Politicians Behaving Badly


It seems as if every day, Carl Paladino or Sharron Angle say something that makes your jaw drop. Not even related to their policies themselves, mind you, but just the way they campaign and speak about their political adversaries. We’re talking about threatening a reporter, or warning of armed insurrection, for example. But they’re not alone. Every campaign season sees its share of mean insults and crazy allegations, but the rhetoric in this year’s race seems, on the whole, a little more vitriolic, irrational, and hysterical than usual. In some cases, it’s clear that the boundaries of acceptable political discourse have shifted; remarks that a few years ago would gotten a candidate laughed out of a race are apparently no longer disqualifying. To put it all into perspective, we’ve plotted some of the most memorable examples based on their approximate levels of nastiness and extremism. See how many soul-crushing moments you remember!