June 11th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Why has U.S. politics lost any semblance of dignity?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's no wonder the American public is disgusted with Washington and politicians of all stripes.

Our lawmakers sound more like children messing around on the playground than the people meant to represent us and solve the nation's problems.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/11/art.fiorina.jpg caption="In an open mic gaffe, Carly Fiorina was caught on camera referring to Barbara Boxer’s hair as 'so yesterday.'"]

And that starts right at the top.

This week, President Obama decided it was appropriate to go on the "Today Show" and talk about "whose ass to kick" when it comes to the Gulf coast oil spill.

This is a program that's watched by millions of families every morning. Classy.

Then one top Republican jumped in the game.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, who wants Democrats to focus more on reducing the federal deficits, suggested Mr. Obama find someone's "ass to kick" on the budget deficit.


Meanwhile out on the left coast - the races for California governor and Senate have devolved into nasty insults - and there are still five months to go before the election.

Democrat Jerry Brown – who's running for governor - is comparing his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, to Nazi propaganda master Joseph Goebbels.

When pressed on the comment - Brown's people call it "jogging talk" that was "taken out of context."

Brown made these dumb remarks to a reporter on a jogging path.

Then there's Republican Carly Fiorina - who was caught insulting Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer's hair.

Fiorina's spokeswoman dismisses it as "early morning small talk."

California is broke and swimming in problems; and the newest crop of political wannabes engage in personal insults under the labels of jogging and early morning small talk.

What's small are the people making these remarks.

Here’s my question to you: Why has American politics lost any semblance of dignity?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Rick writes:
Actually, they haven't had any dignity for some time.....it just is more obvious now, that the politicians don't limit their inappropriate comments to behind closed doors.

Curtis in Kennesaw, Georgia writes:
Jack, To get votes, they need our attention and what it takes to get our attention anymore is just sad. If it doesn't have a shock value, it isn't worth it. Look at reality television and you can see the same thing happening. Why watch television involving two well-behaved kids and two loving parents when you can watch 8 kids and two train wreck parents?

David writes:
Jack, It's because we have rewarded their ill behavior with headlines and pundit jobs practically daring them to say something controversial.

Ric writes:
I think the classlessness always existed. We just get to see and hear more thanks to technology like hidden cameras, rogue mics, more bloggers and sites like YouTube.

Rodney writes:
Is anyone surprised? Have you seen the mess that is our country? Make someone a millionaire and they think they need to run for office. Not all millionaires are smart.

R. writes:
It's the people we have to pick from that have all lost any semblance of dignity. So sad.

James in Lindenhurst, New York writes:
Jack, Dignity won't get you air time on the nightly news.

George in New York writes:
Can't lose what you never had.

Tracy writes:
Who cares? Plug the damn leak.

Filed under: Democrats • Republicans
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Bob in Baltimore

    OHHH Lets see Jack,

    Greed, power, free medical, big business interests, republicans who cannot negotiate on anything including themselves, democrats who cannot see the anything useful to closing the boarders and on and on and on. This may be the land of the free but it is also the land of the politically insane!

    Disgusting, isn't it!

    June 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  2. RB in CA

    To ask why U.S. politics has lost any semblance of dignity would imply that it had dignity in the first place. This is an erroneous assumption, in my opinion.

    RB in CA

    June 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  3. Kathie

    our elected nonrepresentatives make a toddler having a temper tantrum look like a well behaved child. these nonrepresentatives are so consumed with their next reelection, their special interests, pork barrelling, obstructionism, their own political affiliation that they are completely out of touch with the plight of those they were elected to serve. they are an embarrassment. term limits needed yesterday!

    June 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  4. Carl


    This one is simple. Most government politicians have been caught lieing or stealing or doing something illegal, or being bought off by all their lobbyists, and not supporting the will of the people. It all comes down to the almight stolen dollar and not the good will of the people. We need term limits for sure, the longer one of these worthless politicians are in office, the more they can improve their stealing and lieing abilities. I feel at times helpless against a government like ours.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  5. Steve, NY

    Very simple because the politicians do not represent the majority and they either lie or stretch the thruth. It shows big time.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  6. Russ in PA

    Citizens have fallen into the socialistic trap that says that government knows better than it's citizens. Unfortunately people tend to vote for those with promises, not with sense. Look at Ron Paul; for all the comments that he is a radical or out of touch, he is the only one with dignity, and a belief in his principles that transcend party politics. Pity there aren't more like him...

    June 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Don (Ottawa)

    The Bush Administration set the bar on this. They did what they wanted, and the public be damned. They not only got away with it, they profited politically by it. Then there is Rush Limbaugh and the other talk show hosts that say what they want and get away with it. Now that there is a an African American at the helm, this same group is more vocal than ever; i.e. the Tea Partiers, outburst on the floor of Congress and a leadership that thinks it is cool to be nasty.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  8. Willow

    There is too much divisiveness in politics today. People are allowed to yell out "you lie!" at a Presidential address, people having scandalous affairs while being the "Family Values" platform, the extremes are getting more extreme. Yes, even the Liberals, of which I am one. There is no common ground anymore. It is not what is best for our country, it is what is best for OUR Party. People equating Democrats as communists or Socialists, People equating Republican with Nazis. We have too big of a split, there is no respect for the other side.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  9. Kim

    It all started when the media decided to validate the actions of pathetic fringe right wing sociopathic party call the tea party.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  10. Cecile Kazemi

    American politics and politicians seem to like "bridezilla" these days – a notoriously obnoxious, ignorant concept lacking in all decorum and dignity that somehow has come to be the rule rather than the exception. The purpose is all too often lost to the aggrandizement of individuals and/or the party. A sad commentary indeed... on weddings and politics!

    June 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  11. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    To me this goes straight to the 7 deadly sins and especially pride and greed. We do not look for unity as a nation but what's in it for me and we elect the people that can bring the most to our state and the heck with the rest. Unity and morality do not exist in our vocabulary as it has been replaced with money, property and prestiege. Just look at the so called group that is suppose to deal with Charlie Rangle.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Kevin in Dallas

    Because American journalists have forgotten how to do their jobs. You guys either play the part of the lapdog or the paparazzi. Be professional, ask intelligent questions, and demand intelligent answers. If you do that, then our politicians true colors will show, and after a few years, the dignified ones will be the only ones who survived.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  13. Marianne Thiex Bowler, WI

    Has anyone really looked at the politicans that are currently in office. How can American politics as a whole show any semblance of dignity when most of our representatives don't show any semblance of dignity. They say actions speak louder then words and boy, the actions of politicans today speak loud and clear and with little dignity at all if any.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  14. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, the comment that you read yesterday by the person that thinks it would be a good thing that you retire was wrong and uncalled for but may we remember that it is easier to criticize someone than to give a simple compliment. Criticism has never solved any problem so hang in there and keep the articles coming even though we don't always get solutions as least it feels good to vent.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  15. Ray

    I think it is the men and women we are electing to represent us. No secret Congress is the best kept millionaires club. To many ties to big business and no idea of what it feels like to live paycheck to paycheck, or go hungry, or be homeless. Until we get campiagn finance reform. Where each candidate gets equal money to run for office will we never get the best in Congress.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  16. Christine

    Because of lying cooperate media. If people like you would spend more time asking our politicians tough questions than playing "got ya" games for attention and ratings. Then politicians will continue to be irresponsible because thet all have a media plant that they go to for easy questions. Spend more time holding both sides accountable and stop playing favorite. I miss Tim Russert. He went after both sides and they were all afraid of him. We don't have anything like him anymore.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  17. bob z fr ,pa.

    jack it don't take a lot to fix this country only the will to do so .it seams they want to destroy our country not fix it

    June 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  18. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    There is a general lack of respect these days, for people, and everything else. Without thinking about it at length, I would say that parents are to blame; the ones who want to be friends to their children. This means that the children treat their parents the same way they treat their little friends, & siblings. If the little darlings grow up in this atmosphere, being allowed to say things to parents that should have resulted in their mouths being washed out with soap, ANYTHING GOES.

    That doesn't really address the lack of dignity though, does it?

    Maybe it's due to the lack of inspirational movies & TV programs. When we're bombarded with reality shows, & other "entertainment", with so many people doing all sorts of things for attention, to win something, or because their egos need that 15 minutes of fame. If these people are a child's role models, what else can we expect? Children grow up beliving that these antics are all acceptable, since they win prizes, are laughed at, or become famous.

    As for politics, you must admit, (if you look through your files), that, in general, Democrats (blue dogs excluded), are much more dignified, & well-behaved than Republicans, & they have so much more class. Maybe because so many Republicans are rednecks at heart . . . or on the surface.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  19. Mr D

    Let's face it, we are all children trying to play in a world that demands adult solutions to an endless amount of problems. When we get frustrated we resort to name calling and boring behavior. We need strong leadership to take us by the hand and lead us down the path to the future. Also, to wash our mouths out when we need it.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  20. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Lack of morals. Lack of principles. Lack of vision. Politicians are all narcissistic, baby-kissers, who stand for nothing more than self-interest, re-election, campaign fund-raisers and boondoggles. There are no real leaders among them. Seriously, if the world turns on us are you going to look to Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid for guidance? These guys have no substance to them, so is it any wonder that Washington has devolved into a quagmire of political gridlock while they all pander to big money and demographics? Look no further than the Arizona bill. The vast majority of Americans want the goverment to do SOMETHING to stop illegal immigration, but the majority of politicians condemn Arizona for doing a duty where the federal government has been negligent. The policians see another group of potential voters and immediately begin pandering and talking about amnesty. They are selling out AMERICANS and we give them a free pass.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  21. Carla from Cyberland

    My question to YOU is - when did politics ever have any semblance of dignity? In the last century and a half, that is. It's gone so far downhill at this point that we actually elect REAL actors fresh from the stage and screen - people who are by definition skilled at deception - as governors and congressmen and presidents. So we should be surprised that it's become a dog-and-pony show?

    The political arena is a three-ring circus, and we like it that way. We must. We've made it ok to put on a show. For exhorbitant amounts of money to be spent to produce that show - rather than listen to someone who may not have the frills and furbelows, but who has a good head and a caring heart.

    We've allowed this, and now we complain that they don't get the job done and sell their votes to the highest contributor. This ain't Abe Lincoln's America anymore. It's a country produced and directed by the most convincing actor, the most entertaining showman. And we act surprised when we realize there's nothing there but the smell of the grease paint, the roar of the crowd.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  22. Rob in Brooklyn

    they're all desperate to see how much money they can steal and its causing insanity

    June 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm |

    I'm ashame of AMERICA! Even the people in the vet, graves are in a shamble.Any office in Washington are full of dumb nuts.They are all watching each other,But are not paying attention what they are saying or doing. when they voted some one in office that NO one knew him.and today no one knows how he WON????????

    June 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  24. JOE CE

    The news is focus on bad things and this creates anger. As a nation, we expect solutions by the end a 30 minute TV show. The result is impatience & anger – which solve nothing. Then we have the naive people who think that voting against incumbets would accomplish something. Some of them thought change would be exacyly what they wanted. Anger has become the knee-jerk response to anything disliked. Civility in politics or anywhere else is a thing of the past..

    June 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  25. David Gerstenfeld

    Jack, if you look real close you can see tears on the Mount Rushmore president's faces. I just celebrated my 50th year of voting & had no joy at my choices & the venom spoken durring the campaigning. I have lost faith in our political system ruled by who can raise the most money so the reality tv watching public know who to vote for.
    David, Las Vegas

    June 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  26. Mike, Texas


    We spent too much time pandering and not enough time standing our ground. You see it every day. The Dems pander to the liberaly and the Reps pander to the right wing-nuts. Our coongress has lost sight of what our nation was founded upon, COMPREMISE between the left and right to get the job done. Everyone is posturing for the TV cameras to keep their jobs and forgeting what we sent them to Washington to do, fix the problems.

