Recently the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a Washington State law prohibiting political candidates from lying is unconstitutional. See Law on Lies Found Unconstitutional. That we would even need a law of this sort, and that it could be found an unconstitutional prohibition, got me thinking.
Why is it that our political climate has become so vicious? Certainly Karl Rove's tactics against John McCain in 2000 set a new bar, but I doubt "turdblossom" (Don't get all offended, Mom & Dad, that is G.W.'s pet name for Rove) was the first to get down and dirty in political races.
The other day on the Colbert Report the curator from the Museum of the Moving Image was a guest. There is a museum website that chronicles all the political advertisements from 1952 to present. http://livingroomcandidate.movingimage.us/. It is interesting to watch ads that had a tremendous impact in their day (like the "Daisy" ad), but now appear quaint or cheesy. In viewing the progression of ads, it is also easy to see how they have gotten meaner and meaner over time.
The other day, I read somewhere that Barack Obama did an advertisement pleading to Hillary Clinton, "Please don't win by so much." I tried to verify this or find a clip, but was unsuccessful (if you find it, please post a comment or send me an email). Given the current political climate, that type of ad, if it truly exists, would be hilariously refreshing.