Dave Weigel’s recent Slate piece about Gabriel Gomez’s reliance on feigned indignation and disgust is a good one.
Essentially, because Gomez cannot campaign on any particular policy issue or viable legislative proposal, the use of umbrage as a sort of deflector shield is really unavoidable. Because Markey has a lot more money than Gomez, he will have no trouble flooding the zone with shots at Gomez. The problem for Gomez is that crying foul on your opponent’s campaign rhetoric is defense, not offense. Understandably, Gomez is trying desperately to spin his defensiveness as offense by exaggerating the supposed dishonesty of Markey’s ads. Weigel’s piece, however, shows how this kind of exaggeration is a double-edged sword.
As long as the race is perceived as a tit-for-tat affair Gomez will be unable to close the considerable distance between himself and Markey. If boilerplate anti-politician rhetoric and “new” ideas like term limits and withholding Congressional pay are all Gomez has to offer, then I assume his handlers are playing for a big Markey mistake.