Just now I was listening to Ann Romney whining on Rock Center with Brian Williams about the so-called attacks her husband has been subjected to in this presidential campaign. I have to laugh every time I hear the “liberal” media talk about how ugly this campaign has gotten. I marvel at how short their memories are. Dana Milbank’s isn’t…
Forgive me, but I’m not prepared to join this walk down Great Umbrage Street just yet. Yes, it’s ugly out there. But is this worse than four years ago, when Obama was accused by the GOP vice presidential nominee of “palling around with terrorists”? Or eight years ago, when Democratic nominee John Kerry was accused of falsifying his Vietnam War record?
What’s different this time is that the Democrats are employing the same harsh tactics that have been used against them for so long, with so much success. They have ceased their traditional response of assuming the fetal position when attacked, and Obama’s campaign is giving as good as it gets — and then some.
Balz is correct when he observes that the “most striking” element of the campaign is “the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back.” In large part, this is because the Democrats are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves…
It’s true that Romney is in a weak position to be complaining that the other side has been mean and nasty. He won the nomination by eviscerating his rivals with negative ads and accusations, and an ad his team aired last week that falsely claimed Obama was gutting welfare-to-work requirements injected racial politics into the campaign.
(I do question, Mr. Milbank, whether the Democrats are being “reckless and unfair.” It seems to me that they are being hard and truthful. Sometimes the truth hurts.)
I’d encourage you to read the entire column, then you can laugh right along with me the next time the Republicans complain about how harshly they are being treated. You see, I remember 2008 and 2004 and lots of presidential campaigns before them. Too bad the media and the Republicans suffer from these all too obvious “memory problems.”
The Republicans are getting a little taste of their own medicine and they do not like it one little bit. Too bad.