I know it may seem somewhat politically incorrect to use macho terms but there is this dimension to politics. A major issue in politics is achieving dominance. It's a game that women in politics have learned to play too.
There was a post in Talking Post Memo that argues that Obama is like a Republican in that he is achieving dominance over Romney. I understand there will be those tenderfoots who may not take kindly to this idea. Surely politics is about the issues alone. If only that were so.
"as I first argued back in 2004, national political campaigns are only loosely about ‘issues’ as news obsessives construe them. Contemporary American campaigns are much more meta-battles over power, masculinity and dominance, what I once called “bitch-slap politics.” Not pretty perhaps but you’ll never understand campaigns without understanding things through this prism."
As a liberal Democrat I've been on the losing side enough to know this ain't the case. This is the point Krugman has been making lately too. That those who don't appreciate the personal side of the attacks on Romney-and there are some progressives, unfortunately, who feel uncomfortable with it as well-just don't get it.
The beauty of the Bain attacks is they enable Obama to get to the substance as paradoxical as that sounds:
"how can the Obama campaign cut through this political and media fog? By talking about Mr. Romney’s personal history, and the way that history resonates with the realities of his pro-rich, anti-middle-class policy proposals."
"Thus the entirely true charge that Mr. Romney wants to slash historically low tax rates on the rich even further dovetails perfectly with his own record of extraordinary tax avoidance — so extraordinary that he’s evidently afraid to let voters see his tax returns from before 2010. The equally true charge that he’s pushing policies that would benefit the rich at the expense of ordinary working Americans meshes with Bain’s record of earning big profits even when workers suffered — a record so stark that Mr. Romney is attempting to distance himself from part of it by insisting that he had nothing to do with Bain’s operations after 1999, even though the company continued to list him as C.E.O. and sole owner until 2002. And so on."
"The point is that talking about Mr. Romney’s personal history isn’t a diversion from substantive policy discussion. On the contrary, in a political and media environment strongly biased against substance, talking about Bain and offshore accounts is the only way to bring the real policy issues into focus. And we should applaud, not condemn, the Obama campaign for standing up to the tut-tutters.
The tenderfoots I mentioned above spillover to Krugman's tut-tutters.
TPM is right; as I argued with ACA, now that the President won in court you see public opinion already coming around. Of course, now he's a winner. In 2010, nobody liked Obamacare because it was a loser that even he and his party didn't want to talk about.
What's great is that Romney keeps asking for an apology. First he demanded the Washington Post do so a few weeks ago after some info that questioned when he left Bain, then the Boston Globe, now he's still asking for the President to do so.
He, of course, is not getting any apologies which makes him look even more ridiculous. But again, asking for it in the first place is weakness. Remember it was Republican operative John Weaver who said this:
"There is no whining in politics. Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns."
When you have someone like Karl Rove-the inventor of bitch slap politics-whining about the President calling Mitt a felon, and that he needs to take it back. you know we're winning this. Really? You're going to cry about this?
On the weekend the Republicans were frustrated with Willard, they wanted him to get tough, they were tired of seeing the President mop the floor with him. This is him getting tough: demanding that Stephanie Cutter take it back, Mitt is not a felon.