Right or wrong, hardball and knuckleball political campaigning is part of the American tradition, and is nothing new in 2012.
We can go back to the origins of political parties in the 1790s, with the Federalists and Democratic Republicans at each other’s throats, beginning with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson nasty toward each other in 1796 and 1800.
Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, and Jackson against Henry Clay, is another example widely reminiscent of hardball, knuckleball campaigning.
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas went at each other, and after the Civil War, the Republicans looked at the Democrats as “traitors”!
When the progressives became prominent, conservatives went on the counterattack and have not stopped, under Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama.
The no holds barred attack by the right wing, including McCarthyism in the 1950s and again now with Michele Bachmann and others, is finally getting a full measure of counterattack by the Democrats and liberals and progressives, as they have come to realize that being a civil campaigner does not work, and only emboldens the opposition.
Sadly, many people are turned off to this attack and counterattack, but it is not going to go away, and for anyone to decide not to vote because of this is the height of irresponsibility, as even with disgust with both sides and their tactics, it still does matter who wins and who controls power!
To sit on the sidelines is a horrible mistake at at time when the future is so uncertain, and requires all citizens to participate!