... for the Democrats.
I had assumed that Howard Dean of the subtle riposte ("Republicans are eeeeevil") ended up as DNC chair because the Clintons had arrived at the easiest way to clear the decks for Hillary's run in 2008: allow Dean to stumble onto his sword a few times, and then quietly supplant him with Hillary wearing a "savior of the party" button.
The problem is that Howie has fallen on his sword repeatedly and nobody of import (editorialists from coastal papers/network talking heads) seems to have noticed. Media is still treating him with the respect typically granted an iconic statesman of the Left like, say, Ted Kennedy or even Al Sharpton.
Joe Biden made a milquetoast attempt to distance himself from the chairman's rhetoric and has been thoroughly thrashed across the Lefty blogosphere... and ignored by major media.
You only get coverage for being critical of a fellow politician if you are bagging a republican... preferably while standing in front of an overseas/foreign audience, see?
This doesn't work for the Clintons. The trog media may not realize it but the last few decades of national elections have made it pretty clear that a slim majority of American voters have gotten past their public education and pop culture and are looking for someone to vote for. Bill Clinton ran on an end of history (heavy lifting all done - we can play now)/MTV platform that worked before North Korea went nuke and we buried three thousand of our fellow citizens, murdered at the hands of an enemy we had ignored.
The Clinton are willing to lose as many Democrat seats in congress as it takes in 2006 to galvanism the party to embrace Hillary as their only choice. They aren't worried about dealing with a Republican congress. The presidency isn't about policy or agendas to them - it's about power. I believe that the Clinton have taken a good long look at the (lack of) quality in the current Rep leadership and feel pretty comfortable about their chances for doing business with what has become of the majority party.
They still have to get the actual election out of the way, though.
This story in the New York Times illustrates what happens when a real grifter runs up against the reality that she's competing for marks that not only bought bridges but still actually believe they own them.
"I know it's frustrating for many of you; it's frustrating for me: Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them?" she continued to growing applause and cheers. "I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
Hysterical? Yes. Outrageous? Yes. Absolutely necessary to garner the small-state primary votes that open the ball for the 2008 race? You betcha. That's moonbat prime territory, beginning with Iowa and running deep blue well into the fourth or fifth week of primaries.
Back in 1991 the Clinton used the media to reinvent Bill Clinton from the womanizing, corrupt, and ineffective governor he'd been into the second coming of Kennedy's Camelot. In 2006 they have to shift from nuttier than Howard Dean in the primaries to more adult than Ronald Reagan in the general, and I just don't think they've got the tools in the box to make it happen.
What they can do is aim for that mark and hope that the flaccid Republican congressional caucus continues to piss away support at the rate it is now and go on to win on an apathy vote.
I can see that happening.
Blogs v. Media worked out the way it did in 2004 because the facts floated to the top: Kerry wasn't much of a candidate, less of a senator, and not nearly a credible war hero. The full-court press on the part of the media to sink Bush became so laughable that it brought votes to the Republicans. But if the Republicans decline to lead, the facts will be there, on the blogs left/right/middle, to pin them to the mat in 2008.