To support his claim, Greenwald chronicles some of the nasty, partisan attacks on Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky drama is obvious, but some people may not remember many of the other unsubstantiated and totally lunatic allegations against Clinton. Visit Greenwald's page on Salon.Com (or see Dissenting Justice) for a list of some of these outrageous assertions.
Being Right About the Right
I completely agree with Greenwald. In fact, back in October 2008, I saw this happening already with respect to Obama. I used the moment to "school" some of the younger voters who mistakenly believed that Obama would unify the nation, the world, the parties, etc., but that Hillary Clinton was too divisive for the Democratic Party. I am probably understating things by saying that I found this argument utterly annoying, naive, and misguided.
Although I am modest, I love being right. Here's a snip from Dissenting Justice, 10/18/2008:
One of the things that perplexed me the most during the Democratic primaries was the portrayal of the Clintons as "divisive," a charge that made Hillary Clinton unfit for the presidency. Many of Obama's younger supporters, following his lead, said that Clinton represented "failed politics" of the past, that she would just bring "more of the same" and that all she knew how to do was fight. Obama, they said, offered a "fresh face" and practiced a new form of politics that would unify the country and the world. Recently, Obama himself said he would, in fact, change the world. . . .For the full read, check out: Look Who's "Divisive" Now: The Anti-Obama Attacks Similar to Republican Smearing of the Clintons.
[T]he notion that Obama could somehow escape Republican attacks and bring unity to the two parties seemed like a dubious claim. Some of my closest friends labeled me "too cynical" for making that argument, but in political analysis, I take the cynicism charge as a compliment rather than a slur. . . .
Many of Obama's supporters are voting and paying attention to politics for the very first time. . . .But I wonder whether these young and excited O-voters. . .know that division is a natural part of our two-party system? Have they come to grips with the reality that if Obama wins, the smearing will only get louder and the digging deeper? Do they now realize that political work is often messy -- even dirty -- and that meaningful, large scale change only comes through contestation and battle?