We interrupt this regularly scheduled tonguing of pro sports and skewering of The Saving Grace of America (i.e. the Democratic Party) to bring you -- well -- a return to the kinder, gentler approach to American political and social discourse.
Or so I thought that's how it used to be back in the Good Ol' Days of late 18th Century America. I thought that, back in those days, congressional business was all, "If you please... Will the distinguished gentleman from Connecticut yield the floor to the right honourable gentleman from Virginia?" "Happily, my good man." Maybe a bow or dothing of the cap thrown in for effect. Never a word said in malice.
Not so fast, my friends.
Recently, while watching a PBS (PBS, GOPers, is this TV channel... ah, never mind. We'll get to that some other time) American Experience episode on the Founding Fathers, it became quite clear that the way we do it today in the American political arena -- basically, bloodsport -- had its roots not with Nixon's CREEP, but with quill pens, bottles of ink, and guys running around in powdered wigs and tights.
Jefferson and Hamilton, American patriots both, were not hermanos during their most productive years, claimed American Experience. The philosophical differences between them 200+ years ago were as stark, and their political henchman just as meanspirited and willing to take the low road, as anything you've seen in this post-Watergate political era. Speeches were written, entire newspapers created, political cartoons penned, and lies made up for the sole purpose of tearing down each other's moral character and (more to the point) political clout. It was Hearns-Hagler. An Eight Mile rap battle without the bad acting.
So go to it, American politicos (both professional and amateur). You have inhereted a grand tradition, blessed by no less than Jefferson and Hamilton themselves -- A tradition that says it is your god-given right to point out that Dems are wusses and GOPers are dunderheads -- for the good of the greatest country on earth. And just remember: An indictment is not a conviction.