How has turn the other cheek politics worked for Pres. Obama the last 20 months? You won’t beat Tea Party Republicans in an historic election off season by playing that game. Even with it the chances are still uphill. That Dems have been on the receiving end of continual Republican scorched earth seems to have escaped many swooning with the vapors today.

Sen. Claire McCaskill is on the fainting couch over Jack Conway’s hard hitting ad. Evidently she’s had a brain freeze over how Saxby Chambliss beat three-limb amputee veteran Max Cleland, who is campaigning today with Conway, which was done through a now infamous Osama ad. Swiftboat veterans taking down John Kerry by lying about his Silver Star, something she’s also forgotten.

The unintentionally incoherent Josh Marshall, who evidently believes politicians should give up before a single vote has been cast, has a post entitled “Jack’s In it to Win it,” letting his Clinton derangement slip, opining how Conway has –gasp!– “not reconciled himself to losing this race.”

Between Alan Grayson and Jack Conway we have seen Democrats who aren’t afraid of playing hardball Republican type politics. They’ve been slammed by the political elite, as well as the Well I Never chattering class. Democrats way too often judge their own in a way that Republicans would never do to a candidate on their own side trying to win a tough race.

Did anyone hear a peep out of Republicans when Sarah Palin took a swipe at First Lady Michelle Obama recently? Never mind Mrs. Obama just happens to wipe the floor with Palin on favorability, even coming in higher than Sect. Clinton. You didn’t hear Mitch McConnell on cable ripping Palin, now did you?

TNR’s Jonathan Chait says the Conway ad “may be he ugliest, most illiberal political ad of the year.” Unfortunately, Chait’s criticism exists in the intellectual world where Democrats lose elections if they don’t make the switch to retail politics.

I actually don’t doubt the implication of the ad, namely that Rand Paul harbors a private contempt for Christianity. He’s a devotee of Ayn Rand, who is a fundamentally anti-Christian thinker. And much of Paul’s history, which he is frantically covering up in an attempt to pass himself off as a typical Republican, suggests among other things a deep skepticism about religion.

The trouble with Conway’s ad is that it comes perilously close to saying that non-belief in Christianity is a disqualification for public office. That’s a pretty sickening premise for a Democratic campaign.

Chait gets the vapors over the ad while admitting Paul’s likely an “anti-Christian thinker,” even if his Christian facade truthiness is on display for all to see.

Political black arts never bother the Republicans.

Democrats feel guilty about them, instead preferring an intellectual argument to an emotional connection that is the key to driving out voters.

Ezra Klein:

Jack Conway embarrasses himself by indulging in this sort of demagoguery.

Demagoguery is only for Tea Party Republicans.

But it is true that today’s Dems aren’t very good at the political black arts on the whole, thinking if they disarm so will the Right, while not being able to recognize a good closing argument to save their seats. See Obama’s and the DNC’s foreign money “stealing” the election gambit, which has been a disaster, proved because they had to shift the debate after being pilloried on it to one about financial disclosure and secret donors.

People go negative when they’re up against it and their opponent has pulled away; either that or their opponent is closing. Conway is up against it, that’s for sure, as are many Dems. An upset in Kentucky would be sweet, but Paul’s public truthiness has been seducing far too many people.

Sean Hannity cited Sen. McCaskill today at the top of his show saying, “even Claire McCaskill” –insert quote slamming Conway here– using her as a case of Even Dems Can’t Stand Conway. Hannity also jumped in to help Paul by giving him a platform on his show to fight back. Hannity claiming there should be “some decency,” which coming from the man who has lied, spewed hate speech every single day of his career, is really rich.

But why is Hannity coming to Rand Paul’s aid?

Because Conway’s ad hit a nerve in Kentucky, which has the potential of hurting Paul, because in that state people take their Christianity seriously.

How many times have Republicans and Tea Party activists attacked Pres. Obama’s religious beliefs, which they continue to do? Obama’s reaction was to be seen going to church.

The bodies atop the Democratic fainting couch are piled high today.