There is rancor in the hearts of our nation's political writers. Or at least at their fingertips.

As the Senate sped toward a crisis over the filibuster of judicial nominees, writers referred constantly to the rancor spreading in U.S. politics. The fiendish word, which according to Webster's New World Dictionary means "continuing and bitter hatred," was used 60 times in U.S. newspapers to describe the filibuster fight, which ended without bloodshed — and with an apparently short-lived agreement by senators to "reduce the rancor."

Such foul feelings seem more suited to the Abbey at Bury St. Edmunds — where Henry VI's confidants gloomily swore that "virtue is choked with foul ambition, and charity chased hence by rancor's hand" — than to the august chamber that hasn't seen any decent rancor since 1858, when Rep. Preston Brooks (D-S.C.) used his cane to beat Sen. Charles Sumner (R-Mass.) bloody and unconscious. — Brendan Buhler

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