It happens on both sides of the pond and today is a good example. We have the Conservative party complaining bitterly about, what could be interpreted, as Gordon Brown backing Barack Obama in a magazine article which is against some unwritten rule in British politics. What he actually said, if he penned the article at all, was that he admired some democrat policy ideas, but this has been seized on by the Tories as another stick with which to beat Gordon Brown. This is a spectacular non-story, a storm in a tea cup if you will. And the US presidential race brings us some incredibly short memories. Barack Obama said this,
He has been accused of sexism and smearing Sarah Palin, which he isn’t, it’s just an ugly phrase. But several months ago John McCain said this about a Hilary Clinton policy,
I think you will find that that is the same phrase, used in the same context.
Stop it! Discuss issues, point out failings and hypocrisies of the other person (and McCain and Palin are both guilty of this), it is politics after all but talk about thing that matter.