    I think we need to clean the slate in November and send a message that we are all mad as hell and we can do something about it. If on incumbent is sent back we are lost.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  27. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Professor Obama should stop trying to give out assignments. He needs to call in his party members and tell them, not ask them. Too many cooks turns it to crap. Then he has to call out the republicans. regarding crying about tax cut expiration and find out their "vision" regarding infrastructure, education and find out why they are against Wall Street reform and other regulations, all this out in the open. Expose the opinions of the members of Congress. Skip the platitudes.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  28. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Don't forget to add Bill Clinton's new jabs at Reid's opponent. Jerry Brown isn't a wannabe, he is long time career politician and he can't possibly run on his past record, which would lead me to believe these people have no constructive ideas or solutions. When you have nothing to contribute, smear your opponent and apparently it must work, we keep on putting them into office based on their accusations.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  29. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    America is no longer "one Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all". It's become divided by political party ideologies.
    Republicans want endless opportunity for the amitious while Democrats want equality for the disadvantaged. Neither Party is wrong in their goals but terminally flawed in their willingness to compromise. There is no dignity in that.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  30. Stephen from Florida

    First, have you ever watched Question Period in a Westminster parliamentary system like Canada or the UK? Thats crazy, but they get things done.

    Second, if you want to solve the problem with a federal presidential constitutional state like the US, impose the term limit on the Senators and Representatives. The President already has a limit of 2 terms. Just copy Mexico, the Senators serve 6 years, the Deputies 3 years, the President can only serve one-term of 6 years. And none of them can stand for re-election. There's the solution.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  31. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    Historically, these things are pretty mild, Jack. Leave it to you, the media, to stir things up when there's nothing afoul.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  32. Patsy, Texas

    There are a lot of reasons, Jack. I don't remember any political
    campaign before 1999, when the rhetoric was so nasty and hateful.
    The Republicans attacked McCain with such venom, it was hard
    to believe. The attacks of John Kerry, etc. were worse. The tactics
    were vicious and unforgetable--but, sadly, they seemed to work.
    So now we have nastiness and hatefulness going at it again, with a
    vengeance. Criticism is at its peak.
    Boehner screams about bi-partisanship, but will not practice what
    he preaches. None of these people show any respect for their
    fellow Congressmen, no respect for the Presidency, and
    certainly no respect for the American people.
    I have not heard one word of compassion for the people and wildlife
    suffering from the oil spill. All they can do is blame Obama. They
    won't accept their own responbility in creating this hazard.
    (deregulation, for one).
    So, if you are offended by the "kick ass" remark, I am sorry. But,
    a lot worse has been said that offended me, and I too, would like
    to kick some A--! Thank you.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  33. Lori - PA


    I would have to say it has to do with winning at any cost. It's unfortunate for the American people because our elected officials are so obsessed with winning that we [the American people] are forgotten.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  34. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    Because the American population allows it. If they did not like it they would change it by voting these folks out of office. The first person they should complain to everyday is the person staring back at them in the mirror.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  35. Independent Joe


    I believe most of the today's politicians were sick the day their kindergarden teacher taught the golden rule: "treat others as you want to be treated". In my opinion it would behove them to re-take kindergarden and learn respect for others because; they would themselves gain respect.

    Joe (Minnesota)

    June 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  36. Kevin of SD CA

    When do vicious thieves, parasites, glorified welfare recipients, and total failures ever have dignity?
    Dignity is only achieved when individuals are truly accountable for their actions, production, and budgets!
    You get what you reward! We are not rewarding success we keep rewarding failure; where is failure dignified!

    June 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  37. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    are you kidding, Jack?

    "dignity" went out the window with the rise of the so called "Tea Party".

    this country is beginning to look like a re-run of Germany in the 1920's. all we need is hyper-inflation and America could have the same right-wing takeover complete with some mindless jingle spouting idealog like Sarah Palin as "The Leader".

    June 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  38. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    Media has given greater voice to the carnival barker types, who call people on the opposite side of their political argument Nazis, Communists, etc. daily. We all know who I'm talking about here. Eventually, this new level of coarseness became acceptable to the general public. So, the merits of one policy or the other is no longer debated. Instead the argument revolves around name calling.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  39. Johnny l Hatfield

    You can't have dignity without trust Jack.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  40. katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, Jack, the republicans tactic was to say anything and everything, totally disregarding truth and fact, and it has continued on. I do not mind the minor sniping as much as the hypocrasy, lies and total lack of responsibility.
    When you have a politician shouting out you lie and another calling our president a raghead, etc, kicking somebodies ass is inmaterial, althiough agree totally.
    Give you credit with this article as you pointed out both sides which is v ery unusual for you.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  41. John from Alabama

    Jack: It is sad, but look how much the media helps to spread the hate by reporting on it. We need a dose of professionalism, honesty, sportsmanship, and trust in our public servants, but then if this happend we would probably be living on another planet. There are 535 members of Congress, which need to go home an stay forever.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  42. John, Lake Charles, LA

    The American political system has lost all confidence, credibility and control. It's time for a new form of government. I don't know what that new government should look like but it's obvious that what we have now is not working. They pass new laws when we already have millions of them on the books. They don't enforce the laws that the peolple really want enforced. They bitch about the tax and spend philosophy and then continue to spend, spend, spend. They can't pass a budget but they can bailout banks and automakers. Enough is enough already.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  43. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Jack, Jack, Jack sometimes I don't know how you arrive at questions with such a simple answer. For dignity to be in politics, there must be dignified politicians. Dignity, character, and integrity has long been absent from politics. Perhaps those qualities disappeared with the presidential election of 1800. This is nothing new. It is getting worse, a lot worse.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  44. Mysterious, Chicago

    You should know, Jack. You are pretty much helping with all your negativity.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  45. David Scott Doherty

    Because Jack the name of the game is how too make myself rich, not what's good for the country. When a candidate spends over 70 million of her own money to get a seat at the feast, this should send a message to what kind of money can be made if you get that golden ticket. What will it take too open the eyes of the American people. Why in the hell do politicians spend that kind of money unless the payback is 10 times what they've spent. I know if I'm going to gamble, the prize better be wirth it!
    Dave from NH.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  46. Kyle Irvine, CA

    Because of greed and the burning desire to seek high office. Politicians today feel they can't win an election unless they trash talk their opponents politically and personally. That's why I have a lot of respect for George W. Bush because he talked about the issues not the candidate. I want to see a candidate campaign on the issues and not bad talk the other side.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  47. Paul Austin, Texas

    Jack I do not think that dignity has ever been the norm in American politics. The difference is now you can not pass gas less the media will hear and tell all. In a way it is a good thing and in a way we all need to think about ourselves If we were in the same place as the one's without dignity could we cast the first stone and say we had diginity and the others do not?

    June 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  48. Paul PE, Canada

    Politicians, always out for power, quickly ride the wave of the fear and anxiety out there today. Unfortunately, media today feeds off of that and thus give publicity to these sensational tactics. Watch how these incidents drop off if the media turned a blind eye to it all. All you have to do is watch the various news channels nowadays. Full of only sound bites and talking heads. Sad.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  49. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Greed Jack,pure and simple G R E E D!!! Back room deals and the lobby and huge money and the biggest thing of all RE-ELECTION
    nothing but nothing tops re-election not even the human beings that pay the taxes that pay their wage.Its like dogs in a pit and it is sad
    that our beautiful nation has come to that.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  50. BILL, WI

    Because politicians epitomize the ME Generation. In other words rules for the "common people" do not apply to them

    June 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  51. Craig in Illinois

    Money and greed Jack!
    If all of the money the was spent on campaigns and buying politicians off this country would be in the "Red".
    Liberal, Conservative, Progressive, Moderate, etc. etc. what happened to just being american and supporting your country. These political hackjobs just try and brainwash votes for their corporate campaign sponsors.
    It's time for a real Tea Party in this country and send all of the politicans to the Gulf of BP and feather them before they leave. Then ask them how do you like big oil now?

    June 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  52. Bill

    Political entities have rarely been dignified, most of those that appear to have some dignity are shown to be charlitans..... by the media .... It is far more fair to ask if there is any dignity left in the members of the media.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  53. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Could it be due to the worthless scum bags that run for congress and leave us with no choice, You have to either vote for a worthless scum bag or a scum bag that is worthless. Take your choice. One would think that the way they lie that it is the politically correct thing to do.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  54. Dennis north Carolina

    We are becoming a third world country with a failed education system and all we need is a king or dictator to complete the image. Big business is winning the wolrd after the us fails.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  55. Pete from Georgia

    Why all the venom ??
    Politicians can be described in THREE simple words :

    June 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  56. Gerry

    There has always been a degree of corruption in government. With the aid of the Internet and investigative reporters were made more aware of it immediately. The current system still has the fox in charge of the hen house so were not seeing all of it. The pathetic part of all this that even after getting caught members of congress still receive all their pensions and benefits. If a military retiree is convicted of a felony they lose their pensions and benefits. Too, the morals of the populace in general have been more tolerant of crimes committed by candidates and incumbants. Candidate Blumenthal was caught lying about his Marine Corps Vietnam service yet went on to win his pri-mary. If he lies as a candidate what can you expect as a Representative?

    June 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  57. Doug - Dallas

    What you're seeing in the political arena is reflective of how our country is acting on an everyday basis. Civility is rapidly disappearing, cheating for personal gain is the new norm and 11.5 million illegal aliens think we should just let them stay with no consequence or penalty. Our values are eroding and it starts at the top. It the one "trickle down effect" that's working must to our disgust.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  58. Lizzie in Los Angeles

    American politics has lost dignity because Americans, in large part, no longer think dignity is particularly important. Look, listen and reflect (if you can get off your cell phone for long enough) - sexual themes everywhere, vulgar language being used in public, on TV and in movies, I could go on and on. Politicians - that savvy bunch - actually ARE reflecting their constituencies, tragic as that is to admit.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  59. Marlene

    Politicans running for elected office mimic the school yard bullies, if you heap enough abuse on the opponent they will get scared and go away! Or if you heap enough abuse on the opponent people around you will think you are the stronger, more favorable peoson to be your friend. But this should make the American voter shy away from them. All it shows us is they are the ones afraid when using these tactics, instead of their ideas and actions.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  60. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, read your history, this is more the norm than anything. Read about the election of 1800 and the things said about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Read about the two elections involving John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Read about a congressman beating another with a cane in the Capitol building shortly before the Civil War. Read about former Speaker of the House Thomas Reed and his struggles with the minority southern Democrats in the late 1800's. Read about the three way race for President in 1912. Politics has never held to much dignity, the difference now is that we get to see it in living color 24 hours a day via cable news channels and the internet. Much as many other things become exposed under such scrutiny, politics became exposed as the dirty little business that it has always been.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  61. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    I don't know, but I think we've come to the point of no return, in America. I might just move back to England, back to civilization. .

    June 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  62. J A Cooper DE

    Jack, You have more honor in your little finger than most of Congress.
    Honor is not revered. Honor won't get elected. Congress is a bunch of lying scoundrels that don't care about anything but getting re elected.
    Dignity is based in respect,. How can anyone respect a bunch of liars?

