The truth is that there is more mudslinging going on in the country than ever before. But where do people get the mud?
One of the most successful mud-making factories in America is in Washington. I visited it the other day. The head of marketing, Ike Seller, showed me around.
Next to the factory was a railroad siding, where a freight car was pouring unrefined mud into the basement.
"Where do you get the mud?"
"From all over," Seller bragged. "We make the best mud of any factory in the land. When our customers sling it, it sticks."
"How's business?" I asked.
"Better than ever. We're now working three shifts."
"Is there a shortage of mud in America?"
"There is always a shortage of mud, particularly in a democracy. We got a big surge during the 2004 elections, when the Swift boat veterans ordered tons of it to sling at John Kerry."
"I knew they were slinging mud at Kerry, but I didn't know where the mud came from."
"We have a $10 million contract with the same Swift boat people for mud they can throw at AARP, the senior citizens' lobby that's fighting Bush's Social Security plans."
"What are they doing with the mud?"
"They use it to show that AARP is for gay marriages and against our boys in the armed services."
"Does the president know about the contract?"