The World Turned Upside Down

Brendan Nyhan on the odd spectacle of Republicans being worried that attacking Barack Obama might backfire:

Nagourney’s analysis parallels similar articles written about Democrats after 9/11, when President Bush enjoyed the equivalent of an extended honeymoon. But what’s most striking about the article is this newfound Republican reticence about hardball politics. For someone like me who grew up in the Clinton/Bush era, there has never been a time in which Republicans were this nervous about attacking Democrats. It’s a complete inversion of the (supposed) rules of the Reagan-Gingrich-Bush era — the political equivalent of the apple flying up into Newton’s tree.

Indeed. When you think about it, this probably has a lot to do with the fact that for the first time since 1976 we have a Democrat who’s won a majority. For anyone under the age of 40 or so it’s an experience we have no recollection of.