Glad to see so much Change in the Democrats’ political playbook: Democrats must attack to win in 2010, the New York Times reports.
The strategy is already in place this year in New Jersey, where Gov. Jon Corzine “has mocked his heavy-set Republican opponent, Christopher J. Christie, in an advertisement that claimed Mr. Christie ‘threw his weight around’ to avoid traffic tickets,” according to the Times story. No surprise there, given that Corzine lacks any kind of positive record to run on after four years in office.
What’s worse — and most telling — is this response by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin:
Considering the electorate’s sour mood, Mr. Garin said, “it would border on malpractice” for an embattled incumbent like Mr. Corzine not to attack his Republican challenger aggressively.
Avoiding personal attacks and sticking to issues, however difficult that might be for Corzine, would represent “malpractice”? And don’t expect what happens in New Jersey to stay in New Jersey, according to political handicapper Charlie Cook:
“They’re going to have to play really rough,” said Mr. Cook, who pegs Democrats’ chances for holding the [U.S.] House next year at only slightly better than even. “For the average Democratic Congressional incumbent, the opposition researcher will be the most important person in the campaign.”
So the person responsible for digging up dirt — not new ideas — will be the most important person in Democratic campaigns.
And no, I don’t think Republicans would be appreciably different if they were in the place Democrats now occupy.
The answer for 2010 remains: Vote against incumbents early (in the primaries) and often (in the primaries and the general election).