We've decided to lift the moratorium on political and hot-button/controversial topics in Miscellaneous. However, there are some stipulations.
To borrow a phrase from RJ
, focus on "ideas, not ideology," and discussion of individual policies rather than your negative impression of a political party or group as a whole. Starting a topic to discuss tax hikes by the Obama administration is acceptable. Prefacing it by saying "Those damn libs are trying to create a socialist welfare state!" in the title or body of the post is not, since that is not conducive to creating reasonable discussion. Topics that start out like this or rapidly devolve into back and forth sniping along these lines will be closed.
The same goes for extreme rhetoric aimed at the GOP, Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Pro-Choicers, Botswanans (oh, yeah, that's a big one), etc. Avoid generalizations that paint entire groups of people with the same broad brush. Avoid language aimed at riling people up rather than getting a reasoned and well-thought out response.
If someone does resort to this type of rhetoric in the OP or subsequent posts, as they inevitably will, then please notify or PM the mods in question rather than sinking down to the level of the troublemaking post in the topic.
We think Miscellaneous is perfectly capable of having these types of discussions without resorting to namecalling and posturing, and look forward to discussing these types of issues with you guys again.
I'll leave this topic open if anyone has any suggestions or questions on the new policy.