I think the key lesson for us is this: do not panic. Yes, it's true that we should be focused on this wretched Republican campaign, which gets worse and worse every election year. We can't let the bad guys get away with their inanity. But I don't believe we should wallow in despair. There's far too much worrying and panicking on our side.
If Obama has the goods somewhere on the campaign trail, then, yes, we need to draw attention to that. If McCain and Rove are hurling their latest pack of lies, then hit them back just as hard. I don't see why this must be one or the other. You need to play effective offense and defense.
Besides, folks, we always knew it would go down like this. The Republicans are master slime merchants. They are the masters of bullshit. And they have a corporate media that is all-too willing to play along, like vein children preening for high school class president. We have to win this fight on the street, in the trenches. This is where our influence in the blogosphere makes a difference. I am not expecting to get a slot on the cable news shows. Sure, would be fun, but it's not my audience. My audience is the general public, the folks who will be making calls, knocking on doors, and showing up at the polls in November.
Here's Kos with his lesson for today:
To all the concerned people emailing me about "being played", don't waste your time. I'm not about to revert to writing puff pieces about Obama thinking that his magic "new politics" bullshit will carry us to victory. He may or may not believe that crap, but I don't. We're going to win this thing the way campaigns are won -- by playing hardball. Politics is a blood sport. Republicans understand this and never flinch from flinging the shit. We won't win until we learn to fight back in kind. And I'm more than happy to get down in the mud with our friends on the Right so Obama doesn't have to.
Recent history vindicates the "tough and aggressive" path. We went toe to toe against Rove and his machine in 2006, and our math beat his. I have no doubt we're in for a two-peat this year, and it'll happen because we won't back off from exposing the GOP for the den of lies and corruption it has become.