Have you noticed the irony in the Left's hollow screams about the alleged dishonesty of conservatives -- when they have demonstrated again and again that they have little respect for truth?
Whether it's demonizing the purest of their ideological enemies or placing their own scoundrels on a pedestal, they persistently prove they are not driven by the lofty ideals of democracy, liberty, national security or even compassion, but by raw pragmatism, expedience and power.
That's why it's difficult to hear liberals cry "every vote must count." They don't want every vote to count. Just ask the military or Ralph Nader's little army of disrupters.
That's why it's hard to watch them feign indignation at President Bush's supposed lies about WMD or anything else. They -- the people who worship the granddaddy of all sociopathic fabricators, Bill Clinton -- simply have no credibility on the issue of credibility.
If it is truth they value, how can they elevate Michael Moore's inflammatory propaganda to a documentary -- especially since many of them have admitted he's taken liberties with the facts?
I can understand them saying that the producer's excesses and inaccuracies in furtherance of foreign policy views they share do not alter the legitimacy of those views any more than an abortion-doctor-murdering pro-life fanatic delegitimizes the pro-life cause. But I cannot abide their treating him as a folk hero instead of a mouth-foaming buffoon.
The Left's only defense against Moore's mockumentary is to charge that people on the right, like Rush Limbaugh, also distort the facts to fit their ideology. But that, too, is a flagrant lie. The only way the Left has ever been able to deal with the Rush Limbaugh phenomenon (something that had to be dealt with because it had the monumental effect of mainstreaming conservatism) is to try to demonize Rush Limbaugh, resorting to the very tactics -- lies, distortions, deceit, context-tampering -- they pretend to abhor.
Forget the fact that it is no defense to a specific charge to say that other people do it. But it is particularly contemptible to evade responsibility by unfairly accusing others of wrongdoing they didn't commit.
I can think of no better example than the Clinton war machine's unrelenting defamation of Ken Starr as an aggressive, sex-perverted ogre, when in fact he is one of the finest gentlemen -- utterly without malice -- around. The same is true of the Left's nuclear assaults against John Ashcroft, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, though the general public would probably never know it, given the consummate hatchet jobs the Left and the media have done on these men.
And don't let their recent short-lived moratorium on Ronald Reagan fool you. They were brutal to Reagan when he was in office too, treating this very intelligent, gentle and gracious man as a simpleton and monster.
And they've been doing the same to President Bush since before he was inaugurated. With unbridled lies, they have done their best to paint him as a liar and a dunce.
I wish we could finally graduate in this campaign year to a debate on the merits of the various issues: foreign policy, national security, the economy, social issues and judicial tyranny.
But that's not going to happen, because the Left can't win this year by playing fair. They engage not in debate but in smear.
From preposterously accusing George W. Bush and Dick Cheney of instigating the war against Iraq for personal profit, to ludicrously attributing the Abu Ghraib abuses to the premeditated policies of Donald Rumsfeld, to trying to make an issue of President Bush's seven-minute "delay" in responding to the 9/11 attacks, to characterizing the current rebounding economy as the worst since the Great Depression, they continue to sidestep and obfuscate.
Other than their unquenchable hatred for President Bush, the reason the Left will not repudiate the likes of Michael Moore, the reason they will not ascend above the mire of the politics of personal destruction, is that they just don't have any real alternative solutions to the problems America faces today. And to the extent they do have those ideas, they dare not utter them in public or they'd be in for the rout of their lives in November.
The longer they blow smoke about President Bush and conservatives, the more sticks and stones they throw, the longer they can avoid telling us what they would do differently -- which will always depend on the way the political winds are blowing.