So you think 2010 has been a dirty campaign? Check out what Adams and Jefferson said about each other in 1800

Folks who have actually read and studied some early American political history – as opposed to those who have merely been told what to think about it by their professors, Rolling Stone or an Obama tweet – can be forgiven for smirking whenever they hear somebody complaining about how negative has been the 2010 campaign.

NBC's Matt Lauer, for example, felt so soiled by it all last week while moderating a debate between California gubernatorial seekers Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman that he injected himself into the campaign news by challenging both candidates to declare an armistice right there, to swear off the mean stuff, and henceforth and forever more to just focus on their positives.

Now along comes Reason TV with a well-done adaption of actual campaign statements about each other by the incumbent president, Federalist John Adams, and his challenger, Democratic-Republican favorite Thomas Jefferson in the 1800 contest.

Having read a great deal about the politics of pre-Civil War and Revolutionary era American politics, I can attest to the fact these wicked bon mots from Adams and Jefferson merely skim the surface of what was common fodder at the time.

HT: Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit. And don't miss all the stuff he points out that you might have missed over the last weekend before what might well be an historic election.

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