Has American politics turned into "playing dirty"?

Media Outlet: 

Philadelphia Inquirer

The conduct in Washington and Philadelphia these days has been prone to explosions and breakdowns, irritating many citizens to the point of alienation. But what if "politics" isn't inherently lousy, but rather a good and necessary activity in a democracy? "I think politics has gotten a bum rap," says Temple political science professor Barbara Ferman. "The last 10 years or so at the national level, with all the polarization going on, politics is seen as the thing that stops us from making any progress."