This is why I get so irritated whenever people bring up the Constitution and interpret it to suit them. For instance, if someone wishes to burn the American flag (or a politician wants to resort to mud-slinging name-calling), all they have to do is say: "It's my first amendment right (freedom of speech). Total BS. There has to be a boundary at some point.
The boundary is when one person's free speech infringes upon another person's rights. But because words by themselves have no real power (ie as in the adage "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"), it becomes difficult to show when hurtful speech (name-calling, mud-slinging, etc.) actually does more hurt to a person than bruised feelings. Our country was established to allow people to freely express themselves, both in words and deeds. Once you start imposing "boundaries" by making certain speech illegal, you begin to deteriorate our freedoms. Oppressive / totalitarian governments grow and strengthen when they can start to control people's thoughts and values. By silencing opposition (even silencing worthless ad hominum
attacks) you only serve to ensure that only one point-of-view is the only point-of-view that is legally acceptable. So while I may dislike when someone starts name-calling instead of debating the issue with facts, I'm still glad that the 1st Amendment does allow that person to spew that garbage.