Obama & Co. are considering a massive ad blitz to smear Tea Party activists and charge that the Republican Party has been taken over by extremists.
As reported by the New York Times yesterday, it seems the ad campaign is all but ready to go.
Under this scenario, the Democrats would try to nationalize the election and mobilize their own base by painting the GOP as a party that has been taken over by radicals. They'd also try to permanently link the Republican Party to the Tea Party activists. The aim: create a frenzy of groundless fear.
For the Democrats, this is not a new game plan.
They tried it twice against Ronald Reagan (1980 and 1984) and it failed both times.
And the Democrats tried the same tact again in 1994 and it failed again.
In fact, it's the 1994 GOP off-year election landslide that still haunts Democrats today. In '94 Democrats tried to tag all GOP candidates as extremists but even the most far-right Republican congressional candidates wound up winning amidst a tidal wave of voter discontent that gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress.
Many in the Democrat Party were so burned by this broad-brush approach before that they fear that trying it once again will only make matters worse.
Those Democrats who are skeptical of the national ad campaign want to keep their distance from the White House and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They'd rather run localized campaigns that don't remind voters of the goings on in Washington. In fact, many Democrat congressional candidates are attempting to run against Washington, as incredible as that may seem.
Democrats whose futures are on the line don't want to talk about the failed stimulus bill, cap 'n trade, Obamacare, immigration reform or the economy. It's a tough position to be in -- one that doesn't leave a candidate with many options.
So, expect the Democrat Party to conjure up old themes all built around the fear of big, bad Republicans. This means plenty of class warfare, daily distortions of GOP positions and even playing the race card if that's what it takes.
It ain't gonna be pretty, folks.