A Pretty Good Debate

We had breakfast this morning, as we usually do, with Amy's parents. Amy's dad records all the Sunday talking heads, so we generally go back and look at the highlights. Dean was terrific on Face the Nation, but the real fun came when we switched over to Press the Meat with Timmeh! and the first Senate debate between Bob Casey and Rick Santorum. (Sorry about the link. I can never resist.)

Now, I'm not a Pennsylvanian. In fact, I don't believe I've ever set foot in the state. But anyone who's a regular over at Daily Kos has heard all the worrying and handwringing over this race. "Oh, Casey's going to play it safe and lose. Oh, he's too centrist. Oh, the party fucked us by clearing the field for him." Et cetera, ad nauseam. And there's some cause for worry--Casey is a conservative Democrat, a anti-abortionist, and pretty centrist on economic issues.

But Santorum is insane, and scared, and that's a bad combination when you're running for re-election.

Americablog has the video highlights, but I don't think they tell the whole story. They don't show the most effective way Casey knifed Santorum.

Casey did what every Democrat needs to do, regardless of differences in opinion over policy matters. He showed disdain for his opponent, especially when Santorum remarked on his support for Bush or Bush's policies, or when Santorum tried a bullshit attack--which he did often. He did everything short of rolling his eyes at Santorum, and I think that's the perfect way to handle Republican incumbents.

Because there is one thing that is inarguable this time around. If you're a Republican incumbent, then the mess we're in is unquestionably your fault. Individual Democrats certainly shoulder some blame for not obstructing enough bad legislation, but Republicans, you have the power, and you made the calls, and this is your world we're living in, so if it sucks, it's on you. And if I were a Democrat trying to make my case to the voters, that's what I'd harp on, day and night.

It's an easy question: Why should we trust any Republican in Congress right now? What have they done to deserve that trust? And when the Republicans bleat some reply, we should snort at them, and laugh at whatever they have to say.

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