Digby hits the nail on the head, identifying what must be the key strategy for the Democrats in 2004: Showing Bush to be the phony he is.
This is an ongoing problem for Democrats. We are earnest and sincere but every time we open our mouths it's about our 10 point "program" and why is it better. Even my eyes glaze over.
We'd better figure out how to take this personality driven politics to the Republicans.
Besides, Bush IS a phony--- he's a phony Texan, a phony businessman, a phony politician, a phony flyboy, a phony compassionate conservative, and a phony regular guy. He's actually a phony president.
...The only thing authentic about him is his nasty temper and loyalty to big business.
One of the ramifications of this, of course, is to not listen to the constant carping of conservatives who complain that "the Democrats need to offer an alternative plan." Baloney. Taking that bait, first of all, is a tacit assumption that Bush's policies have any merit to them at all, and forces the Democrats onto the defensive. The burden of proof needs to be on the GOP to defend their terrible policies, and in the light that Bush's promises consistently fail to generate their highly touted benefits.