Forget about donkeys and elephants, 2009 was the year of the political jackass, writes David Kuhn. The usual corruption and infidelities were on display, but that's nothing new. What is new are hyper-partisan, outburst-prone boors like Republican Joe "You Lie" Wilson and Democratic provocateur Rep. Alan Grayson—who "has elevated jackass into a high art," Kuhn writes at RealClearPolitics. "Congress has not seen so undignified a year for at least four decades."
The bad behavior has been amply rewarded, Kuhn notes, with Wilson becoming a conservative hero and reaping millions in donations. Politicians are morphing into cable news pundits, he writes, offering "cheap thrills" to make news and fill airtime. "It feels like the online political universe," Kuhn writes. "The virulence of the political blogosphere has seeped into our politician's discourse. The statesmen have largely left the stage."