Who ruined politics?

Not Gary Hart. Politicians did. The fact that the chummy relationship with the press kept all the dirt safely under the rug for so many years was bound to end sooner or later. The bloodsport of competition in the media certainly helped. Add a touch of media bias on both sides of the aisle, and the natural tendency of politicians to act like the dogs that they are was bound to show up on the front page.
What is most ironic is that a politician, the lowest form of scoundrel, would ever be held to a higher standard than the town drunk. These are people, and in many instances, not the best, or the brightest, and certainly not the most moral.
It is sad that words of the few decent ones, attracted to public service by a desire to do good work, is lost in the cacophony of braying jackasses who are there because they crave attention.