Last year at this time, the brutal presidential election campaign was in full swing. Except "swing" seems so tame, recalling the brutal intensity of what essentially came down to the battle between Good and Evil. (And that pretty much described it no matter which party you belonged to.)
The 2004 campaign went on for too long and cost way too much money. In 2008, most likely it will go on longer and cost even more.
England is holding parliamentary elections now. Their campaigns can be just as vicious as ours, but they only go on for a month. Just imagine what it would be like if you didn't hear a political ad until October 1.
Obviously, under the current system, the candidate with the most money wins. There have been attempts at campaign reform before but it's never made any difference.
Here's my idea. Let's bring back the smoke filled room. Leaders from the Republican and Democratic party get together and hash out rules like no ads until September. End the convention and replace it with a formal nomination and platform presentation that lasts a couple hours. Set real limits on the amount of money spent.
Then they sign it in blood and a third party takes possesion of all their stuff. If both parties follow the rules, they get it back the day after the election.
I know it will never happen, but I can always dream.