True, Democrats have also engaged in below-the-belt attacks. Some of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the Michael Moore film, was the liberal equivalent of the anti-Kerry smears. Its innuendos implying that Mr. Bush arranged the war in Afghanistan so backers could profit from an oil pipeline were appalling.
But I, along with some others, immediately complained about “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Aside from John McCain, where are the sensible conservatives?
The only hope for stopping the mudslinging is if well-meaning people try to police their own side.
If they’re intellectually consistent, Democrats will speak out not only against the Swift Boat Veterans but also against Mr. Kerry’s demagoguery on trade, like his suggestion that outsourcing is the result of Mr. Bush’s economic policies. Trade demagoguery may not be as felonious as an assault on a war hero’s character, but it harms America by undermining support for free trade.
He’s a Sensible Liberal, and proud of it. And following his advice is the surest path to a Democratic defeat that I can imagine.