Daniel Larison is the only person I can find who is suitably acerbic about last night’s Republican fuckup in PA-12. As they did in the other recent special elections, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ran against “Pelosi-Reid” and Obama, while the Democrats backed a Blue Dog. In this case, the Democrat, Critz, beat the Republican by 8 points.
I’ve seen the NRCC playbook firsthand for the last few years as a resident of NY-29, and it’s a useless waste of money. The underlying assumption of the strategy is that voters hate Nancy Pelosi with such conviction that merely linking her to the Democrat du jour is a sure winner. The NRCC makes sure that every ad includes an unflattering picture of Pelosi splashed across a shot of the Democratic candidate.
In addition to being borderline misogynist, those ads are almost wholly negative. They seek to prevent the election of a Democrat, not to promote the election of a Republican.
Here’s the question no Republicans seem to ask about the Pelosi-Reid strategy: If the country is in an anti-incumbent mood, why does the NRCC keep running a campaign that focuses almost entirely on the petty squabbles between incumbents in their party and the leadership of the Democrats in Congress?