    June 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  63. Pete from Georgia

    This is easy to understand about American politicians.
    When you have no fundamental foundation about ANYTHING, care about NOTHING but yourself and your own selfish agendas, and have little or no conscience, all that is left is to insult, ridicule, and deceive anyone and everyone.
    Welcome to American politics.
    Beyond pathetic.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  64. Solitude

    "Join the rest of the World, Jack! You had it too good in the past, and then abused your status for far too long. Can you continue this downward slope, without falling off the edge? I doubt it""

    June 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  65. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Jack, I live in South Carolina and you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting an undignified politician. It's because demonizing your opponent is more effective than actually working together to get things done. If that doesn't change, woe be unto all of us.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  66. pat in michigan

    You must have dignity in the first place in order to lose it
    .I wonder what is the difference between organized crime and organized politcal parties.
    Why would a person spend 70 million dollars of their own money to hold political office unless they had an agenda for a special interest group .
    Why would a President nominate a person for the highest court in the land when she had been part of an administration involved in a scandal that almost took down the President .
    People who could do the job and be effective at it will NEVER get the chance to do so as long as the Parties in power hold Americans hostage.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  67. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was an accident waiting to happen. Oil companies being deregulated and allowed to operate with little oversight and cuttings safety precautions finally caught up to them. The press has been on President Obama for not showing more outrage. Now when he does, it is too much. I can tell you one thing if I was given a live interview on TV about the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, all you would hear is one beep after another. This is the price we have to pay for being the largest consumer of fossil fuel. We never have gotten serious about an energy plan. The only reason for that not happening is a powerful lobbyist the oil companies have in Washington.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  68. Greg, Ontario

    The way I see it (it's the same for us in Canada), politicians act the way they do and say the things they do because they know you in the media will jump all over it and treat it like it's important even though it isn't. I mean when did women not yack it up about each others hair,especially when it's someone they don't like? When did people not refer to autocratic whip crackers as Nazis? We took the dignity out by putting weight into what the media thought was important. I use to watch several news shows, now I watch the Situation Room and take everything with a grain of salt. Fox news? Give me a break. Look in the mirror Jack that's your answer.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  69. Toni

    Because the politicians don't have any dignity for themselves or anyone else! You can't loose what you don't have!

    South Carolina

    June 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  70. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Because people of honor and dignity do not run for political office. Enough said.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  71. wayne

    We are an Empire in decline, what else did you expect?

    June 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  72. kirk

    This whole mess shows us that the lobbyists need ran out of our government, or have a law passed that the money from lobbyist receive a 60% surtax , before its given to politicans. Then term limits and a new law that states all money received in office stays with the government when you leave. Millions of dollars spent for a job that pays what????

    June 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  73. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Because vitriol is good for inciting the masses to volunteer and dig deep. It is also good for ratings on cable TV. We have met the enemy and it is ourselves, Jack.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  74. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Power corrupts. Each of these candidates running to be our elected officials is secretely saying,"Vote for me! I want my turn to ride the gravy train and hop in bed with big Oil and Banking. I want my family and friends to experience luxurious trips and a few extra dollars to indulge our whimsies." They could give a hoot about the people who are sending them to Washington because they are all narscissts. This makes me think that Eric Fromm described this chapter in our history precisely in his "Man for Himself."

    June 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  75. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Republicans may have the big bucks, but Democrats have the class. .

    June 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  76. James from North Carolina

    I thing we have the same level of dignity as we have always had. However, the media now brings the truth to the surface as never before. It has always been this way but now the modern media makes sure the public is aware of how sausage is made. We are just shocked by the truth whereas in the past we were lulled into thinking politics was high and might.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  77. Maria

    Our acceptance of less and less dignified political behaviour is not new.
    Scandals, foul-talk, hate and war mongering, mistreatment of our fellow people, lack of care for people in need around the globe...all and more have been around since recorded history began. We only now notice it more easily and quickly because of the instant communications by media around the world.

    I don't appreciate Obama suggesting he's looking for "ass' to kick, but I appreciated even less Clinton's choice of sexual affairs while President.
    And historically, I appreciated even less the treatment of women and gays in the Roman, Greek, English, French and Spanish courts of the medieval times. So take your pick. Are we truly less dignified now?



    June 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  78. RickFromDetroit

    Political semblance of dignity??
    The root of all evil !
    We preach equality for everyone, but we exempt ourselves.
    We can not accept the fact that someone else is equal to us, but we insist that we are better than they are.

    These policies lead us to another problem. We have too many ethnic and religious groups in this country, most of them can't agree on anything, and all of them are constantly fighting over who will get what.

    A more equal distribution of wealth could resolve many of these problems. [go back to the beginning and read again]

    June 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  79. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    In the president's instance every psychologist and wanna be psychologist in the country demanded that he show some anger so that the nation might have the cathartic release of their rage represented from the man right at the top.

    Too professorial. Too aloof. If we complain when we get what we demand, no wonder politicians ignore us.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  80. Susan from Idaho

    Jack our whole country has lost civility, Palin has lead the way for bashing and insincere behavior. I truly believe it lost the election for Mccain so let the chips fall where they may for these loose lipped politicians.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  81. Ralph Spyer

    Look at who we elect ? over half are lawers a shark won:t ever eat a lawer out of professional respect

    June 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  82. Jim in Alabama

    Because of corruption, loss of morals, ethics and honesty. It's simply another sign of what's happened to the United States society in general. Nobody fears the consequences of their actions anymore because of the corruption and weakening of our justice system. People have lost faith in our government and our politicians and rate them lower than the proverbial used car salesman and they don't seem to either be aware of it or care. Our nation is sinking in debt and the politicians in Washington keep spending and borrowing like there was no tommorow and have no fear of voter revolt. Sickening.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  83. Lucy, from Austin,Texas

    American politics lost any semblance of dignity because it was sold to corporations and the media sound bite. When did "for the people and by the people" become so meaningless? How does a few words like "Drill, baby drill" make an unknown a new vice presidential candidate running mate?

    What ever happened to integrity, service to your country, common sense, morals, patriotism and the American spirit. When did congress stop serving the people and start selling out for the lobbyist money?

    For twelve years fine American men have faught in Afganistan and died searching for Bin Laudin who masterminded 9/11. When will the American public start electing politicans who actually want to talk about what needs to make American strong again and promise when they are elected into office they will serve and listen to their constituents. Instead we let the media define debates as 90 second sound bites...All glitter and no bite. A public image, but no knowledge of the real person and we are apalled they turn out to be amoral, thieves and sell their vote to the lobbyists. Why would you hold you elected officials to a lower standard then you would your friends. Take a stand on what is important to you. Be an informed voter and make you vote count. Take back the public's voice in goverment by making the candidate accountable to their constituents. You elect them...vote the bums out and keep searching until you get one that actually understands who really elected him.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  84. Bruce

    That is part of the big 2012 change. Loss of dignity, loss of credibility, loss of confidence, loss of competence, loss of usefulness. We will re-invent this country without the fads, and without the NWO banksters.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  85. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Lost it? Politics never had much dignity. The only difference is that politicians still don't seem to realize is that now there is always a mic or a camera recording it, and it can be on the internet in a minute or less.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  86. Gail, Plano TX

    You failed to mention one of the biggest offenders, Jack, and that is the terror from Alaska, Sarah Palin. Her platform when she ran for VP was bashing her opponents. No solutions. Just inflammatory rhetoric. And how about the GOP's disrespect for President Obama? This permeates the climate of politics in Washington. It is disgraceful and lives and thrives under the guise of free speech. He's damned no matter what he does. Dignity along with respect for others, died a long time ago!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  87. Mack from Michigan

    Jack Our "role models" spend as much time in the court room these days as they do on the playing field or the silver screen. Kids today are presented with a sorry cast of deviant quarterbacks or pantyless drunken starlets or cursing thug gangstas as examples of American "success stories." The internet, and cable Television, and Talk radio have collectively performed a brainectomy on our culture and to many people have lost the ability to think,or form an opinion,or distinguish right from wrong without being provided their opinion by the Zealot of the day. Is it any wonder that todays polkitics has become any exercise in slinging enough mud till your opponent is even uglier than you.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  88. joe m

    you gave the answer to your own question, it is because politics today is plauged with a glut of 'political wannabes'. people who enter politics invoke their accomplishments of being bussiness or religious leaders, accomplishe lawyers, academics, or entertainers, and of course we cannot forget the social reformers. true as all their claims may be, they lack the one true qualification a political leaders needs – a desire to trully help make lives better for those whom they call their neighbors. most of these people share a common trait; egos the size of planets and see their first priority as that of addressing their own needs. what we are cursed with today is a government filled with politicians, and a saddening lack of true statesmen.


    June 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  89. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Dignity in politics is what we used to have, Jack There has always been mud-slinging campaigns, but nothing is off the table anymore! It has become uglier than ever since President Obama was elected, and I really think that the racist insults being thrown at each other is a direct result of his becoming President. People think that anyone who opposes their views is open game and there is no limit to how far they will go!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Rodney

    Is anyone surprised? Have you seen the mess that is our country? Make someone a millionaire and they think they need to run for office. Not all millionaires are smart.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, American politics has lost dignity because politicians care more for their party than they do for the people. Most are too self-absorbed to accept responsibility, thus they look for someone else to blame. Even the President is guilty of this, and should be following the example of Harry Truman in how to conduct himself in the Oval Office and elsewhere.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  92. Lyn

    A big part of this started when Bush # 2 lied bigtime about Mccain and got away with it, then about Gore and Kerry. It was double awful when he lied about Kerry's military service, and Bush served none. Part of this is because of their fully padded pockets. Money talks and until the people are smart enough to see that wealthy doesn't make good candidates. If the Wealthy gets in office, it will be tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, and more pork. The back bitting is bad, but you didn't say everything that Fiornia said about Whitman. Angel said some trash too. We sure don't need Fiorina, Whitman, Angel, Hayworth, nor the Indian in So. Carolina. I figured what Obama said would be widley recieved since the Media kept goading him. Kids hear that talk on tv all the time.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  93. Ann from Charleston, SC

    Perhaps American politics reflects the American people – but, of course, we don't want to think about that.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  94. Chris - Denver

    Jack, do you really even have to ask? Yes. Yes it has.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  95. Linda Richards

    Because Americans have lost their sense of dignity. Our culture has embraced war, hate, greed, vulgarity, violence–even torture and more. Not only do nice guys finish last these days, they are considered fools as was made clear by a reporter when an honest man turned in a large amount of money he had found. It seems that things will get a lot worse before (or if) they get better judging from the current crop of political candidates and heroes. Either they're crazy or I am.
    Linda in Woodbury, NJ

    June 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  96. Katy

    These are the same politicians as ever, Jack. The rabid media are simply throwing out more microphones and mouse-clicks to catch every politician with their foot in their mouths. The ones acting like children are the reporters giving airtime to these meaningless stories.

