Dana Milbank, on the "ugly-umbrage" campaigns:
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....
[T]he Democrats are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves.
I'll put aside for the moment that, in the aggregate, I see little more venom and viciousness than in most presidential campaigns. The Romney camp is doing its part, and far more, to uphold the American political tradition of demagogic flailing; so all in all, this campaign season's sum of imbecility is about right. If Obama were losing, perhaps he'd call Romney's recklessness and unfairness and then raise, but there seems to be no need for that, not yet anyway.
Milbank's scorekeeping does present another quite interesting scenario, though, and it is this. Indefatigable bullies such as the contemporary GOP never say die; they just keep coming back, fist for slap, gun for knife, thermonuclear annihilation for conventional bomb. Accordingly, this crowd will never accept a GOP-damning verdict by the American electorate.
And that makes one wonder. What final, futile explosions of irrational rage await us? In what form? And for how long?
I suspect we've already entered Stage One of finality. I just can't quite put my finger on what Stage Two will look like, and it's simply too horrifying to even imagine the coming wickedness of Stages Three and Four.