In response to:

The Dirty Little Secret of 2012

silentCalfan Wrote: Nov 15, 2012 12:25 AM
Michael, our candidate should "forgo attack ads"? Why? They work every time! Taking the high road and playing nice is a losing strategy. Review tapes of Reagan's 1980 campaign speeches; he attacked Carter over and over, relentlessly pounding him on every issue. He made it personal and almost vicious. Reagan took off the gloves and put on the brass knuckles; Mitt put on the mittens left behind by McCain.

A version of this column appeared originally in THE DAILY BEAST.

To paraphrase the traditional Passover formulation honored in Jewish homes: why was this election different from all other elections? What makes 2012 stand out in recent political history, either as a temporary anomaly or a significant, long-term shift in the electorate?

The most striking change in the results this year involved a precipitous and alarming decline in voter participation, a drop-off that stemmed from a deliberate strategy by the Obama campaign and almost certainly provided the president with his margin of victory. Meanwhile, much of the conventional wisdom about...