Once again Politico notes the almost unnoteworthy:
Republican strategists believe that there is really only one way to win the Medicare message wars: mount a bruising offense and attack Democrats for their own actions surrounding the popular federal health care program for senior citizens.
From assailing FDR's rescue of capitalism as an unconscionable act of socialism and converting Truman's "loss" of China into domestic disloyalty to redeploying the FDR offensive on Johnson's Great Society and attacking Democratic deficit hawks as anti-growth Reagan-haters and then on to Swift-boating the military-serving John Kerry and degrading the authentic exceptionalism of Obama's Americanism, the modern GOP has habitually believed there is really only one way to win any message war: a bruising offense.
Its ancestral habit of a bruising offense? The Bloody Shirt--which, ironically, through increasingly generous military pension payments, became the established forerunner of America's welfare state.
But enough of history; enough of this jaded, ho-hum, "We've seen this before" humbug. Of course we have. It's politics, in which the rules of engagement are neither pretty, nor immutable, nor fair. What seems to be different, however, is the GOP's utter abandonment of any concern with truth or integrity. I know of no historical, domestic equivalent except that of the Southern firebreathers during the long sectional crisis. They were cornered animals; they knew it and thus they demagogued like the decaying, dying breed they were.
Like those who followed the firebreathers, the Romney-Ryan crowd knows the jig is up. They know they are dying out, they're vanishing, their electoral power and ethnic influence and religious bigotry and geographical span are all contracting. Even they can see that. So they cast about in diseased nostalgia for a golden age that never was, while being pampered by self-serving demagogues who think perhaps they can capitalize on the very last hurrah ...
... with yet another bruising offensive, this one more bruising than ever before.