The Rethugs took the gloves off long ago, and then they got out the brass knuckles, and then they got out the rubber hose, and, this week, Unka Karl brought out the baseball bat.
The disconnect between the Rethugs' approach to Rove and the Dems' approach to Durbin places in stark relief the challenge that we now face. They've been in power for 4 1/2 years now, things have totally turned to s**t at home and abroad, and things are only going to get worse during the next 3 1/2 years. Their only response is to haul out their "blame the Dems" greatest hits collection, as it's the approach that has worked the best for them in the past.
A few weeks ago, I engaged in a spirited dialogue w/ Armando on the wisdom of HRC publicly making common cause w/ Newtie. My position was that, regardless of the merit of the issue that she was working w/ Newtie on, letting that veteran political assassin get back in the spotlight was a mistake. After seeing that leopard revert to his spots by taking the lead in attacking Durbin, I'm more convinced than ever that HRC made a huge mistake.
Rove's attack on the Dems would've been bad enough had he been throwing some red meat to the base in a freelance operation. Subsequent events, however, make it clear that his speech was part of a larger coordinated plan. Since this WH doesn't do anything that's not coordinated, that fact should've been apparent even before today.
There's the old saw about the lawyer who argued the facts when the facts supported his case, who argued the law when the law supported his case, and who simply pounded the table and argued when neither the facts nor the law supported his case. The Rethugs have, after a steady downward spiral, finally reached the pounding the table and arguing stage.
The question remains as to what the Dems plan on doing in reply. The one thing that they can and must do is to throw the Lieberman/Biden/Daley approach on the scrap heap to which it should've been consigned years ago. Durbin's totally unnecessary apology didn't slow the GOP attack machine down for a moment. Rove is never going to consider apologizing for his patently offensive comments, nor will anyone else in the WH ever apologize, either.
The Lieberman/Biden/Daley wing has to give up on the pipedream that, if they give Rove the Sudetenland, he will make no further demands. Compromise (not to mention honesty, decency, or other basic moral principles) has not ever been or will it ever be a word in his vocabulary. It's time to start drawing lines in the sand and making it clear that the party will no longer passively accept its assigned "battered spouse" role.
I had a front-row seat when these people took power in 11-12/00. I will never forget our local "Brooks Bros riot," John Bolton striding into the Tallahassee library to stop the count, and all of the other atrocities from that sad chapter in American history. They've continued to use the same tactics ever since, and they will keep on using them as long as the Dems continue to let them get away w/ it.