    Seattle, Washington

    June 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  97. Duane in Lock Haven PA

    I'm only 62 Jack, was it different before I was born?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  98. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    There is no dignity because power corrupts – Those working in the Capitol should rename the city Washington D Sleaze. Trading favors, making deals, currying donations from corporations and then taking questionable stances or compromising their vote along with their ethics – throw the bums out sooner with term limits!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  99. Annie, Atlanta

    These days "public servants" are in it for what they can get for themselves most of the time, so they sell out to the highest bidder. There are names for men and women who can be bought. So there you go.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  100. Ken in NC

    Jack, it was all smoke and mirrors in the first place. Now that the EPA REGULATIONS have gotten rid of the smoke and Hillary Clinton broke all the glass we see it for what it really is. NASTYYYYY

    June 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  101. ben stockton, calif

    maybe kicking a little butt would benefit the average american into getting a job.at this point a little anger would get us back to what america stands for. let israel know that we will not be sending any more billions there,kick out illegal immigrants and send them back to their country. no more corporate welfare, bank bailouts or saving the auto industry. the ones that are mad is the poor souls that have to feed their families on meager wages. if obama wants to be a 2 term president, he better start listening to the people or he will be a lame duck president. even if the gop gets in , dont expect them to help . they are just as bad or worse

    June 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  102. Kevin in CA

    Why? Because the intellectual level of the discussions have degraded to the IQ of a gnat ... besides, sound bites work better at that level.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  103. Valorie Jay

    The loss of dignity came senter stage when Barack Obama was elected president. The once-proud Republican Party, unfortunatly taken over by the far-right fringe have behaved shamefully starting with "You lie" screamed at him by a South Carolina delegate during a joint session of congress. The "birthers" and the tea party crowd, carrying signs showing Mr. Obama as Hitler plus other insulting pictures have lost all sense of decent behavior. And, strangely, the few remaining moderate Republicans stand by and do nothing – could be they are afraid of being targeted by Rush or the crowd at Fox News. Ronald Reagan, a good and decent Republican, must be spinning in his grave.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  104. R

    It's the people we have to pick from that have all lost any semblance of dignity. So sad.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  105. Gigi Oregon

    Jack, I think that is the craziest question yet. That answer is as plain as the nose on your face. It's the media and their appetite for spreading the news. The tacker the better. And the blogs we love to hate but can't wean ourselves from.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  106. James

    Sure Jack, if you were spending millions of dollars just for the power you when you enter the Washington gravy train then yes you would sling mud, make false aquisition and, even a comment about somebody's hair. Is this our U.S. government or third grade?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  107. james

    its true the politicians only do what they want too do and expect the people too be all right by it. they think we are stupid and i blame some of it on the media. they report by party lines and the only way too get close to the truth is channel surf the news. i haven't heard from cnn on obama wanting a budget of 5% and any department that makes that goal gets 1/2 back. why did obama just say cut it by 2.5% instead he will use the 5% figure even if its not true. its like the oil spill every one on bp were was obama on the booms and building sand dikes to stop the oil they had to wait for the feds to approve it. and then the no call of heyward till 50 plus days in to the spill. this administration loves to point the blame of everything on others. when is the media finally going to tell obama you been pres for 18 months now these problems are yours now the economy joblessness and so on. he sent 4 trill so far and 9.8 in the next 10 years it time to tell him this is your problems and no one else. and if you can't handle step down and we will get some one who can

    June 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  108. David

    Because Jack we have rewarded their ill behavior with headlines and pundit jobs practically daring them to say something controversial.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  109. Rick McDaniel

    Actually, they haven't had any for some time.....it just is more obvious now, that the politicians don't limit their inappropriate comments to behind closed doors.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  110. Charles in NJ

    Yes. Vote them all out.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  111. Megan

    There is no, none, nada dignity or integrity left in politics. People have fooled themselves into believing that a) EVERYONE does it and b) it doesn't matter what you say or what lies you tell, your ACTIONS after you are elected is number 1. I often wonder how these same people reconcile this on Sunday where they purport to 'be on their knees'.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  112. Rosalie Reece Georgia

    Because they're all running scared. If you've ever been really, really scared dignity goes right out the window.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  113. Steve H

    They are over 90% lawyers & attorneys who know what side their bread is buttered on. It's a huge 'loophole' in the American Government that to my knowledge only Thomas Paine was aware might be a problem. We live in a litigation nightmare. This profession is in every position of power and control and we have to obey them. This effects businesses leaving U.S. as much as health insurance costs. They will never stop making laws on the backs of men, women, & children & we aren't able to carry these burdens. It is an empire in itself and guess what...it just might topple over.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  114. Emily

    Politicians are starting to sound like most the people that post comments on CNN, uneducated, personal attacks, comments that really have nothing to do with the issues at hand.
    Its rediculous, Washington needs to be scrubbed clean, and replaced with people that dont want to be politicians, but people who want to aid the American people and be leaders in our country to make life better for all, not for a few!

    Tucson, AZ

    June 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  115. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    this is the type of character flaws I cannot and I repeat Jack...I just cannot stand this type of character flaws in these challenging times or at any time because first it diminishes one's own person on top of commenting about petty stuff on the back of another person; if you have something to say then say it to their face or shut up! The old saying if you cannot say anything nice, say nothing always is of more value of self-discipline and respect for people! Take care!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  116. Tracy

    Allright, Ill try it again... I am not interested in middle class morality...I am interested in BP pluuging the big leaking hole in the ground that is about to destroy all marine life on the eadt coast...

    June 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  117. david

    Jack, can't they just act their age!!!!!!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  118. Don

    Jack I think all these politicians are attempting to appear cute, cutting edge and "mad as hell" to convince us that they are doing something about a particular situation and we should be glad they are in charge.

    The old adage that actions speak louder than words rings true. It appears to be the rule now that bad mouthing say....BP's CEO is hip and will make one appear REALLY Presidential....they might want to rethink that strategy.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  119. Glen CA

    We when it comes to these things they truly do represent the people as we all do this. Just look at the comments listed here with who is calling who an idiot, right wingnut or liberal scum. We turned into a nation of high school kids how are greedy with low self esteem disguised as cockiness.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  120. jake miami

    jack what youve identified is a bipartisan problem and i think all americans are sick of it left or right! can anybody even remember when congress has had an aproval rating over 35%? i sure cant! i think the anti incumbent fever that you see coming in 2010 is only the beginning and it will keep growing in further elections down the road

    June 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  121. William

    When one of our Major parties that divide our country almost in half believes in ignorant religious bigotry, homophobia, zenophobia, vain culture wars, illegal foriegn wars, tax cuts for debt, paying for health care with chickens...

    ...the debate is not reasonable when one Major Party proudly ignores reason in favor of bigotry.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  122. Ric

    I think the classlessness always existed...We just get to see and hear more thanks to technology like hidden cameras, rougue mics, more bloggers and site like youtube,.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  123. calaurore9

    It's a reflection of our culture- this seems to be the era of Dignity Lost. People don't treat themselves or each other with dignity so their standards aren't different for politicians. Clothing, writing, speaking- have you read the tweets, looked around the malI, I don't go to church, but I've seen what people wear on their way in-geez. Bad behavior gets rewarded, dignified behavior gets ignored.

    I sound like an old curmudgeon I know but geez, have you seen anybody in a suit lately?

    Carol, Northampton MA

    June 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  124. Marjorie Jassin

    Why has American politics lost any semblance of dignity? Here's why: Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Charlie Savage, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin........need I go on? And the media glorifies these people. The right wing in this country never had dignity and they never will. Remember the good old days when they would hang black people on Saturday night for fun? They haven't changed but they have brought our country to the lowest point I've seen since the 60's.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  125. Lance

    Why would there be any dignity in politics? Don't you have to have ethics in order to have dignity? Since there is no ethics then there can be no dignity Los Angeles California

    June 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  126. Donovan

    Actually I think there is no more dignity in our news media. The media has been bagging on President Obama for not getting mad about the oil spill and then you say he shouldn't be an angry black man and now you say he is classless for saying he is looking for an ass to kick. Our media is motivating our politicians to act like this. Own up to your own warts first before you call somebody else out on theirs Jack.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  127. Corey

    Extreme polarization, and demonization of the "other side". The opposite political party or ideology is seen as an acceptable target, simply because you disagree with them. This applies to politicians themselves, and to their constituents.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  128. Randy in St. Louis

    ...errms...when HAS it had any semblance of dignity? Lives Under Microscopes....politics is just one big tabloid.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  129. Yup

    Politicians are as spineless as you reporters. for so many days everyone was asking where is the outrage from Obama (even you asked), and when he shows a little bit of it, you chastise him.
    I really wish reporters like you go away, never come back and let people/politicians do their jobs.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  130. Aaron Ricks, Poughkeepsie, NY

    Jack. Haven't congressmen and senators attempted to stab each other within the chambers of congress in the past? Politics is simply not a dignifying profession.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  131. Corey from Peoria, IL

    Was there ever any dignity in politics? Ever?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  132. frank from florida...spring hill

    American politics started going downhill during the Clinton years when the republicans mistook sexual shenanigans for inability to govern. They got away with it by actually getting the articles of impeachment passed and for the first time since Andrew Johnson, put a sitting U.S. President on trial for political reasons. After that episode, politicians seem to think anything less than that is fair game. The good old days of great politicians like LBJ or FDR are long gone. And I say that in the sense that even though they had political differences, They still got together for drink at the end of the day regardless of how hard they fought on the senate floor.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  133. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    Politics is definitely a contact sport. Unfortunately the contact level has become demeaning. The divide between the so called right and left has become sharper than ever with each side wanting everything to go their way with no possibility for compromise and politics is the art of the compromise. The Tea Party movement has frightened many politicos and made the divide ever deeper. The net result is that those running for office try to play to those making the loudest noise, radical though it may be. The press does not help matters at all since they pander to the noise because it produces juicy headlines. When you put all of this into the pot and stir it up you get a situation where politicians get personal and they lose all sight of civility since they have no sense of what is right for the country only what will help them get elected. i fear for the future.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  134. Dana from Jersey

    Real simple Jack, WE THE PEOPLE kept electing politicians in office that would never condemn this type of rhetoric. In fact, people have been convinced that bashing the other party, while mentioning patriotism in the same breath gets everyone on your side. You're not even considered a real republican unless you hate democrats, or vice versa. Everything has come down to a label, liberal or democrat. Not human being or fellow american.

    And when you have statesmen that hear that nonsense and say absolutely nothing, what are the freshman politicians and constituents are supposed to think are your view points? Intelligence has been replaced with rants of dillusion. I mean people are still coming out and saying that Obama is a muslim, and what do some politicians say about it? Freedom of speech. There's your answer why we are where we are today in this country in a nutshell.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  135. dmm

    the real question, is why do americans KEEP VOTING FOR THEM...

    June 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  136. GODZILLA1

    Keep in mind that Carly Fiorina is ranked among the 20 WORST CEO's in the nation's business history -(anyone ever heard of GEORGE PULLMAN?) and took HP down in flames during her unfortunate tenure there. Wake up California – she is a Republican and will do the same for you.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  137. misanthropicus

    What we're reaping now, is the effects of thirty years of ferociously inflicted non-judgementalism, open-midedness, cultural relativism, secular humanism, multifaceted sexuality and unconditional love garbage in the people's mind – and belive me, much worse is yet to come.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  138. Ralph

    Not that you or anyone else cares, Jack, but we arte moving back in time to the days of royalty. Today's politicians make up the court as in "court jesters." The rich make up the aristicrats and the rest of us make up the serfs. Only today we can move around because they own own bank accounts and credit scores.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  139. AqChicago

    Isn't this a natural human phenomenon? When people are going through troubled times and are stressed, this is a classic by product behavior. Add to that the cut throat competition where both sides do not have any clarity (more so with the republicans), this again a by product of "no substance" but "all rhetoric" talk.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  140. Curtis Potts, Kennesaw GA

    Jack, to get votes they need our attention and what it takes to get our attention anymore is just sad. If it doesn't have a shock value, it isn't worth it. Look at reality television and you can see the same thing happening. Why watch television involving two well behaved kids and two loving parents when you can watch 8 kids and two train wreck parents.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  141. steve

    did you expect anything diff?? come on politics is politics.. and its a teabagger thing i guess....

    June 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  142. Woody

    Fiorina shouldn't talk. Her outfit in the photo doesn't impress me.

    I agree, American Politics is losing its semblance of dignity. When I listen to Obama speak, on occasion I feel more like l'm listening to some low level city councilman then to someone holding the highest office. I don't recall past presidents stooping to such low levels on a regular basis to express themselves. You speak of "kicking someones ass" when the door is shut in the oval office with advisors, not on public television.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  143. Aimee


    Politics has lost a semblence of dignity because elections are won by the highest bidder. There is no truth in poiltics, only the allmighty dollar. With only a two party system it will continue to be more of the same. We need to diversify our Congress. America is not made up of only two parties, there are many and it is time more Americans were represented by their government.

