I was just reading a great post by Glenn Greenwald on his blog Unclaimed Territory. I left a comment, which I might as well post here:
Going to Glenn's first point, about the Pew poll showing that people aren't buying the Bush "we need to transform ourselves into a police state" line -- my bet is Karl Rove is seeing the same polling data, and he's not at all unhappy with where the debate is right now.
The political choice for the GOP going into the mid-term election is: 1) get creamed on Iraq, or 2) make lots of noise on Terra, torture and wiretaps for 3 weeks or so, during which they let endangered Republicans "courageously" oppose Bush. Here's how they hope the movie ends: Endangered and purple-state Republicans team up with Saint John McCain to stand up to the WH, the WH pushes back for a bit, then McCain (and Shays and Chafee and Arlen Specter etc etc) "force" the WH to accept a "compromise" that the MSM (quoting from the WH press release) declares is a victory for *both* civil liberties and the War on Terra at the same time. Breaking chutzpah records, the GOP's brave protectors of the Geneva Conventions accuse Dems of being too weak to stand up to Bush, let alone take on the Evildoers. Iraq? Never heard of it.
If that isn't working by October 7 and it looks like they're really going to lose the House? The only October surprise will be if they *aren't* bombing Iran at that point.