Candidates for President – Worse Than in Times Past?

There are now accusations that Obama may have committed plagiarism in some of his speeches. As I recall, a few decades ago Joe Biden’s presidential campaign came to an abrupt halt because of precisely that issue.

There seems to be some evidence that McCain committed adultery back in 1979, and then there’s the Keating Five issue. Then there’s Hillary, with a whole host of accusations, most imaginary but some funny stuff nevertheless. (Think cattle futures for one example.)

Its hard to imagine serious candidates for president having these, um, attributes, a few decades past. This isn’t to say that candidates weren’t plagiarizers, adulterers, and crooks back in the day (so to speak). Rather, the public at large was unaware of these traits and would not have voted for a candidate that was known to have them.

So what has happened? Is it because, literally, everyone does it, and now we’re reaching a point where the press is efficient enough to obtain evidence? Or is it because we just conclude that these are foibles that don’t matter? Or is it because we’re willing to tolerate it as long as its by someone on our side (but we’re not willing to tolerate it from someone on the other side)?