Dems' new midterm message: These tea-party wingnuts have captured the GOP

It’s working in Nevada. Why not try it nationally too?

Here’s why I, like Rick Santorum, can’t quite see the genius in Pawlenty positioning himself as an antidote to ye olde Republican “country club elitists.” Isn’t that caricature a tad outdated, especially at a moment when prominent liberals are in the news for not paying their yacht tax? Granted, the Dems will trot it out occasionally for old time’s sake (“John McCain owns seven homes!”), but ever since the fateful DNC ad last year attacking townhall protesters as “angry mobs,” their main attack on conservatives hasn’t been that they’re upper-crust snobs. Rather the opposite — that they’re feral rednecks stampeding towards the voting booth to devour Great Society II like the zombies pouring into the mall at the end of “Dawn of the Dead.” And so we come full circle with a new ad, whose cheesy mock-horror soundtrack would make George Romero cringe and whose targets — policy wonk Paul Ryan is scarrrry but Marco Rubio, a serious threat to win in Florida, isn’t? — are somewhat inexplicable. Or maybe not so inexplicable: Ryan is included for having committed the radical wingnut offense of offering a deadly serious solution to the deadly serious problem of long-term fiscal unsustainability, which even Obama himself acknowledges as a crisis. Lest you ever wonder how committed Democrats really are to solving the entitlement crisis, remember this and know that they were happy to list a guy like Ryan as a resident of “crazy-town.”

Here’s the write-up of the Dems’ presser this afternoon rolling out the ad. Looks like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was tasked with playing the race card, a duty I’m sure she was happy to perform. Exit question: Up until now, the Democratic line has been that the GOP wants nothing more than to return to Bush’s agenda. Given that Bush was responsible for TARP, for the Medicare prescription-drug expansion, for pushing amnesty, and various other policies that are anathema to most tea partiers, how exactly does this new message square with the old one? “Bush is the font of all evil — except that the tea party is worse”?