In Daniel Henninger's latest WSJ editorial, "Obama and the L-Word," he gets precisely but only five words correct: "This is a new low."
Henninger's crocodile lament positively brims with teary indignation at the Obama campaign's abominable suggestion that Mr. Romney, as the entire world now knows, is a world-class scalawag, scoundrel and swindler--simply put, a fucking liar--although much of Henninger's screed is immeasurably, though unintentionally, amusing; e.g., "The idea that they can make voters who live outside the political steam baths believe that a man running for the presidency would stand in front of 67 million people and literally 'lie' about a proposal to change the federal tax code is ludicrous."
Why is it ludicrous? Because Henninger says it's ludicrous, which itself is rather ludicrous, since Mitt Romney just vividly stood in front of 67 million people and literally lied about his proposal(s) to change the federal tax code.
Yet that's not the "new low" that caught my eye. Romney's low-ness is bottomless; just as he's hitting a new one he's contemporaneously digging another, hence to reference the latest low is merely to reference the already obsolete. No, the new low is Henninger's, though it--puerile table-turning--is among the oldest of rabble-rousing tactics:
The Obama campaign's resurrection of "liar" as a political tool is odious because it has such a repellent pedigree. It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars was at the center of it.
Call us Big Lie fascists, will you. Accuse Romney of saying anything, will you. Nay, it's Obama & Friends at Nuremberg, it's Obama & Friends as Stalinist stooges, it's Obama & Friends who are willing to say anything. Take that!
Henninger's is Limbaugh/Coulter-grade material. In the Wall Street Journal. The last, unneeded proof that movement conservatism has moved beyond redemption.