    Johnson City, TN

    June 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  144. Carlos in LA

    I think there's no dignity left on this blog, where positions change day to day depending on popular opinion.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  145. Christopher Hull

    Quite simply: Neo-Con propaganda based on the fact that the ONLY thing immoral and unethical to a true conservative is losing an election.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  146. K

    I'm pretty sure there was never any dignity in politics at any point...that's the nature of the game. Soundbites just spread around more with the internet. Look back throughout history and look at the dirty tricks that went on....this is nothing, but people would rather be hysterical about "the world these days" than actually be realistic.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  147. CK in San Diego


    Yes the comments unacceptable. Does everyone make unacceptable comments like that at some point? Also yes. But then not everyone has a camera in their face every waking moment. The 24 hour news cycle has removed any semblance of dignity from politics, not the politicians themselves.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  148. Brad

    Here's my question to you, Jack:

    When did politics in this country actually have any semblance of dignity?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  149. Thomas Adams


    This lack of dignity is simply a reflection of the deterioration of our society. Listen to the language all around you – sporting events, restaurants, shopping malls, the work place. The only way many people can beef up the content of their speech is to litter it with obscenities. The lack of general manners is on display everywhere, For example, people wander in front of you in the store while talking on their phone and pulling their shopping cart (which takes up twice the width of a person pushing the cart as intended). And when politicians cannot engage their opponents on the issues they go for the personnal – exhibit A: Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot. No surprise that the eloquent President Obama cannot resist the urge to show his resolve in such a manner. Of course, actions do speak louder than words.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  150. Joseph Leff

    Are you implying that there was a semblance of dignity in politics before now? Give me a break, Jack.

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    June 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  151. Tracy - Bullhead City

    Because politicians think they are above us "little people." Their arrogance and self-importance trumps any thought of virtue or ethics. It's absolutely disgusting. Term limits, no pensions, cut the entitlements that go with the title, then let's see how many make politics a "career".

    June 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  152. Dr Jeffrey Thompson

    American politics lost all dignity when it went from the founding father's vision of a regular citizen being elected , doing their job for his fellow man, then leaving – No Career Politicians. As soon as political office became a career, the focus shifted to the business of the people to retaining one's job (at any cost) as a career politician. This, then, opened the door to the disgusting influence of big payoff, big money special interests and their support to politicians willing to work on their behalf in exchange for funding, special gifts and favors and the clout to help them get re-elected (to keep their career job). Next stage is the childish squabbles, name calling and other ridiculous behaviors all centered on retaining your job or stealing that job from the incumbent who has the job you want.
    Whats to respect here?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  153. Mike

    Not just politics but people in general in the US. There are too many people who have grown up for one reason or another have grown into the all too ugly stereotype of Americans. I'm proud of this country (serving in the National Guard) and the possibility it represents, but I wish some of the people in it were more refined.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  154. Tony L

    Politics has always been a dirty sport going back since the birth of this nation. 5% of politicians truly go in politics to help the nation or state or people. Most go in politics for personal gains and power. That is obvious as we can see how many have criminal records or how many become criminals after getting elected to the office. The simple answer would be term limits. Which may not solve the problem but may be able to curb the problem.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  155. Srinivas Kumar

    Politicians are a true to life sample of the people they represent. These days a vote is not cast to show solidarity with the candidates ideology, but rather as an act of helplessness – the lesser of two evils. There ought to be a criteria to run for elected office instead of a popularity vote. Today, money and mass manipulation propagated through the media buys it. Sensible people in such a politically toxic environment become immune and indifferent to politics. This is unfortunate because political science is the art of leveraging the power of representation to lead masses to righteous ways of conduct in public and private life.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  156. Michael Makris

    Look back at any time in American politics, heck any nation's politics, and you would find "characters" making stupid remards about each other. The difference is that John Adams didn't have to worry about the morning news picking up his comment about Thomas Jefferson's choice of wig that day. John Kennedy didn't have to worry about 24-hour news networks and online political blogs hungry for gossip: he only had to deal with a 30 minute evening news broadcast once a night. My God, you bet Nixon never had some barbed jabs for his opponents? The only difference today is that other people care about them.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  157. KH

    Because we accept it. Because you the media equally glamorize and villify it. Because our attention spans are hopelessly short and the average American pitifully undereducated.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  158. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Can't lose what you never had...

    June 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  159. JDF

    I have no problem with what Obama said on the Today Show. He should be looking for whose ass to kick. BP has potentially permanently destroyed an important ecosystem, a massive swath of the environment and a significant portion of our economy. If anything he didn't say enough and he didn't say it soon enough. Somebody's ass does need kicked on this one.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  160. Hollywoodhi

    It's all out of control. It's madness.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  161. sarah

    Bil, They can't loose something they never had.
    Term limits. Pass it on.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  162. John Woods

    Jack, it only seems as though our politicians have become less dignified with their crass comments over the years, when it's really just that the technology on which to capture it has become more sophisticated.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  163. Jay

    I'm still trying to remember when they ever had any dignity.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  164. Bob Castro


    As someone who also works in television production, I am afraid that its because you and I and everyone else who contributes to the 24 hour news cycle on TV, blogs, etc. simply has to have something to talk about all the time.

    In the days of 22-minute per day network news casts, politician's trash talk simply would not rise to the level of importance to be reported. It wasn't a perfect system by far but it did encourage a level of civility that is sorely lacking today.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  165. bwest

    I'm kind of surprised that this is surprising to anyone. Ask any historian of American history who has examined transcripts in the Library of Congress. Politicians today are no more infantile, rude or acrimonious than they have been at any other point in history.

    I'm pretty sure we can expect the same in the future. I think this is more a product of a two party system where if you are not in my party then you must be wrong. This sort of political logic tends to lead to some of the idiotic arguments that you cite in your article above.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  166. Ryan

    No doubt about it... makes me want to throw up!

    The question now is:

    What are we going to do about it???

    June 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  167. dl60

    Jack, the USA is a blessed Nation. Yet, we seem to allow pettiness and selfishness to rule our lives. People with few material possessions don't seem to allow pettiness to thrive- they are merely trying to survive.
    I hope we wake up and value again what we have, particularly our Liberties, before we join the ranks of those who have few values and limited freedom.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  168. Bill

    Yes, it has lost all sense of dignity and class. I predict that in the not-too-distant future, even the election-night ritual of the loser calling the winner will cease. That's a natural progression when the argument is no longer about what's right, it's about who is right.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  169. hank-arizona

    Jack, all you have to do is look at the candidates running. From the start they are slamming their opponents with all the dirt they can come up with
    instead of their ideas to solve the problems. If they do get elected, their
    main focus is to start campaigning to get re-elected again. I believe that they are not focusing on helping their State nor their Country, and
    especially not on the people that believed their diatribe and voted for
    them, unless of course, they were big campaign contributors . I may be
    getting too cynical but, incumbents out!!! Term limits in!!!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  170. Karl from SF, CA

    What dignity it may have had is gone. The asses that I would kick are John Boehner's and Mitch McConnell's, after Bush and Cheney's that is. The Party of NO is about as undignified as you can get. As a Californian, I can hardly wait to see what the next 5 months hold in our dignified exchanges. Brace yourself, it will be getting worse before it gets better.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  171. Jeff

    You have me at a loss. I despair at the childishness of our national dialog. Here we are dealing with a host of issues, many like global warming involve the very future of the planet. Our leaders intend to solve these issues apparently by having a public food fight.
    We the people. It really is up to us.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  172. Gurpreet Bajwa

    I believe this is because to become a politician you need a lot of money for campaigning yourself – millions. To raise such money only unscruplous or very rich and connected people can come forward as politicians. Normal people can never make it. All Rich and connected people or unscuplous ones – and these are not mutually exclusive groups – are not connected with real life – some of them might be self made but most have had some golden spoon since birth. Eventually we will see dynasties of politicians – almost like kingdoms where only if you belong to this elite club – will you be able to be a part of this government. I do not believe this is just with the US. This is the story world over.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  173. Mike in St. Paul

    I don't recall U.S. politics ever having a semblance of dignity. I'll ask my 98 year old grandmother if she does, but no guess will be no.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  174. John Megaw

    Simple Jack, because it has proven to be true, that only the "undignified" self-centered, ego-maniacs run for office. The second clue, is they're all lawyers, need I say more. The best qualified to run for office, want nothing to do with Washington. Sad!

    John Alex

    June 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  175. jj/jarrell

    My Dad told me many years ago the meaning of a lobbyist: some person who buys a congressman; GREED – that's the problem.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  176. Paul W.

    The Republican Party is responsible for the loss of dignity in American politics. The fall became especially bad with the criminal activities of Richard Nixon and his minions. Since then both parties, but especially the GOP have looked on the opposition not just as opponents but as evil. This has been especially put forward by the evangelical wing of the Republican Party. Then Rush Limbaugh, of drug addiction and multiple mistresses and marriages, realized he could make a fortune by fanning the flames with pure lies and insults. You have a downward spiral that will not end before there is shooting in the streets.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  177. Thomas in Abilene,Texas

    Well, it certainly isn't new.LBJ showed his surgery scar, Nixon did his "sock it to me" schtik on Laugh-In, Clinton was campy playing his sax on MTV. However, I agree the mugging for the cameras has gotten much worse lately. It seems everybody wants his (or her)15 minutes of fame on U Tube. I think maybe the shallow, reality- show public is getting just what we deserve in Washington and elsewhere..

    June 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  178. Sean

    I know this kind of thing was happening long before Obama was president, but it seems like ever since he was elected, it has just skyrocketed. And though I know that both sides engage in this kind of thing, it seems like ever since the Republicans lost the election, they have been so bitter and so angry that is has indeed become like kids arguing in a grade school.

    Just look at the tea party folks. All they seem to do is spout hate and propaganda- and their followers eat it up without question. It's disgusting. You see them on the campaign trail and it's two things: "The goverment is trying purposely to ruin the country" and "Obama is a loser".. Meanwhile, they are not pitching new ideas or plans to fix anything. Every time I hear right-wing radio, it's always, and I do mean always- name calling, hate, making fun of the left, just general griping...where, if you listen to left wing radio, they're talking about the oil spill or something having to do with policy or ideas. Don't believe me? Try to listening to both sides for a few days each. All the right does is whine and moan and call names, while the left actually discusses issues. Do the experiment for yourself and tell me I'm wrong.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  179. Joseph

    Why has it become this way? Simple, the politicians represent the people that elected them. Birds of a feather flock together and elect the same. Our cultures in general have been losing dignity as tabloid news and dumbed-down education don't educate people well anymore. People are less and less religious and/or spiritual and more and more materialistic and to put bluntly obese. What do you expect, boatloads of prodigies from all this?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  180. Rick


    I'm afraid our politicians reflect ourselves. We elect these people, and we get the results we deserve. We've allowed corporate interests to infiltrate the deepest levels of our government, and we are somehow surprised that they are only out for their own self interests. Just like we are.

    I do feel that we have the potential to be a great nation, but as long as we allow the dollar to be more important than our honor, our justice and our truth, we will be doomed to a decline that is our collective due as a nation.

    So, the small town gossip, the narrow minded insults, the preying upon our worst tendencies will continue in our politics, until we deal with them in ourselves.

