The polarization began with the Bork nomination and how the Libs attacked him under the disguise of a Senate confirmation hearing. The minority Repubs were furious with the tactic and swore they would employ it at a future date.
Clinton's gross immorality provided them the perfect opportunity to do so. Toss in perjury, Whitewater and Hillary (the earnstwhile health care specialist) and the result was a red meat feeding frenzy. Clinton might have survived, but his legacy was cemented, best selling biography be damned.
We will, of course, argue about what that legacy is. But considering he did know what the defination of "is" is we ought not waste our time. Let's stay on topic here... John Kerry and his sinking ship of hate.