Then, in a Beltway Confidential post Tuesday, I asked what is the difference between folks on the Right calling the eight Republican House members who voted for Obama-Waxman-Markey the “cap-and-traitors,” and the infamous “General Betrayus” ad bought by the Left’s Moveon.org in The New York Times.

In no time at all, comments variously described your humble servant as a “moron,” a spreader of “piffle,” a “clueless knave or a fool,” and “a boil on journalists’ butts,” among much else. A few folks offered reasonable contrary arguments, but the clear verdict of most was that I am either incredibly stupid, or I’ve ingested an overdose of MSM fairy dust…

My main point in raising the issue was not that the word choice itself was grammatically incorrect, however, but that it is evidence of a growing number of people on the Right succumbing to the temptation to use the same vile rhetorical weapon so often deployed by the Left.

The fundamental problem here is that substituting personal invective for logic and fact points to the disappearance of a key aspect of republican virtue – putting the pursuit of truth in public debate before self-aggrandizement, also known as moderation or temperance.