This is a long excerpt regarding this fall's election cycle from Peggy Noonan at the WSJ ... it's worth reading the entire piece, and worth thinking about.
"... I feel the Democrats this year are making a mistake. They think it will be a cakewalk. A war going badly, immigration, high spending, a combination of sentimentality and dimness in foreign affairs--everyone in the world wants to be free, and in exactly the way we define freedom at dinner parties in McLean and Chevy Chase--and conservative thinkers and writers hopping mad and hoping to lose the House.
The Democrats' mistake--ironically, in a year all about Mr. Bush--is obsessing on Mr. Bush. They've been sucker-punched by their own animosity.
'The Democrats now are incapable of answering a question on policy without mentioning Bush six times,' says pollster Kellyanne Conway. '�'What is your vision on Iraq?' 'Bush lied us into war.' 'Health care? 'Bush hasn't a clue.' They're so obsessed with Bush it impedes them from crafting and communicating a vision all their own.' They heighten Bush by hating him.
One of the oldest clich�s in politics is, 'You can't beat something with nothing.' It's a clich�e because it's true. You have to have belief, and a program. You have to look away from the big foe and focus instead on the world and philosophy and programs you imagine.
Mr. Bush's White House loves what the Democrats are doing. They want the focus on him. That's why he's out there talking, saying Look at me."