An article in today's Washington Post reads:
Virginia's U.S. Senate race turned nasty Wednesday as Republican Sen. George Allen launched a character attack on his Democratic opponent's past views toward women in combat, signaling the start of a two-month barrage of negative campaigning in what has become a close race.
The background is that in a 1979 article for Washingtonian magazine, opponent James Webb argued against women in combat. Whether or not you think this should be an issue, at least Allen is criticizing something Webb actually wrote. It's worth noting that back in January, Democrats, in a desperate attempt to derail the nomination of Samuel Alito, made a huge issue of his supposed links to a group called Concerned Alumni of Princeton. Ted Kennedy read sexist and racist passages from old issues of the group's magazine at the confirmation hearings in an attempt to make Alito guilty by association, even though there was no evidence that Alito was an active member of the group. The Washington Post wrote about the issue at the time, but it didn't lambaste Kennedy for turning the confirmation hearings "nasty" or for launching a "character attack" on Alito.