Sometimes it seems partisanship has become the foundation of government policy in Washington. Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on very little, it often appears.
Such is not the case, of course, though during an election campaign that can be difficult to discern.
This week U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. - who has made it a priority to work against partisanship for its own sake - became a target in the Republican vs. Democrat nastiness. A fellow senator, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, targeted Manchin in advertising through Paul's political action committee.
The PAC advertising is critical of Manchin for voting against a measure sponsored by Paul, to cut off U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan.
Manchin is locked in a re-election battle against Republican Senate candidate John Raese, of course. That may be part of Paul's reasoning.
But on Tuesday, Manchin received support from what at first glance might seem an unlikely quarter - another Republican senator. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters Manchin was right to vote against the Paul bill.
In fact, the bill was defeated by a vote of 81-10, with many Republicans joining to declare Paul's idea a bad one.
Graham's willingness to defend Manchin, however, is a bright spot in what sometimes seems a dark cloud of partisanship. In a way, it validates Manchin's bipartisan philosophy, and this is a good thing.