"Don't talk about academic politics"? Ha! I wish. Academic politics is nothing but talking. I guess that's true for most all kinds of politics, really.
The First Rule of Academic Politics is: No matter what happens, you have to live with these people afterwards.
Another, perhaps dated, way to say this is that an academic department is like an episode of "Survivor", except that instead of voting people off of the island, you vote them ON. To stay.