It's rather amusing, over the last few days, how the mainstream and left-leaning media have finally discovered that the Clintons are sleazebags.
Like Captain Renault bellowed in Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here" at a casino, then proceeded to collect his winnings -- we've been around the Clintons for the better part of 15 years, and this is news?
What's surprising is not that the Clintons' tactics of the last week were universally condemned -- in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, the Nation, the New Republic, Slate and Vanity Fair -- but the ferocity with which the pundits derided the Clintons.
Former president and would-be First Lad Bill Clinton was the attack dog, let loose to exploit all racial and class divides. Hillary did her own saber rattling during a contentious debate at Myrtle Beach, and her other surrogates did the rest.
But the win-at-all-cost, damn-the-torpedoes approach didn't work in South Carlina. In fact, the voters turned out in record numbers to repudiate the Clintons.
Hillary was crushed by Barack Obama in the most comprehensive defeat so far in this election season.
The dirty politics that began shortly after Hillary's stunning third-place finish in Iowa helped her score narrow victories in New Hampshire and Nevada. But the escalation in rhetoric and distortions in South Carolina simply reminded the voters -- and the country at large -- just how much they won't miss having the Clintons back in the White House.
This is the one case where "the Surge" clearly didn't work.
Obama's victory is as stunning in its depth as it is in its breadth. He won the black vote, as expected, by a larger-than-expected margin. He won over a quarter of the white votes. He carried young and old, rich and poor. And he won the majority of women's votes.
His victory speech matched the intensity of his triumph. For once, he did not back away from a fight, hammering the Clintons for their misdeeds without dignifying them by name. But amidst a ruckus crowd resembling a rock concert, his speech was nonetheless majestic and uplifting.
If you're a Republican candidate, you must be thinking to yourself: "Gosh, I hope Hillary somehow pulls this out. I sure wouldn't want to go up against this guy."
Of course, the nomination process is far from settled, with Tsunami Tuesday looming just 10 days ahead. Anything can happen. The Clintons, ever more desperate, will find more dirty tricks from their scorched-earth battle manual. To them, if winning back the White House requires the destruction of the Democratic Party, so be it.
It's never about the party or anybody else. It's all about them.
And the Democrats are finally figuring this out, after defending every one of Bill's peccadilloes and lies during his tumultuous time as president.
This is not about the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. It's about the soul of the Democratic Party.
The choice seems pretty obvious. But are the Democratic voters -- but more important -- their leaders, smart enough to put their money on the no-brainer? Are they as perceptive as the voters of South Carolina?
We shall see.