I was just thinking that McCain's reaction to the Heller -- not the substance but the style -- has all the hallmarks of the campaign's passive acceptance of Karl Rove's hectoring -- that they have to be extremely aggressive and confrontational with Obama; they have to hit traditional conservative/Reagan Democrat trigger points, etc. There's a debate to be had here: it's in the DNA of younger Republican consultants and strategists to seize on every opportunity to draw contrasts in the most extreme manner; it served them well in congressional races in the 1990s against liberals who had no idea how to respond and against a Democratic Party in the early aughts which was too internally conflicted to figure out how to respond. Will it work today?

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