Josh Marshall posted a choice nugget from Kevin Phillips today. Phillips believes that Democrats and liberals this year have their best shot since 1992, but he worries that, "Democrats and liberals have an instinct for the capillaries, not for the jugular." Russ Feingold is trying for the jugular with his motion to censure, and has been met with the "instinct for the capillaries." Here's the way the Democratic establishment is playing it: Bush and the Republicans are on a path to self-destruction. All the Dems have to do to win, according to this strategy is not screw up or make the Republican base mad enough to come out and vote. And how are the Republicans playing it? They're running the only playbook they know: attack, attack, attack. "The government in your pocket... soft on terror... baby-killers... Adam and Steve... etc."
Once again, the Democrats will be cornered into proving that they've stopped beating their significant others.
Republicans can fire up their base with no help from the democrats. All they need to rouse the base is some referendum action about gay marriage or abortion. Add some of their well-practiced vote suppression in the districts that tend to vote left, some electronic voting machine back-doors, and Bush can continue to do the lame-duck waddle until the end of his term with no effective opposition in Congress.
Sorry, Democrats, the Republicans will not simply hand you the election. You'll have to open your mouths and say something to remind us what's a stake. Go for the jugular.