There was a time when the Washington Monthly was a thoughtful magazine — perhaps a bit left of center, but mostly radically centrist, fresh, fairminded. But now I keep seeing Steve Benen there show not freshness, but sheer nastiness. Witness this little unsupported bit of character assassination yesterday: “* Barbara Comstock, known for her work as a right-wing smear artist, is running for the Virginia House of Delegates.”
Calling somebody a “smear artist” is calumnious. In the case of Comstock, it’s also deeply untrue. A smear by its nature is a falsehood or at least a misrepresentation. But Comstock is one of the most fact-based people I know. She is relentlessly precise and careful.
Yes, she is running for office. What that means is that now she will be the victim of smears, such as the one Benen just leveled at her. I guess that makes Benen a smear artist.