Republicans have come nowhere near making the number of personal attacks on the private lives of public individuals. One reason, ironically, is that people expect more decent personal conduct from conservatives.
Nor is it intellectually honest to counter that Republicans did the same thing to President Clinton. Had President Clinton said, "I am sorry for my lapse in judgment. I am sorry to my family and to my country," Republicans would have dropped the Monica Lewinsky affair. It was his lying -- to the country and under oath -- that kept the issue alive.
A second reason Democrats and others on the Left use smear as a political weapon is to avoid challenging ideas and intellectual argument. Liberals have been able to do so in all the areas they dominate -- academia, news media and unions. Instead, they have learned to rely on personal attacks, such as routinely labeling opponents "racist," "sexist," "homophobic" and "intolerant."
Third, having been unable to persuade the American public to adopt most of its policies, the Left has increasingly relied on the courts to do what the political process will not do. As Democrat William A. Galston, former aide to President Bill Clinton, admitted this past weekend, "Beginning in the 1950s, the Democratic Party convinced itself that, especially on social issues, the principal vehicle of advance would be the court."
Therefore, nearly all the Left's eggs are in the judicial basket. It knows: no liberal courts, no liberal agenda. When combined with moral contempt for conservatives and an inability to persuade the public, the Left must retain the Supreme Court at any price. And that price is the good name of good people. As you will see.