Part Two: While this year's political contests seemed especially bitter because personal attacks seemed to outnumber discussions of issues, history suggests that false accusations have been part of American political contests since the early 1800s. The challenge for both parties to work together may be more difficult than previously because of the recent negative campaigns, and the political culture of aggression and hostility that values winning at any cost risks leaving important legislation undone.
The problems with political incivility:
•Change of party control may elicit more incivility, which translates into lack of restraint in listening to differences of opinion. The former majority party can be angry at loss of control, and the current majority party may rush into passing legislation. Incivility creates an inability to govern effectively.
•House rules forbid engaging in personality debates and personal criticism of the Speaker of the House. Both the Senate and House have rules governing behavior on the floor, i.e. talking through the Chair vs. directly at each other as "the gentleman/ lady from California.