The Republican Noise Machine actually does have its planned quiet moments and that is when it's most dangerous.
For that is when Karl Rove, the stringpuller behind the curtain, and his updated version of Richard Nixon's "Plumbers Unit" do the most damage with planted smears to the gullible media, faux voter information sheets 'inexplicably' targeted to elderly and evangelical households, get-out-the-vote phone-jamming, race and sexual-baiting 'bulletins' placed on vehicle windshields, voter intimidation and carefully crafted verbal assaults launched from pulpits,
Just follow Karl Rove's history from his college days to the present--all of the above are there. His only lowlight seems to be getting fired from the Bush 41 campaign in 1992 for it coming to light that Rove backstabbed Republican fundraiser Robert Mosbacher (and we thought that was always considered a core Republican campaign element!). The rest of Rove's many actions have resulted in victories, the only political tool of measurement that counts to the mainstream media. Success, not the bodycount, is all that matters. It doesn't matter if you make Niccolo Machiavelli look like Fred Rogers.
Now, I'm not advocating that Democrats create a competing goon squad or resort to the gutter works that emboss Rove's efforts.
What I am indicating is that for the Democratic Party to be reinvigorated and become a national player again, it must adopy a strategy of both striking first and fighting back. Politics is not and will never be governed by Marquis de Queensbury rules nor be mistaken for as author and former New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges so cleverly puts it, "boxing for Oxford."
Yes, discipline, but not reticence, will be required regarding when and where to go on the offensive and counterpunch. For way too long, too many Democrats have exhibited a character of docile gentility. That must end. It's replacement: painting and presenting your own picture, that of your opponent and hitting back harder when opponents twist, distort and fabricate.
For those too sqeamish for such battle tactics, well, accept your life sentence as a minority party member and then get out. You're not wanted. If you choose not to defend yourself then you have no reason to be in a position of governing anyone.
Really, are there any other options if your opponent views fairness as a weakness and immorality as not attacking with ordained viciousness, regardless of the facts?
Rove and his partners in grime willingly 'outed' a CIA agent for revenge and to issue a message to others, 'planted' a recording device in the office of his own candidate (Bill Clements) while claiming it to be an opponent's (Mark White) subterfuge, labeled John McCain a homosexual and carved up McCain's wife and daughter with various blasphemies, linked Ann Richards to lesbianism...well you get the picture and it isn't pretty.
For those willing to take up the cudgel. welcome to the New Democrats. The work begins now.