"I know it seems ridiculous in light of what we are seing in Iraq that [the Republicans] would think of running on their superior competence in dealing with the middle east. But remember, the Republicans are counting on thirty years of rightwing propaganda to get them over the line again. They expect that many voters will simply fall back into their comfortable understanding of the two parties: the Republicans are tough men who can handle national security and the Democrats are sensitive women who will help you when you need help (if you're a pathetic loser who actually needs help that is.) The Fighters and the Lovers. This is the paradigm under which we've lived for many years and people find it very disconcerting to be asked to relinquish such reflexive internalized beliefs --- no matter what they see before them.
I do not know that they can pull it off one more time. We may have finally reached a tipping point. But I'm not counting any chickens.