Here are two facts. George Bush is the President of the United States. The United States is fighting a war on terror. Here is some common wisdom: If the electorate thinks the war on terror is going well, George Bush will be reelected. Below are three possible strategies, if you want a Democrat to be elected President.
The first is to hope the war goes badly. There are almost certainly a few Democrats who feel this way. I would conjecture, however, that if there were a machine which could reliably identify such Democrats that they would be kicked out of the party on a vote with a healthy majority.
The second is to believe this: The war is going badly, since Bush is known to be incompetent. Your belief might convince the electorate, or it might give you false hope. A simple comparison to Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI and the Civil War shows that the war on terror is going quite well, I think. So if you believe that it is going badly, please show me how, and remember the wars I'm comparing it to.
The third is to convince the electorate that the war is going badly even though it is not.
Like James Lileks, I hope we win. I am not happy with any of the three strategies above. If you are a Democrat please do not support those within your party who would embrace any of these three.