Posted by William A. Jacobson Sunday, January 29, 2012
I have been trying, as best I can, to sound the alarm about the damage being done by the scorched earth tactics of the Romney campaign and its supporters in the Republican political and media establishments.
The effort long ago left the political realm and has devolved into a collective settling of decades-old communal scores. Romney very adroitly has exploited to his advantage some of the deepest intra-Republican personal and emotional grievances and grudges.
“It not about winning here anymore,” one Romney staffer told BuzzFeed. “It’s about destroying Gingrich — and it’s working.”
Humiliation, not mere electoral defeat, appears to be the goal. Much as among warring communities in the Middle East and the Balkans, Romney supporters even have sought to deprive Newt of his own history.
Last night I posted Romney is winning his battles, but losing our war, about how Romney is tearing apart a very fragile coalition which will not easily be put back together anytime soon.
This election did not have to turn so destructive. As in 2008, going negative was a conscious decision by the Romney campaign in response to an opponent rising on a positive message in Iowa. The problem, it seems, is not with the opponents, but with the way in which Romney runs campaigns.
Mark Levin, who supports Rick Santorum, has been a voice of decency and clarity as to the attacks on Newt.