The Presidency: A Season of Bad Manners

A Season of Bad Manners

Washington's springtime lapse from civility is as worrisome as the issues that provoked the bitterness. Not in many a year have there been such relentless partisanship and personal rancor along the capital's leafing avenues. There is no immunity. Not only has the running Democratic-Republican battle been raised to new intensity, but in the general melee, conservatives have attacked conservatives, legislative allies have thumped one another, special interests have zinged their benefactors, and friends have criticized friends.

Clark Clifford, the former Truman aide who has monitored the political mayhem for four decades, looked out his office window at the White House last...

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