American politics has always seen its share of meanness and sharp elbows, but the viciousness and gridlock that characterize today's politics goes right back to Nixon's election.
Lawrence O'Donnell is the author of Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics. He is the host of The Last Word on MSNBC. Formerly an Emmy Award-winning executive producer and writer for The West Wing, O'Donnell also served as senior advisor to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), chief of staff to the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, and the Senate Finance Committee. He is also the author of Deadly Force, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. Born in Boston, O'Donnell graduated from Harvard University.