    Let's start with our own dignity, stand up as people and change the rules corporate America (BP, r u listening?) has purchased at our expense, and be the real America we grew up hearing about.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  181. Max McCullough

    The "dignity" you refer to, Jack, never existed in the first place. We live in the day of the 24-hour news cycle, where politicians' every word and action is picked apart, and journalists and photographers wait with halted breathe for any off color remark to plug into the media machine. Today's politicians are normal human beings, and just as LBJ famously described Vietnam as "that bitch of a war" and Truman called McArthur a "dumb son of a bitch," politicians talk in an all-too-human way. If anything, it's your job as a reporter to discuss these politicians' substance, not their sometimes salty style.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  182. Donaldo in ATL

    Truthfully Jack, it was the invent of 24 hour news that partially created this need to fill time. So most if not all our news is crap. Guess that is what this is.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  183. Moik

    They are just following the lead of the news media.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  184. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    It would seem that buy now that these public officials would realize that the media is out to catch them in an off moment and keep there personal opinions to themselves until there away from the main stream media .

    June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  185. Michael in Phoenix

    Yes! We live in a country where it is all about ME. ME ME ME. These people do not care about what you think they just want the power and money.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  186. Ron

    This is why you will not get anyone to run for office that is normal and could possibly be a great statesman or statesperson.
    Too Bad. I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel. Oh Wait-Maybe I do see a light-A coming train wreck!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  187. BrokenGov

    Americans allowed them to get away with everything and consistently put them back in office.
    They are feeling invulnerable and now feel they can do no wrong. If there is any complaint they just apologize to the public and get back to usual politics.
    Until they are held accountable nothing will change or it will get worse. Hopefully America will wake up soon and stop supporting them.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  188. Overby from Melbourne

    It starts at the top and works it's way down....when you turn on the news and get a clip of the Obama's swaying and grooving and grinning with self-indulgence and excess while they get a private Paul McCartney concert all while the entire Gulf coast is being obliterated and ruined for decades to come and the millions of people losing their income and way of life, you just know there's no dignity left in politics.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  189. David

    With someone like Sarah Palin hanging around you seriously have to ASK that question?!?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  190. Roger

    We've lost our dignity in politics because we've lost it as a society. Television, which is enterntainment to millions, consists of a rude judge (Judge Judy), solving differences by fighting while a crowd cheers (Jerry Springer), and watching someone fall in love by tearing others apart (The Bachelor). Our poiliticans are no different than what we watch on TV and we accept it. Politicans feed us irrelevant triva like hairstyles of the opposition because it entertains us. We understand the nonsense much more easily than investing time and thought into understanding complex problems like health care. With the entertainment,a new standard is set and our dignity is lowered. What time does "Entertainment Tonight" come on?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  191. Matthew Hahn

    I don't think politics has any less dignity than it ever did. I do think that what's interesting is that news people now report these crass statements and that the behavior is becoming more common publicly. When things turn bad or become confusing for a politician then their tendency to say something hyperbolic is more likely to get out of a jam or to defame their opponent. It seems to work on the base vote, but not independents who then believe and rightly that someone saying such things is not mature enough to hold office.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  192. J

    They are all running for office all the time. Nothing else matters. Here is an idea. No one is allowed to spend more than 1 million on their run for any public office. Period. Also how about we let them know that they are not allowed to write, lecture or in anyway make a profit from their job for at least 5 years after they leave office. If they fail to follow these rules they get fired and are never allowed to vote or run for office again. How about that?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  193. Chris Astoyan


    It's because they love to torture the hard working American's while they sit around and play the typical game of politics.

    Chris from CA

    June 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  194. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The first politicians of this country began this trend in politics that say if I can shame you I will look better.

    Shame, guilt, and fear have been the tools of control for human kind since we first started walking on two feet and formed speech. We use it in our corporations, our politics, our religions, and our families in order to have absolute dominance over one another, nothing more satisfying than having power and control over another human being or group; bull crap.

    Quite frankly, it is our way of life. But then that is our dysfunction as how can we ever be truly compassionate, loving, and grateful as we were meant to be if we judge, assume, and criticize each other constantly?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  195. xs10tl

    Jack, I think we can trace the general nastiness in politics these days directly to the period when Republicans held power across the board while Bush was in power. The arrogance, greed, selfishness, and condescending attitude towards anyone who was not a Republican, white, and affluent was(and still is) legendary.

    Who could forget such fine form gentleman as Tom "The Hammer" Delay, Karl "Propaganda Minister" Rove, and the aptly named Dick "Go F___Yourself" Cheney. Of course it was a Republican congressman (from South Carolina, aptly enough) who called the President a liar ("you lie!") on the floor of the house during his health care speech.

    From that moment on, its essentially been a free for all.

    (btw the name is pronounced "existential" and I'm from CA)

    June 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  196. QS


    Our elected officials and representatives are nothing more than a reflection of ourselves in this country.

    We are the ones that created this culture of selfishness, greed, arrogance, intolerance, etc...we need look no further than in the mirror to see where these politicians are getting their "talking points" these days.

    I would say "it's sad" but that's so cliche anymore since lately it's being used far too often. Instead I'll say that it's embarassing, nay, humiliating to me nowadays to say that I'm American due to the offensive, crass, beligerent, childish, self-righteous attitudes and positions of people who are supposedly there to represent me!

    Which, being gay, I never feel I'm truly represented in the first place anyway. So of course I'm left with choosing the lesser of all these evils when it comes to voting! My vote will always go to the person who at least SEEMS to have my interests at heart....which inevitably leaves me with slim pickins, if you get my point!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  197. David

    Dignity in politics??? i don't want dignity, I want competence. Of course you will not find either one with any of the garbage eaters we have in Washington, D.C. or at state level.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  198. Malcolm Byrd

    It's the snowball effect. It started January 20th, right after president Obama got sworn in. The RepubliCANTS swore among themselves that this president would fail from day one. All respect for leadership was thrown out of Washington by the Jim Crow society. Boehner, Mitchell, Cantor, and mr. "you lie", mr. "Obama's waterloo", the list goes on and on. Now all you can hear are people talking in code about taking our country back. Who took it? When were we invaded and who's flag replaced the stars and stripes. Get real! We still have our country, it's just that the Tea Party, and the RepubliCANTS can't except the the fact that a person of color occupies the WHITE house.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  199. Jeffrey Bach

    There is just as much class in politics these days as there is in the media. Glass houses, Jack.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  200. Bob

    Let me see: The Republicans refuse to admit "anything" he Democrats do is good and the Democrats refuse to admit anything the Republicans do is good. We have had two parties who have for many years done the we and they thing. To make matters worse the voters from each party have the same attitude and history shows that NEITHER party has done a good job while in office and they all plain do not do anything the people want. The people want no amnesty and E-Verify to take back our jobs and prevent Illegal aliens from entering the country yet BOTH parties flat refuse this they want cheap labor and the vote. The people want an end to out sourcing and a heavy tax on china to bring our jobs back to America and BOTH parties refuse. The people want regulation of big business after Enron, AIG, Banks, Big Oil, etc and both parties refuse. There is NO doubt it is time to throw out the incumbents and elect a third party to prevent the we-they attitude but THE PEOPLE REFUSE because they are stuck in the "my party" attitude. There is absolutely no end in sight and the only saving factor for me is that I am old and will die before "both parties" completely screw up America. GOOD LUCK AMERICA. Press 2 (not 1) for English.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  201. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    In terms of written history or coverage by media, when approximately did Government attain a level of dignity in the first place ? We watch "them" because they need to be watched, forget integrity.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  202. Lynnette

    Because, Jack, it is now the "Sarah Palin" and "Tea Bagger" era of politics. Lots of hateful soundbites talking about who "real Americans" are and how everyone who doesn't look, talk, act, and think just like them are evil, and yet providing no answers on real issues that face us. I have many friends who are Conservatives (poor souls) and they love Sarah Palin. I ask them what specific policies or proposals they like and they stare blankly. It is because Sarah and most of the politicians out there don't offer solutions. They offer one liners (hows that drill baby drillin workin' out for you Sarah?) and seek to cause divisions and never, ever talk about real policies or real solutions. I'm disgusted with the whole lot of them and the stupid people who elect brain-dead politicians.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  203. Peter

    huh? I thought all the anchors to a one were clamoring for Obama to go catatonic. Are you not being the hypocrite here?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  204. Richard A.F. Nelson

    It is what it is Jack, simple-minded people making simple-minded remarks. They are the usual suspects: atypical lawyers who have notoriously super-sized egos. They say what they believe will win their point of view and oftentimes don't appear to know the proper thing to say, let alone do when in office.

    Greenville, Texas

    June 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  205. Michael in Phoenix

    Are you sure it has not always been like this? Perhaps the speed at which information moves today has brought this to our attention.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  206. Connor Artman

    Wait a minute... you are criticizing the president for asking whose ass to kick, claiming it was inappropriate to do so on national television. As you repeat what he said on national television...

    Perhaps decorum and decency are less important than conveying the sense of urgency with which officials need to handle the people responsible for the disaster. And politics isn't a place for worrying about what you say in case you offend people – the last thing I want are more yes men in Washington.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  207. ronvan

    Dear Jack: Changing times, no morals or standards, no family values, fight for the almighty dollar. Isn't it nice to be a modern & free society.

    Van Columbus, GA.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  208. Sam R.

    Jack –

    I live in Chicago where politics have never, ever been dignified in my 25 years of life.

    In my opinion it was the year 2000 when US Politics lost all dignity. This is a great country when Daddy's SCOTUS appointees can help you become president!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  209. Bob

    Our politicans from Both parties are like the oil spill there is apparantly NO SOLUTION.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  210. Ed, Norman, OK

    Dignity? In the words of HP's Carly..That's so yesterday........

    June 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  211. greg texas

    you know carly the outsourcer's hair does not look so hot either. I guess it hides her horns pretty good though. She must have learned that from Sarah "drill baby drill" Palin.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  212. Chris B

    No dignity left because regardless of Party, they do not know how to solve ANYTHING!!
    I really wish the government would kick this oils Arse, instead of looking like one.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  213. Sylvia in Texas

    If politicans were truly interested in serving America then they would be called service men and women. There is no diginity in popularity contests or sound bite wars. Never has been and never will be. By the way, you make my day better Cafferty!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  214. John

    Jack ,,,,,, i believe that anyone truly qualified to assume a position of leadership would never take the Job. I long for the days when dueling at sunrise on the sand bar was legal tho ....

    Cushing, Ok.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  215. JC

    Like businesses CEO's, Politics and Government have been out to GAIN money, and NOT look at the True Basics that we ALL need in our lives!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  216. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, you have to be kidding. Dignity has nothing to do with politics. Politics is ALL about getting your face on the media, dignified attitudes, cooperation, bipartisanship, self-control, etc, DON'T make news as evidenced by your very question! Quit giving these lard-heads air time and see how quickly they get around to doing what they were hired to do, running the country. Media coverages of politicians are mostly rewards for BAD behavior, so what do you expect?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  217. James Seibert Jr.

    Jack, dignity won't get you air time on the nightly news.

    Lindenhurst, NY

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  218. Rick Nickell

    Short answer: We have given up

    Detailed explanation:

    In the wake of the BS we are faced with in this country, from the U.S. Justice System to the health care system to politics and any other issue you want to cite, we have become cynical and apathetic to life in general. It has all come down to "get what you want no matter the cost". That applies to all walks of life from the top down. Obama is a decent president but that matters very little. These days, it is impossible to get anything of consequence done at any job.

    The problem is too big, and too overwhelming. Therefor, we all just gave up. That includes me.

    Rick Nickell
    Cumberland, VA

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  219. Kelly Thompson

    Where has the dignity gone? You are kidding me right? The way your mouth runs a daily basis that is the pot calling the kettle black!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  220. Theodore R. Wade Jr.

