My Democrat friends ridiculed - rightly so - the crazies on the right who bandied about tales of how M/M Clinton were murdering associates left and right.
Now these same friends have become the crazies. They simply are on the other side of the aisle, and bless them: they cannot see that they have morphed into that which they once mocked.
Andrew Ferguson nails this one.
A political activist rang me up and told me I had to see the new documentary about the president.
``It's chilling,'' he said. ``It shows what a slimeball this guy is.''
So I saw the movie, and it was -- how to put this? -- a crock. Watching it I thought: Whoever produced this slanderous mess deserves to be run out of polite society.
That was 10 years ago, and the documentary was a slapdash confection of lies and innuendo called ``The Clinton Chronicles.''
It accused Bill Clinton -- slyly and indirectly -- of drug- running and worse. There was no evidence but lots of insinuation, a series of meaningless coincidences presented in breathless tones so the weak-minded might connect dots that weren't there.
Now the U.S. is being treated to the same kind of exercise, on a much grander scale, with Michael Moore's scabrous ``Fahrenheit 9/11.'' And once again weak-minded ideologues are lapping it up like hungry pups.
But there's one crucial difference:
Polite society, especially the mainstream press, recognized the producers of ``The Clinton Chronicles,'' a California-based group called Citizens for Honest Government, as the fools they were. After hawking the film on his TV show, the televangelist Jerry Falwell never quite recovered what little reputation he had once enjoyed. Years later, he was still apologizing in TV appearances for associating himself with the movie.
Now, however, the paranoid strain has so thoroughly saturated U.S. politics that Moore's cinematic slander can be feted and extolled -- not only by mainstream movie reviewers but, more ominously, by the same Democratic Party establishment that Moore accuses of colluding with President George W. Bush.
At the Washington premiere of ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' last week, Moore was conspicuously greeted for the cameras by Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
``There might be half the Democratic Senate here,'' Senator Bob Graham of Florida told the New York Times.