Ezra Klein mentioned this yesterday and I want to echo his view that the liberal insistence that Republicans are somehow “better at politics” perhaps because of their greater willingness to engage in “hardball” strikes me as pretty dubious. Over the past twenty years, Democrats have won three out of five Presidential elections and carried the popular vote in one of the two elections they lost. Democrats controlled the Senate from 1991-94, from 2001-2002, and from 2007-2010—just about half the time, with the GOP margin coming from the few months before Jim Jeffords switched parties. Democrats have also generally won more votes in the House of Representatives:
So insofar as being “good at politics” means “persuading people to vote for your candidates,” the Democratic Party has a pretty impressive record over the past two decades. It’s true that a 50-50 split in the House vote leads to a Republican majority, which puts the DCCC at a perennial disadvantage. But that’s not a problem of tough campaign ads or aggressive messaging or what have you. Unfortunately, few people understand this quirk of the political system which derives from the fact that the most lopsided congressional districts are full of Democrats.