Last year, my wife and I were at a dinner party at which all the guests were asked to handicap the coming presidential election. It soon became apparent we were the only Democrats present; the other guests were not merely Republicans, but wealthy Republican donors (had we stumbled into the wrong dining room?). And the universal opinion among these people- it had not yet become the conventional wisdom- was that George W. Bush would be the next Republican nominee. They all seemed to be salivating at the prospect. The sight of salivating Republicans is distinctly unwelcome at a dinner party, enough to put one off one's feed.