The Corner

The Chicago Way Works

If I were Romney, I would not count on the idea of class warfare, the so-called politics of personal destruction, and McCarthyite tactics not working, because they always have for Obama/Axelrod in the past — and seem to be in the last week.

In the last ten days Mitt Romney has been reduced by various Obama surrogates, through rumor, innuendo, and falsity, to a tax-avoiding cheat who “probably” never paid taxes for a decade, a near felon who lied on a federal form, and a veritable killer who in piratical fashion destroyed a cancer victim’s chance of getting medical attention — all untrue and yet all damaging, as the corrections are not even out before Obama goes on to the next new inaccurate charge. Obama is running a Robin Hood, class-warfare blitzkrieg, even though he knows that the upper income levels have never paid a higher share of the nation’s aggregate income-tax revenue, and bumping them up to 39 percent would only lower the deficit in minuscule ways, given the gargantuan spending since 2009 and the general absence of new revenue when unemployment is in its 41st consecutive month of more than 8 percent and we are now in our fourth $1 trillion-plus budget deficit.

None of this is new. The media favorite Obama eliminated all his Democratic rivals in his first election for the Illinois legislature by suing in court to invalidate their nomination petitions and ran unopposed in the primary. Obama demolished his U.S. Senate Democratic primary rival through leaked divorce records. He demolished his initial Republican rival through leaked divorce records. When he got through with Hillary Clinton, the liberal former first lady and U.S. senator had transmogrified into a prevaricating hack and veritable racist, as Bill Clinton lamented the race card being played. John McCain released his health records and his general dismal ranking at Annapolis, leading to a false narrative that he was naturally inattentive and reckless, and scarcely hale, while Obama released neither his medical nor his college records; as Sarah Palin — heretofore a reformist governor of Alaska who in bipartisan fashion had fought special interests — was reduced to a caricature of an uninformed poor (and trashy) mom. All of the above transpired while Barack Obama ran as a “reformer” and proponent of “civility,” who vowed to run a “transparent” campaign of full disclosure, and to leave the old “petty” and “gotcha” politics behind.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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