Robert Novak: I am frequently asked, by mail and on the lecture circuit, how it is that our country has fallen so low in recent years from the heights of our noble past into a dismal swamp of bitter partisanship. I reply that bitter partisanship is very much in the American tradition, and that perhaps today's politicians are more courteous than their predecessors. I well remember my first Washington summer in 1957 when I heard Sen. Robert Kerr, on the Senate floor, call Sen. Homer Capehart "a rancid tub of ignorance" to his face. It was a little extreme but not so much out of character that anyone created the kind of fuss it would stir today.
And our Founding Fathers were even worse!