The political posturing has gotten out of hand.

Kerry bashes Bush, Bush defends, and then attacks, and vice versa. Gerlach lambastes Murphy and she gives it back two fold - this race is one of the harshest in our area.

Maybe it's because the races are so close, but the mud slinging and dirty tactics have pushed us to the boiling point.

We cringe when we hear the dreaded, "I'm Candidate X and I approve this message." Only a quick tap of the mute button saves us from an exaggerated string of truths removed from their original context.

Life is too short to have candidates argue during commercial breaks, only allowing a rebuttal in the same form. And the ads have become outlandish. Bush uses wolves mimicking Reagan's famous bear spot and Kerry mooches off of the unfortunate death of Christopher Reeve to promote his political agenda, while repeatedly informing the nation's public that Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter. Again, it has gotten out of hand.

Now, especially in the big races, the parties have pulled out all the stops. A former president and a governor/actor have hit the campaign trail - hard - for both parties. Both Clinton and Schwarzenegger are being used by their parties to draw more and more people to the rallies.

You can almost picture a potential voter saying, "I was going to vote for Candidate A, but since Celebrity D supports B, he's the one that I'll be voting for."

But the political races are about our country, not our overpaid, over indulged celebrities and egos. A vote should be for the betterment of the country, not for the candidate that had better special effects or more pull on the Hollywood scene.

It's going to be and has been a tough election ... one hard fought for both parties. May the winner not be exhausted from all the negative speeches and defenses from vicious attacks so he or she can actually do his or her job.

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