If I had to blame it on something, it would be Richard Nixon's paranoia and the journalists that uncovered it. Don't get me wrong, I was glad they did, but two things subsequently happened and neither was of any benefit. Because we saw way the FBI and CIA could be abused and how they had been operating, we went overboard (the "American Way") and decided to disembowel both organizations. At the same time we began to put a premium on the "Investigative Journalist." Everything and everybody became fair game, to the smallest minutiae. I didn't care that Billy Carter took a leak in front of Air Force One and I didn't give a shit if the Ford kids did drugs. I didn't really care if Reagan couldn't remeber jackshit so he kept a box of clippings anymore than I gave a damn about a guy gettin' his hat blown.
Now I know this wasn't all Nixon, but it was then that these two things came together in a way that has kept us from having a better Intel community as well as getting the best people in office. We have axed presidential candidates off at the knees for things that would never have mattered 50 years ago. Fifty years ago......Could you even imagine Eisenhower taking a piss? He was the President fer chrissakes and we may all not have loved him, but we gave him a private life that was private as we had done for many years before with other presidents.
Any elected official's politics have always been fair game and even some of their mannerisms and speech patterns have been the fodder of many a comedian, but when we start taking that crap seriously as we have in the past 30 years, we will get what we deserve. We are completely pathetic in this sense. A person's ability has nothing to do with it anymore.
Spaw.....Yeah, I'm pissed