Is Hillary Clinton Slytherin’s heir? Mark Kleiman, a U.C.L.A. public policy professor who writes at the academic group blog The Reality-Based Community, says Clinton’s campaign is “Rove’s disciple” for its attacks on Barack Obama.

“The Clinton campaign, both the candidate and the surrogates, have been going after Barack Obama hard and personally,” Kleiman writes. “He’s ‘naive” and ‘irresponsible,’ too inexperienced to trust as Commander in Chief.”

Now the Clinton campaign is “accusing Obama of ‘attack politics’ ” for his counterstrike. Kleiman objects, “The lie, and the projection, are transparent. But that’s not to say that those tactics won’t work. After all, they elected George W. Bush, didn’t they?”

In the Democratic field, Kleiman says, “it’s not hard to figure out which campaign carries the DNA of Karl Rove.”

On the other hand, David Frum wrote on The Times op-ed page on Tuesday that “much of the Democratic party, and especially its activist netroots, has decided that the way to beat Rove Republicanism is by emulating it.” If the Democratic base admires Rove, then criticisms like Kleiman’s might make Democratic partisans like Senator Clinton more, not less.