falling victim to) to pile on. For those who, like myself, have been offended and indignant and disgusted at the attacks against Obama, including some from Palin and McCain, should we offer the civility to our opponents, as we seek for our friends, as a new and historic presidency comes to America?

Let’s have a serious national discussion about healing a very hurt economy, about providing the $500 billion of long-term needs for vets and troops that is inexcusably deficient today. Let’s have a serious national discussion about the homelessness and poverty that is rising in what will be a hard holiday season for many of our brothers and sisters. Let’s have a serious national discussion about how we can, to paraphrase Lincoln, heal our national wounds and become brothers, sisters and countrymen once again.

The election is over. My side won. We won the presidency and we won the Congress. We have power, and with power, we have responsibilities. Let’s use them wisely.

It is time for all of us to break ranks against the politics of derision and anger and nasty attacks and salacious media and the tone of demeaning and disrespect that has taken over our politics and media in recent years.

I found much of what Palin said during the campaign deplorable, but the campaign is over. Enough is enough.

Let’s bring civility back to our national discourse and recognize that the true test of our sincerity is not only how we urge civility for our friends, but how we offer civility toward our opponents.

Let’s take Sarah Palin on, on the issues, but having won the election, let’s take the lead, having the power, to restore civility to our democracy. Not only when it's easy, but when it's hard, and when temptation may lead us elsewhere.