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According to The New York Times, the White House is pondering a national ad campaign slamming Republicans for succumbing to Tea Party "extremists" and veering far to the right of the American electorate. However, some Democrats don't like the proposed tactic:

The party's House and Senate campaign committees are resistant, not wanting to do anything that smacks of nationalizing the midterm elections when high unemployment and the drop in Mr. Obama's popularity have made the climate so hostile to Democrats. Endangered Congressional candidates want any available money to go to their localized campaigns.

Should the White House go ahead with the strategy?

  • Tea Party Smear Won't Work, writes conservative Robert Stacy McCain at The Other McCain: "If Democrats were smart, they'd ignore that kind of advice. Polls have shown that the Tea Party is more popular than Obama and if there is one thing the American people have gotten sick and tired of hearing in the past 18 months, it's that anyone who disagrees with the president's policies is a racist kook." Steve Gilbert at Sweetness and Light agrees. "They think this will hurt the GOP? The last we heard, the Tea Party was wildly popular - far more than either the Democrat or Republican Party."

  • Of Course It Will Work. Why Are Dems Divided Over This? asks liberal Steve M at No More Mister Nice blog. He's furious with Democrats who don't like the idea of "nationalizing the midterm elections" and would prefer that Dems distribute money to "localized campaigns." To that idea, Steve M. writes:
Right -- because your messaging in local campaigns is going over so well this year. Yeah, right -- you don't want to mess up a really successful strategy like saying "I'm a Democratic incumbent! Vote for me!" with, y'know, actual information about how the other guys are planning to shut down the government, sink the country deeper into debt, and repeal every good, popular government program from the entire twentieth century. Shhh! Don't bring it up!
  • Is the White House Actually Thinking of Doing This? The Washington Post's Greg Sargent speaks with a "White House senior adviser" who says "The New York Times got this one totally wrong. No one is weighing a national ad campaign." Sargent seems to agree with his source. "Indeed, even if such an ad campaign were being contemplated, it would be launched by the DNC, the political arm of the White House, not by the White House itself," Sargent writes. Politico is also skeptical of the Times story.

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