    There has never been a semblance of dignity or culture, only a facade. This country is and has always been a culture of greed, lacking dignity except as a facade.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  221. Brandon

    Backstabbing liars, thieves, and adulterers; these are the people who make up our government, when has it ever had dignity?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  222. Robert Sando

    Jack, You need look no further than the room you are in! 24 Hour cable news, and it's desire for bigger and juicier stories is largely on the hook for this .

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  223. Dwight Gulley

    Why? Because the American people let it. Our education system has failed. We don't teach basic civics courses, the public doesn't understand or care about how the system works – and as a result – elected officials can sell any snake oil they want. We rely too much on the media and not enough on our own minds.

    Dwight Gulley
    Auburn, AL

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  224. fred

    No Class, there seems no moral compass anymore , since the greatest generation has passed on.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  225. Mike

    It lost its dignity when the right wing began melding religious beliefs with political beliefs. Because if you disagree with their religious point of view, you are just not a person who differs in opinion, you are evil. There is no room for compromise when ones religion is concerned, because they believe they are on the side of God on opponents are therefore on the side of evil.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  226. John Poggendorf; Prescott, AZ

    Dignity has departed as a function of the bush/cheney regime having surgically removed any semblance of middle ground in politics.

    In typical non-nuanced binary republican thinking that which is not with them is against them. That which is not their way is the highway. That which is not their way is anti-american Marxist socialist godless treasonist unpatriotic filth.

    Democrats are nuanced thinkers and see shades of grey where republicans see only black or white. They have drawn a line in the sand and put us in a culture war the likes of which we have not seen since our first Civil War....and perhaps may well have drawn all of us into our second!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  227. Robert Reardon

    Compare it to high definition television. We are now able to see ALL the blemishes of our favorite air personalities. "High definition" political coverage shows our politicians to be the sleazebags they are. It is not new. Listen to the LBJ tapes and then tell us of the dignity of our past politicians.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  228. Spencer in Oakland CA


    Two Words! Rovian Politics!

    All we have to do is thank Carl Rove & the previous administrations introduction of slash and burn, divide and conquer politics. Bi-Partisan politics is dead, & respect no longer exists.

    Enough Said!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  229. Dan Pennington

    Because its a power grab situation. No matter the party. Politicians are only concerned with their own welfare and interests, rather than the intrest of the people they represent.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  230. Gloria D.

    They have lost their dignity when they all realized how much they could get of the Almightly Dollar! Seeing every body doing it... they want to join the team of greed, purchasing power, and gimme gimme gimme!!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  231. slimjim66

    Let them March all they want . As long as they PAY their TAXES .

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  232. Pat Currey

    Critics complain that the President is not emotionally engaged in the oil spill problem and then when displays emotion and wants to know whose ass to kick they complain about that. They want it both ways.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  233. John S. from Charlotte

    Why have we lost dignity in politics? Take a look in the mirror! The American public is brainwashed, bamboozled and sensationalized by special interests, corporate ad dollars and media's special attention to the petty nonsense that trivializes everything and fixes nothing. Take a look in the mirror America! You have a terrible government because you're apathetic, petty and ignorant. It's that simple.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  234. steve- virginia beach

    I don't think it's just in politics. Seems to be a general decline in American values over the years that coincides with two-income households hence less parenting, leaving it up to day care centers and schools to raise their children. and the idiotic idea that parents should be their child's friend rather than provide traditional common-sense parenting. The end result is now governing our country.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  235. Joe

    When we watch cable news each night and the same lost of semblance of dignity is viewed each night the American people think that's natural.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  236. Tom Gunshannon

    They do represent us, Jack. We've become a nation of uncouth morons, if we weren't all along. Go to any suburban mall and just sit and listen; parents cussing at the kids, kids cussing at the parents, parents cussing at each other. That's what we've become and so goes our politics.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  237. Bill from Greensboro

    It's very obvious, Jack. The politicians are bought and paid for by Wall Street. Both parties. Why do you think there are 'limits' on liability that can be incurred by TransOcean or BP?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  238. Denise Meridith

    Come on, Cafferty! You and the rest of the media would not have any material without these types of comments. You love it! In fact, reporters go out of their way to bait politicians into saying nasty things about others (e.g., "Did you hear what so-and-so said about you? Let me run the tape for you...).

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  239. Linda in Arizona

    Oh, so what? Is this the worst thing you can find to complain about? Who cares?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  240. lois

    It's no worse than in the past. what is wrong is the way the media covers comments. You idiots cut and past to shoe the most conflict and the dumbest politician there is. If we end cable TV, we would have better politicians.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  241. Dawson Mathis

    Two words. Newt Gingrich. It all began with him.
    I'm from Nashville, Georgia.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  242. Mike Hendrick

    I don’t know. Let’s try asking the people jerking the purse strings. When everything and I mean everything, is about power and money where is there room for dignity. When you have people like Mitch MacConnell and Johe Boehner spewing venom at anything that cuts into profits where is there room for dignity? And for gods sake why can't a grown man say ass to make a point. Lets just try to keep our conversations pertinent and not get all moralistic at the drop of a mature phrase.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  243. Bill Klein

    Question for YOU, Jack: Since when did politics ever have anything to do with dignity? With politicians on both sides willing to say or do anything to get elected, bowing and scraping to any K Street suit waving a checkbook or vouchers for all-expenses-paid resort weekends, not to mention all the hookers, mistresses, "baggage handlers", Minneapolis airport restrooms and Appalachian trails, I have gotten to the point where I feel the need to shower after watching Sunday morning panel shows. What and where is this "dignity" you speak of?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  244. Mike

    This is America Jack. Us common working folk use the term kick ass on a regular basis. It does not upset our sensitivity if our President sounds like us. President Obama can say 'ass' and 'kick ass' and if you can't deal with it, then you can kiss my ass.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  245. Mike Mims

    Simple. No one with dignity is in politics in this country.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  246. Bruce, California

    There you go again... Jack. You ask why dignity is lost, hmm. Perhaps it's because whack-out entertainers with big & loud mouths took over mainstream news reporting. Perhaps it's the media bosses who lost the semblance of dignity first and the politicians have allowed themselves to be sucked right in the wake of the media low-lifes. How's that for a loss of semblance?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  247. Marsha Lindsey

    In the last 10 years some politicians of both ilks have shown their belief in their own autonomy irregardless of the oaths of office they have taken. Fiduciary irresponsibility and disregard are reflective of the "politically insulated" status they maintain. We simply have lost the ability to call them to account. Who do we voters complain to?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  248. Gary

    I am surprised that Jack Cafferty is suddenly concerned with dignity in public. There was a time when men his age retired quietly with dignity. If he is so concerned with Barack Obama mentioning "kicking someone's ass" what would he have done around Harry Truman? The President's verbage seems pretty mild to me in comparison.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  249. Leon Kellner,Chapel Hill, NC

    The American people are getting what we asked for. By permitting our elected officials to gerrymander districts, our politican can play to the lowest common denominator, the wing nuts are bot ends of the spectrum. Until we stand up and trow out the people who are making a mokery of our system, we will continue to get what we deserve. Throw them all out and start over. If that crop doesn't work, start over again, and again until we get a group who understands.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  250. Sky in CA


    Because we (the people of the US) have forgotten our roots, we have taken God our of our schools, we give our children "time-outs" instead of good old fashioned discipline and respect for our neighbor has gone out the window.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  251. rick

    Jack- Your Victorian side is showing. Politics has never had much dignity, at least behind the scenes. Historians add dignity after the fact.

    Someone who doesn't like you as much as I do would also point out that you just said the "a" word in question, on the air during family viewing time, at least as many times as those you are critiquing! You rascal you!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  252. Warren in Leitchfield, KY

    I can't remember the last time U.S. politics had any "dignity!" Where've you been, Jack? I think what we have now started with Willie Horton, but I could be wrong. We get what we ask for. It's us, our culture, our expectations, our values. They are all reflected in our politics.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  253. Terri from Las Vegas Nevada

    There is no dignity in politics anymore. 'Politics' has become a profession, when it should be a noble service to one's community. Instead of poeple living for a noble purpose, however, we have career politicians who are out to get as much publicity and controversy as they can so they will have enough media coverage to be remembered at the polls. It is an agenda-driven profession that is more akin to ancient Roman corruption. Political news today more closely resembles what you would see in a middle school playground than anything else – and that is sad. They think the American people are stupid – and they may be right. We are electing these immature clowns after all!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  254. Denise Bloomington Indiana

    Twenty-four hour news cycle.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  255. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    Americans are a bit crude do to a strong desire to be just one of the people and not to appear effete or elite. These remarks were always being made but before Nixon, these remarks would never be reported. Now it is considered essential news coverage and the media rushes to beat their competitors.

    It's the media, stupid.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  256. Peggy Howell

    According to the news I have been hearing the American people want President Obama to get mad. When he gets mad which usually means you have to curse some to show you are really mad, then he gets criticized. The man can't win. Give him a break. As in the other cases I think they are just another example of who the American constituents want to run the country. We keep voting for them after all.
    I think it is basically the constituents who are to blame. They are constantly waving signs with childish and unnecessary remarks, acting just as bad as the politicians. Peggy in Sparta Tenn.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  257. Morgan

    I don't think we need to be overly sctrutinous of our leaders silly slip ups. While embarassing, none of these people have commited crimes. We should focus on more damaging political crisis, like planted canidates in primaries and corpoations that laugh in the face of the federal authority.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  258. anthony m

    The President finally shows a little fire, and you want to tell him the proper way to show his ire. why dont the american voters just stay out of the elections and let the media setup a puppet, then you can tell them what to do and say. The governor of Lousianna and the parish president whines too much.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  259. Mavent

    Great points about 'dignity', Jack. Now explain to us why you referred to California as "The Left Coast".

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  260. Larry

    Will we ever learn. Why are people constantly conned into beliveing paying 72 million for a job that pays one hundred and fifty thousand is a great deal...? For some people yes... just not "All the people". Politics a one huge scam worse now than ever...!!!( Reaganomics) destroy are manufacturing base and real wages for the last thirty years.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  261. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi again Jack,

    actually I do not think the comment which ass to kick rings really true to this President and at least no names were name!:) But, it sure does ring true to what the american people are feeling and were feeling at the time due to the increasing frustrations from this crisis and I'm sure the President must have felt similar frustrations as well as being the people's representative! So...for the record which ass to kick does not bother me as it express people have to be held accountable even if it includes government and corporation for not preventing this crisis according to their respective responsibilities since it seems the licensing responsibility was dysfunctional and now we seem to see that response plan for emergency from the corporation seems also dysfunctional when one reads about a dead scientist as a point of contact...from which dimension!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  262. MG

    Dignity would require a certain level of modesty. It appears that we have lost our sense of modesty. The term that the president chose earlier this week is more indicative of our times than anyone will admit. Our choices of words are less tactful, the attention to audience less considerate. I couldn't imagine Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. resorting to such mundane language to express himself.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  263. lmt

    It appears to me that President Obama cannot do right by anyone. It was not too long ago that people were complaining that President Obama was not "angry enough" about the oil spill. Then, when President Obama finally does show some anger, you criticize the manner in which he does so. Please!!! give the President a break. Also, if you want to talk about lack of dignity, I don't think the President's use of the word "ass" should be the place to start. Why don't you look at some of the degrading and racist remarks that have been made against President Obama by other politicians. I do not mean mere criticisms of his policies, as I have my own criticisms of him, but some politicians have been down right cruel and used personal attacks.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  264. Deborah

    Simple; because so many people have lost any semblance of dignity. Politics is only one aspect of our society; there's little dignity left anywhere these days. Most people couldn't define it and wouldn't know it if they saw it.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  265. Harry Moscatiello

    The loss of integrity and dignity is because so many people with money, now go to psychiatrists and take drugs when they feel bad. A person feels bad when they start to go astray, or do something wrong. Now with these medications, people make themselves numb to their own feelings which are directly related to their actions. It's not just elected officials who have lost their dignity, it's whole sections of our society. Look at BP, they made so many billions over the last 5 years, and look how stupid it was to not invest in clean up technology. They clearly did something stupid, and without dignity. They're probably taking more even more medications now.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  266. Karin

    When Palin is consired a viable option for the second most important job in land, it's now a free for all, come as you are kinda party, Jack!! All you need to run for office now is a catchy one-liner and a whole lotta cash!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  267. bobbo1948

    We're all just tooting our own horns, as none of this criticism will reach the ears of those we're criticizing, or anyone with the power to improve the problem. Yep, our politicians suck. They don't listen to us, but to special interest and the money it spreads around. Plus, their inability to compromise, for the common good of mankind. Let no legislator be exempt from public scrutiny or criticism.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  268. Dan Ari

    They're no different, but the cameras are there to catch them.

