Matt, I also liked the Geraghty piece. Though I wouldn’t necessarily mind having an example made of Mike DeWine (as long as the right lessons were learned – as Geraghty notes, not that likely a proposition), I’d prefer to see him around over, say, Lincoln Chafee. That said, I also think that most of the engaged conservatives will still turn out to vote.
The main problem with the “we suck, but not as bad as the other guys” campaign is that it doesn’t generate an positive enthusiasm or energy to work phone banks, GOTV activities, or strength on the ground. That’s what can make the difference.
If the base is indifferent, but turns out, but can’t generate the enthusiasm to sway those on the fence, this will be a bad year.