Conventional wisdom holds that the GOP's babbling blitzkrieg against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is immeasurably stupid, since Harry Reid is running for no office. It is customary as well as transcendently practical (thus the custom) that during election years one's political attacks should actually attack one's actual political opponents. This still seems good advice. But then again the GOP has excelled in the pioneering of sideshows and irrelevancies as mainstream campaigning; and one should never, I suppose, argue with empirical success.
(My cardinal worry is that Reid's taxing assault and Republicans' retaliation might upset the Senate's bipartisan comity, smooth operation and awesome effectiveness.)
The GOP's blitzkrieging modus operandi is as dazzling as it is dependable. The trick? Simplicity and leanness. The party simply unburdens itself of all proprieties and perspective and unleashes an ungodly offensive of ratcheting malice, usually centered around one tested word; in this case, "liar," which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, ever the pioneer, gussied up to "dirty liar" on ABC's "This Week."
Hence another few dwindling days of this presidential campaign are being consumed by the GOP's wrath and hellfire. Sen. Lindsey Graham boldly went with the "lying" tactic on CNN; George Will, also on "This Week," cited America's homegrown prince of lies, Joe McCarthy; and this morning Politico is featuring the fainting-couch indignation of several GOP partisans whose virginal nerves are on the tragic brink of unraveling over all this nasty lying. My favorite, Northwestern University Law Professor Steven Calabresi: "Obama's all negative, all the time campaign shows that he is not a nice or likable person, as some wrongly think. Obama is an ego maniac and a narcissist who will stoop at nothing to hold on to power. He is more like Richard Nixon than has been any president we have had since Watergate."
Tortured syntax aside, will these delicate flowers ever comprehend the rather elementary concept of "projection"?
I'm digressing. I opened with conventional wisdom's condemnation of the GOP's blitzkrieg, with which I, initially, concurred. Yet I'm beginning to wonder. Standard-issue criticism says that Mitt Romney & Party should be out there, bellowing on and on about economics and not Harry Reid; but in that criticism there is also a standard-issue flaw: Mitt Romney has no economic plan to bellow.
There are only so many times one can say "8.3" in a day, and though most persuadable voters would love to hear how Romney would lower that number, he hasn't a clue.
Neither, of course, does his party. Yet while the GOP is pitiably out of practice when it comes to offering positive prescriptions, it has become the Jackson Pollock of political irrelevancies and malicious sideshows. So I now tend to think, Come on, folks, just let them do what they do so well.