Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol say Bush is falling into what they call The Dukakis Trap:
Who could have imagined the situation Bush finds himself in? The Democrats are trying to take the finest hour of Bush’s presidency–his magnificent response to 9/11–off the table. Republicans often liken Kerry to Michael Dukakis, the wimpy Democratic presidential nominee in 1988. But perhaps it’s Bush who should worry about falling into the Dukakis trap. Bush and his team seem to assume opposition charges won’t hurt because, of course, voters will know the charges are unfair and disingenuous. It’s Kerry and his adviser Bob Shrum, with their relentless attacks, who are following the example of Bush’s father and Lee Atwater.
We know who prevailed then.
I keep hoping it is Karl Rove and George Bush luring the Democrats into Bush’s briar patch. But I am increasingly worried that the White House is underestimating Democratic resolve and conservative disappointment.