David Frum plans to vote for John McCain, but with the economy in ruin, anyone who thinks the GOP can win “by banging on about William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright is...to put it mildly...severely under-estimating the electoral importance of pocketbook issues.” These desperate attacks “are sending a powerful, inadvertent message,” he writes in the National Review, “that we lack a positive agenda of our own.”
True, Republicans rode negative campaigns to victory in 1988 and 2004, but those were economic boom years that favored incumbents. “2008 is like 1992, only worse,” writes Frum, and personal attacks flopped hard against Clinton back then. “Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury” towards the first black president? As an opposition party, the GOP should look to Obama's self-command. "It’s a genuinely impressive quality. Let’s emulate it. We’ll be needing it."