Much like the critics of this web site and the supporters of the illegal Iraq invasion, Republicans revert to calling names and labeling people when they can not dispute the opposition’s message. If they can not discredit the message they discredit the messenger. This diverts attention away from the issues. It is called “distraction”. It works.
Karl Rove had brought a new dimension of this tactic to the G.O.P. Karl worked under the Nixon administration when he was a young demon spawn. Nixon was ruthless when it came to attacking his opponents. He would go to any extent to get dirt on his opposition. Karl learned a great deal from this. I would not doubt for one minute that threats and blackmail are rampant in this administration. I often wonder if Tony Blair is being blackmailed.
To Democrats: How do we counter this? First of all stay focused on the issues. Do not let a scandal draw attention away from the issues. It is not always easy. Some skeletons are just too damaging to protect. Here is one idea (click link). Another idea may be for the Democrats to produce a decent human being as candidate. Can anyone say “Al Gore?” I don’t know if this is possible until a real campaign finance reform is passed. We have had many fine individuals run for office but they did not stand a chance due to underfunded campaigns or because they were too damn nice!