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I am interested in the mechanics for the tit for tat at this level. Is there some leadership group in the parties keeping scores and threatening retribution? If this is happening - somehow the press isn't aware or doesn't report on it.
You assume that there a group doing that in the absence of providing evidence. Theories of that nature commonly called conspiracy theory.
You could use that understanding to update in the direction that this conspiracy theory.

You don't need central groups for the existance of norms of conduct.
I'd like to imagine
A lot of people like to believe in conspiracy theories that have a central group of people being in power. On the other hand that doesn't mean those theories are right.

I had assumed tit for tat in politics was common knowledge - my mistake.
A google book search for "political tit for tat" has only 32k entries
Now I suppose it could still be a conspiracy theory but I am still interested in the mechanics of how that theory works.
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