The victim fights back. It’s a story that even those who profess to abhor violence love. Only the awkward part in this tale is that Obama is the bully.
The Romney people apparently will not run a repeat of McCain’s 2008 campaign, in which the candidate put such petty retaliation off limits. There will be no sanctimonious putdowns from Romney about dredging up Obama’s dog-eating past, in the manner in which McCain lectured his supporters about the inappropriateness of emphasizing the tripartite name Barack Hussein Obama — although Obama himself did, and would go on to focus on his middle name as proof of his multicultural resonance abroad. Just as Bill Clinton’s war room swore not to do a rerun of Mike Dukakis’s punching-bag 1988 campaign, so Romney apparently has determined not to repeat the McCain one-hand-tied-behind-the-back model.
In other words, each time we hear of an irrelevant hit on Romney, we will probably hear of something equally irrelevant — and worse — about Obama, in a way we never would have in 2008. Petty? A distraction from the failing economy? Of course, but the Romney people apparently believe that they must and will achieve deterrence by replying in kind and to such a degree that Team Obama will soon cease playing such a childish game of taunts.
More from Victor Davis Hanson’s Obama-Romney Doggy Wars.