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From today’s New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority.

Arthur Sulzberger

Litigation 101: “When the facts do not support your case, discredit the witness.”

For more than a year, a large team of researchers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been digging into the backgrounds of potential Republican candidates.

You can bet it has been more than a year. How about twenty? or thirty? The Times had not a word of condemnation of the tactic.

So far, many Republican candidates are forcefully defending themselves but not taking the bait by starting their own personal offensives. A review of television advertisements presented since Labor Day showed that the Republicans were basing theirs almost entirely on the records of Democrats on health care, the economic stimulus package and the first vote the Democrats cast when Congress convened in 2009: for making Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House.

Even many of the critical Republican advertisements produced by the candidates or the party are done with a softer touch.

It’s the same pattern that has prevailed for many years. But this year it looks like the differentiation may be greater than ever. That’s a good thing.

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