Another political post? You know it.
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has launched a new website: www.fightthesmears.com.
I comment only to say that this race is not that nasty. Indeed, if the Obama campaign (or the McCain campaign for that matter) thinks that they are taking unwarranted heat and getting "smeared," then they should seek out some information on the elections of 1824 and 1828. The former ended up in the "Corrupt Bargain," and the latter ended with the death of Rachel Jackson, General Jackson's beloved wife.
I think most people forget how rough-and-tumble political life was in the early years of the Republic. Short of reading a stock academic history or one of the dreadful popularized histories (e.g., Team of Rivals), I recommend Gore Vidal's Burr. Having some experience with Vidal, I can say that his books - particularly the Narratives of Empire, though Julian is also a good example - are meticulously researched and readable. Now, it's fiction (spirited and feisty fiction), but Vidal does a wonderful job evoking the partisan, personal, and pointed competition that marked political life in the early Republic.
I mean, before the current incumbent, what sitting Vice President had ever shot anyone, much less a former Secretary of the Treasury?
"Fight the Smears"? Give me a break. This is polite teatime conversation compared to what it used to be.