What they never expect is for liberals to punch back, which is why they're apoplectic over Sen. Harry Reid's claims that some dude told him that Mitt Romney won't release his tax returns because he paid no taxes.
Never mind that Romney's entire campaign is based on lies, the fact that Reid is relaying what some dude told him is so beyond the pale, that they've lost their political heads and have spent days doing the Democrats' job for them—letting everyone know (again and again) that Romney is too chickenshit to release his taxes.
So does this source even exist? Who knows? Maybe Romney bragged about his accountants' tax-evading chops on the golf course, or maybe a former McCain staffer (or McCain himself) spilled the beans to Reid. It's not as if the McCain camp has any love for Romney. They chose Sarah Freakin' Palin over him, after all.
But that little mystery has become irrelevant. There's no reason to doubt that someone told Reid what he said someone told him. And if Republicans had been smart, they would've shrugged it off and ignored it. The Olympics had done a good job of getting Mitt's taxes off the front pages. But Reid's cutesy gamble paid off, and it paid off big.
Now the same Republicans who have dishonestly spliced Obama speeches to make him say things he never said, who claim that Obama went on a "apology tour," who argue that Obama isn't Anglo-Saxon enough to understand what America is all about, who argue that he wasn't born in the United States, who accuse him of being a communist ... well, these same Republicans now get the vapors and demand that Democrats adhere to the strictest standard of "truth"!
It's true—someone told Harry Reid that Romney didn't pay any taxes.
If it's slander, as Republicans claim, then file a lawsuit. If the claim by Reid's source is bogus, they can release the taxes and make Reid look like a fool. You'd think they'd be eager to do so!
But they won't do either, because no matter how bad things may be for Romney today, it's clear that what's in those taxes would be even worse. Romney has admitted as much.
Meanwhile, Reid is punching away, having the time of his life. Nancy Pelosi has his back. It's not Democrats who are shirking from the attack, despite the fact checker's bullshit "tsk, tsks," it's the Republicans who are in disarray over how Romney should respond (read this National Review editorial, and then for laughs, read the comments).
We wouldn't have Republicans and the Romney campaign so dramatically off-message, for yet another week, if it wasn't for Reid. The old boxer is showing some fight, and if he had to go down into the gutter to land his blows, all the more props to him.
It's time Democrats fought Republicans at their level.