The left’s foul-mouthed barrages over the Internet have only stepped up of late. The Amazon flame-fests continue, not only against Kate O’Beirne’s “Women Who Make the World Worse” but also against Fred Barnes’s admiring Bush-bio, “Rebel in Chief.” And I’ve also reported on the brouhaha at the Washington Post over a factual error in ombudsman Deborah Howell’s (true) remark that convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff encouraged his clients to contribute to Dems as well as Republicans. The sewage pipeful of obscene and nasty e-mails and comments over that fluff got so thick that the Post had to shut down its comments section on the article.

But here’s (hat tip to Michelle Malkin) what’s incredible: The Post is so mealy-mouthed that it actually invited the instigator of the flameout, one Jane Hamsher (whose blog, Fire Dog Lake, is quite the piece of work) to a free flight to D.C. to “discuss” the limits of civil discourse over the Internet! Gee, let’s all gin up the four-letter words and e-mail them to the Post! With rewards like these, who needs punishments. The Post later rescinded its invitations, but Hamsher will be participating in an online discussion group at the Post at 1 p.m. today–and she’s invited all her potty-mouthed buddies to join in. Here’s Hamsher’s gloat about the part she has played in l’affaire de la Howell:

“Anyway, we’re drawing some blood here.”

And here’s her brag about the job she and her pals did on O’Beirne’s book:

“Her page, which reviewers all over the country look to for their cues, is now a flaming s— heap.”

What amazes me about all this isn’t just the disgusting language but the sheer ugliness of every kind with which the left surrounds itself these days. The obscenities, the unappealing visual images. What’s with the liberals? Do they think that this sort of street theater will actually win them any votes? Doesn’t it have any serious political platform for America? Yes, there’s certainly an outspoken paranoid fringe on the right: the folks who during the Clinton years speculated imaginatively on Hillary’s presumed extramarital sex life and the true cause of Vince Foster’s death. But these conservative nutcases indulged in nothing close to the obscene and filth-laden invectives directed at conservatives that are the daily staple of blogsites like Hamsher’s and Daily Kos–nor did it deface the reader-review pages on Amazon? Ed Morrissey says it best:

“That’s not the actions of people who have confidence in themselves. Those are the actions of a fearful, small-minded, vulgar group of Neanderthals who have suddenly seen Homo sapiens and realized that their days are numbered. These mouthbreathers cannot offer any new ideas, so instead of trying to compete with conservatives, they’re busy with the electronic equivalent of sticking their fingers into their ears and shouting, ‘LA-LA-LA-LA, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU!!’ as loudly as possible.

“In short, the Left consists of ill-educated, ill-mannered children. That they keep going to such lengths to prove it shows that they don’t have anything else to offer.”

Now, the left has made one valid point in all of this. Atrios dredged up a 1992 interview with Deborah Howell at the National Press Club, in which Howell, apparently in an effort to show what a liberated female she was, swore like a sailor with the best of them. Deborah, Deborah, didn’t your mother tell you to act like a lady at all times?