    Have you never said something that you wouldn't want broadcast to the nation? Just be glad that there aren't cameras following you everywhere.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  269. Mason

    We can complain and point fingers all day long but in the end the downward spiral associated with our political system is largely due to the apathy of the American people. We are not holding our politicians accountable for their poor performance. Heck over one third of Americans never even vote, how can you expect to be represented properly with such widespread sloth.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  270. Rick

    Because America has lost it's semblance of dignity.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  271. Braden

    Her hair might be yesterday but her political views have helped to turn California upside down.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  272. Peg - AZ

    Why? Because those are the comments that happen to make it on the news. These same candidates (some of them anyway) also have a lot of great things to say, but what makes it on TV? Just all the drama and silliness. Why? Because apparently, that is what people seem to want. We only have ourselves to blame. We say. "Why doesn't; Obama act mad? But when he does what we want, we find fault with that too. Everyone's a critic. We seem to like knocking people off any high horse. Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves. But truly, it is as you say, like a bunch of taunts being exchanged on a fifth grade playground and I am so tired of it. Can we please hear about the real news now?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  273. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Politics lost all dignity because it became a race fueled by money, for money (eventually) or ego, instead of a promise to help Americans with savoir-faire, knowledge and dedication. In the California race with obscene funds, we all suffered hearing candidates too often trashing their opponents. Not once I heard Madame Whitman explain how she woud accomplish what she promised to do for California. Madame Fiorina did basically the same. These women are catty; their remarks are not honorable. They both lost my vote.
    Jacqueline, San Diego CA

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  274. Janet LaRue

    I am a Democrat so I would like to say it all started with the Republicans two years ago during the elections but truth be told I think it started first with Mr. and Mrs. Clinton making insulting remarks about Obama and then it went stratospheric when Sarah Palin picked up the mic and delivered the pettiest, meanest, most demeaning and insulting speech I have ever heard and she directed it all towards then candidate Obama. It was like if Hillary and Bill can insult him I REALLY can! In 35 years of voting I have never seen a party go so far into the gutter as McCain/Palin did. They did nothing to stop the racists remarks and suddenly all the things I grew up thinking were politically incorrect were ok because of them. You have to admit the socialist/communist/fascist/racist/baby killer remarks are well rooted on the right. The worst I think I will say is that Palin is an idiot but it seems to me you said the same thing!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  275. Rick

    I blame those enablers of greed and intolerance, the neoconservatives, for this country so lacking in civility. They holler, scream and call people names like a bunch of petulent 5-year-olds. And with them, Lord help you if you disagree with them.

    I also think this country's bend toward intolerance started with Disco Demolition Night. Think about it.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  276. Wayne King

    Jack, I know it's Friday, so thanks for the easy question to end the week. The dictionary defines 'bottom feeders' as scavenger fish that feed on the botttom of a body of water – basically a fish that exists on the garbage it lives in. The cesspool that we call politics in this country is filled with bottom feeders in Washington and other states that feed off of the same garbage they swim in too. Think about it – catfish aren't pretty – should we expect our politicians to be beauty queens?

    Wayne King – Gilroy, CA

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  277. Eli

    Haven't you read any blogs lately? They are full of foul language and low-ball insults. The internet has changed our national dialogue; comments are now reduced to insults and injury. It is a very rude era we are in at the moment

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  278. Mac

    That's easy Jack. Thank Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and Faux News.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  279. Shari from Madison WI

    Jack, humanity has lost dignity. People are either way right or way left, there is no middle. Racism is still rampant and it's all about slinging mud at your opposition rather than what you believe. We reap what we sow. May God have mercy on us all!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  280. Marianne Murphy

    Dignity? Respect? Everyday I tune into CNN it seems that the attitude gets harsher and harsher. Do you really think it's going to change if we are constantly exposed to "news" programs that look for everything sensational. I'm so tired of all this drama!! Have you guys forgotten how to report substantial news. Granted the oil spill is horrendous, but there must be other news around the world and country. Get over yourself and take responsibility for some of this bad behavior!!!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  281. Tim Hill

    We in the general public love to hold elected officials to a "higher standard". Get real and give these people a break! That is how human beings learn.....by making mistakes. As long as we learn from them, and they are small, no harm, no foul. These that you have mentioned frankly are not even worth discussing. We have much bigger problems.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  282. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    Ever seen the British Parliament in action? We still have a bit of a drop to the bottom.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  283. Holly

    With the current state if technology, everything is changing. You can't pick your nose without someone putting it on YouTube anymore. The same goes for political figures, celebrities, etc. Now everyone has breaking news alerts on their phones and viral videos. No more prepared comments or publicist-washed statements. And we (the consumers) feed into it. In the past, people didn't care what whoever said about whoevers hair. And it's only going to get worse...

    June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  284. Lee Halyard

    Good Question Jack!

    This ramped up cynicsim seemed to have started on the Right shortly after Obama was elected, with knucklehead Senators calling him a liar from the floor of the senate, and suggesting a quick waterloo for the newly elected President. But rather than do what the President said he would do and coalese around areas of bi-partisianship, he hired a Chief of Staff that has never brought anyone together on anything, and has a VP, that shows the extent of his educated vocabulary when congratulating the President, and a host of other un-dignified acts.

    My answer to your question is I Don't Know,however to continue to think about is really scarey

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  285. fJohn A. Fabian Oradell, N.J.

    Jack- Sadly, the fact is that the average voter is no longer looking for dignity.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  286. linda grubb

    There is no semblance of dignity in American politics because Americans accept the unacceptable. Dignity has been watered down. Any lack of decorum in a politician's behavior first starts with the blame game/denial. Then ends up with a meaningless apology which erases all bad behavior and gives them a $ bonus and a seat on another corporate board.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  287. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Politics is like being in the acting business the only difference is a politician has to play both roles of being a good guy and a bad guy. It's all a diversion but it plays out well for them because we never figure out what the real plot is until it's too late.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  288. Matt Burchett

    Politics has lost all semblance of dignity because the political appetite of the constituency has lost their dignity. With the Tea Partiers, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and their ilk, the right has gone so far that it can never recover. The level of nastiness that this new political theater has brought about disgusts me daily. The GOP believes that they can win back hearts and minds by playing on fear and speaking down to the lowest common denominator. They are scraping the bottom of the American barrel and these are the results.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  289. Jim in AZ

    If you seen the clip, it was more disturbing that she was having a conversation while on her PDA looking at email/texts? She is a loser, that makes her perfect for politics...

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  290. amber duerson

    In my opinion, the reason politics has lost most of its dignity, is because of the fundamental morals of the people making these remarks. If you curse at home around your children why would you not around others regardless of who might be watching. If you are prone to petty gossip with your close friends why would you not to someone else. I'm not saying that these people all lack morals, just that they might not think that mudslinging or cursing are as bad as some others do. I personally can not remember a political campaign that wasn't full of these types of tactics, while not as petty, tacky all the same. I personally think that in itself is a shame.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  291. Venessa

    The lost their mind because we have lost our. The problem with the world is that we have decided to make our leaders LEADERS and not realizing that they are just as low as us. The way people behaved over money, than war. The way people behave over oil and money, then death. Comparing Oil disaster to Katrina. Both sad situations, but when we are able to justify it then that we now have our answer to what is wrong with the political establishment. They get to behave the way they do because we do and to speak SOFTLY and carry a big stick is no longer the way of doing things.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  292. Mark B.

    It is progressivism that has brought us here and when we boot out all these liberal utopian doormats you will see the difference. I also point to life-long careers being persued in public office – there is NOTHING dignified in that. I applaud people like Bachmann and dare Iay it, Palin who stick to their guns no matter whatt is slung at them by media that favors the liberal utopian doormats. Finally all this is just a reflection of removing God from the eqaution in our home lives, school lives, government and families. The founders predicted this and still we pay no heed.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  293. Glen In Phoenix

    Jack, our politicians are merely a shadowy reflection of our society. Rules of civility and courtesy are simply ignored today. Most people can't seem to hold a debate on any issue without it descending into playground name-calling.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  294. david

    It began when Richard Nixon destroyed Presidential integrity and ended when Dick Cheney crowed to the press that he thought using profanity on the floor was "kind of the best thing I ever did "

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  295. Robert Read

    Jack, Don't worry about what politicians say but we should be worring about the fact that Governorship and U.S. Senator position are for sale ifone has ten ofmillions ofdollars to spend while American is surrering in the Great Recession. All Empires Fall andnow it is America's turn. America is being destroyed from within with the corruption of politics at all levels and positions including the Judiciary and of course Congress.

    Thank You

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  296. Jason - Washington D.C.

    Carly Fiorna at least wasn't signing off on some covert spying operation on Barbara Boxer like she did when she was CEO of HP.

    Why did they elect someone like this again? I don't get it.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  297. Jim Steele

    Jack you are spot on about US politicians acting like kids on a playground. It is though America has undergone a metamorphosis in a backward direction relegating to lesser than juvenile thinking in most any issue that comes to pass nowadays. Whether it be of the utmost importance, as the present oil spill or mundane as to reporting stories such as the Dutch bloke that murdered more than likely his second victim recently. My take on most of this childishness is that laws in most countries of the world with the US at the top of the list, have undergone what I term as being "religionized." People are just too willing to turn their other cheek when most any sort of crime is committed, and the just punishment toward 90%of those crimes the world over is just administered in too little of an amount. As a result we see a lot of stupid rhetoric coming from dumbed-down politicians as a by-product of lax punishment for crime in general.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  298. Cliff Bennett

    Instead of being "evasive," or "professorial," President Obama used language that quite a lot of people would use in the same situation. At least we know where he stands.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  299. styve

    I don't know how truly different our politics are from previous generations, but for years many have called our generation the Me Generation and the new X, Y, Z generations don't seem to be very different. What we call dignity could be nothing but pretentiousness. I believe true dignity comes from good character: respect for God/morality, self and for others. Selfishness destroys character and dignity. I remember the national debate as to whether good personal character even matters in leadership. The Harvard trained, skilled leaders of companies like Enron put an end to that debate for a while and here is another example if we need one.
    Palm Springs, CA

    June 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  300. Phil from Bremen, IN

    Well, it's mainly due to people like you and your colleagues, Jack. Dignity doesn't hold people's interest in a 24 hour news cycle. Politics now is all about how "ugly" it can get and you guys eat it up. Who's got the most money and the biggest mouth is now what it's all about.

    Reason and compromise is boring. It doesn't matter that nothing gets done anymore only what scandal or outrageous behavior is the latest "tweet". So, don't lament about dignity, Jack. You guys would just complain it's not news worthy. A simple case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm |