MUDSLINGING….I suppose the intensely personal nature of today’s back-and-forth between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (here and here) isn’t that big a deal. Happens all the time in presidential contests. Still, the fact that it’s happening in February is yet another good reason to wring our hands over the steadily lengthening campaign season. It’s one thing for campaigns to descend into mudslinging for a couple of hectic final months during the actual primaries, but it’s another for the mudslinging to last for over a year. At the least, it makes it a lot harder to kiss and make up at the convention. By September these people are going to hate each other’s guts.

I might add that it’s made all the worse by the new conventional wisdom that the only proper response to any attack is an instant and vicious counterattack. This is going to get very old very fast.