EXPECTATIONS GAME. Some good times to be had reading through The Washington Post's write-up of the Bush administration's bold plan for revival through GOP victory in November -- with victory defined as "Nancy Pelosi not becoming Speaker of the House." (From the article: "If Republicans retain Congress in November, Bush advisers note, he could assert that for the third straight election, the party defied historical patterns and popular predictions." Of course, not only is it widely acknowledged that the odds still favor Republicans retaining Congress despite their massive unpopularity, but also, for Republicans to sustain losses this year without actually losing control of Congress would in fact be in keeping with historical patterns.) As far as bar-lowering goes, the new line being pushed by Ken Mehlman is especially amusing -- that the GOP can prosper by moving the election "from a referendum to a choice," or "from a period where the public looks at things and says thumbs-up or thumbs-down, to a time when they have a choice between one side or the other." Good to hear the RNC chairman talking up his parties accomplishments so effectively: Americans may hate the Republicans, but with some luck they just might hate the Democrats even more.

Of course, the last time I joined others in taking snarky potshots at the starkly negative characteristics of a Republican campaign strategy I ended up curled up in a fetal position at 3:00 in the morning watching the President get re-elected, so I should probably restrain myself.

--Sam Rosenfeld