My comment isn't.
I have a very bad habit of contesting the "to be sure" paragraphs in which non Republicans concede that Republicans aren't totally wrong about everything. To be sure, I understand that consideration of the arguments of the criticized group should be automatic. However, the paragraphs tend to be nonsense.
In this excellent article there are only "to be sure" sentences (the case contra the GOP is so strong that the most generous observer would have trouble writing an entire paragraph).
One is "... Democrats have in the past described mainstream GOP nominees in near-apocalyptic terms too." No doubt true. In the defence of those Democrats, I can only note that the last election of a mainstream GOP nominee was followed by a near-apocalypse (mostly economic but also in Iraq). The claim that W. Bush is a dangerous extremist became quite respectable in 2007 or so (not when he said he was above the law and had the authority to lock up a US citizen arrested in the USA up indefinitely without trial but rather later.
Also on Vietnam in '68 there was not much denunciation of this and there is evidence it happened and it is appalling.On 2000, it's not Democrats fault that there was such a close election and such an unususal supreme courte decision. Democrats worked with Bush (say on no child left behind) and many voted to authorize him to decide whether to invade Iraq.
At least you didn't Balliance (TM) your critique of the GOP by noted the extreme rhetoric of Democrats who argued in 1972 that employees of the Committee to Reelect the President broke into the DNC headquarters and argued in 1974 that the President obstructed justice. I think that "to be sure" clause is as convincing as the ones you felt obliged to write.