David French of National Review Online has seen the pattern of lies before, and that pattern still bothers him.

It is a sad reality of life that vice often leaves virtue with few good options. I was reminded of this fact by the Donald Trump campaign’s furious and transparently dishonest defense of its campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. By now there is abundant evidence that shortly after a Trump press conference, Lewandowski grabbed former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and yanked her back from Trump hard enough to bruise her and to shock her to tears. Eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, an audio recording, and now video support these allegations. …

… The lies alone were bad enough, but they were accompanied by a wave of mockery and ridicule. Fields faced personal attacks as a fabulist. Writers who investigated the story were mocked for spending so much time exposing Trump’s deception. It was just a grab. That happens all the time on the subway or at ballgames. Why ruin Lewandowksi’s reputation or charge him with a misdemeanor over such a small thing? In other words, the incident that was important enough to lie about wasn’t important enough to investigate.

We’ve seen this movie before. The Clintons perfected the art of the lie, paired it with ridicule of the honest, and learned how to win with dishonor. Recall the horror show that ensued after Clinton said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” A decent man wouldn’t have had an affair with an intern. An honorable man would have confessed. But Clinton was neither decent nor honorable, so for months his apologists repeated his lies and mocked those who sought the truth.

It was the same game Trump plays. For Clinton’s defenders, the matter was important enough to lie about but not important enough to investigate. It was important enough that accusers and investigators had to be destroyed but not important enough that the actual liars should be held to account. And they won. As evidenced by Hillary’s Clinton’s ascendancy in the Democratic primary, they’re still winning today.

Now the GOP has a Clinton of its very own — complete with millions of Clintonistas, people willing to say anything and even believe anything in the quest to “just win.”