You have to hand it to Karl Rove. When he finds something that works, he sticks with it. While the president was conducting his symbolic Iraq war strategy summit on Monday, the newly energized, indictment-free chief political operative outlined in his game plan for November, borrowing heavily from his '04 playbook. The overall theme: Iraq is a success. The Busheviks and Repugs can take the credit for this progress. We just killed Abu Masab al-Zarqawi, which is another huge milestone. The Democrats are weak pansies who run from war and would not protect Americans from terrorism. Sound eerily familiar? What's scary is how well this crap worked the last time. Can it work again?

For one thing, unlike '04, two-thirds of voters are against the war, most of whom believe there was no reason to go in the first place. And many of those voters also believe the Busheviks lied about and/or misrepresented intelligence to justify the invasion. When you factor in the mounting violence and U.S. soldiers' deaths; the fact that Al-Zarqawi-like milestones have proved meaningless in slowing the insurgency (a new CBS poll shows that al-Zarqawi's killing did little to change Americans' perceptions about the war or Bush); and the lack of a clear exit strategy, voters are likely to reject Rove's rhetoric when they step inside the booth in November.

The simple fact is, the war is not a success. It's a disaster. And the Bushies know it. But rather than outline a plan for victory and withdrawal, they're choosing once again to attack and smear Democrats in the most irresponsible and reprehensible way.

"When it gets tough, and when it gets difficult, they fall back on that party's old pattern of cutting and running," Rove said at a state GOP event in New Hampshire on Monday evening. Surely he must be talking about his own party, whose chickenhawk leaders--Bush, Cheney, Frist, Hastert, Santorum and Rove himself--ran like scared little mama's boys when they faced having to fight in a war. Their delusions of machismo 35 years later makes me want to puke.

The Democrats, if they had their way, would never have killed al-Zarqawi, Rove told his kool-aid drunk audience, and they'd have Iraq fall to terrorists. Well correct me if I'm wrong here, but hasn't Iraq already fallen to terrorists? Isn't that country in a state of chaos, with dozens of citizens and soldiers killed practically every day? Isn't it clear that the U.S. has absolutely no control over the violence there? Isn't it also true that al-Zarqawi has already been replaced, the violence has escalated, and the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Osama bin Laden, still roams free and is allowed to see his Al Qaeda operation in Iraq prosper?

Last week the House voted on a resolution declaring Iraq the central front in the "global war on terror," a common GOP refrain (and fantasy) since 9/11. The fact escapes them this "central front" did not exist until Bush opened it with his vanity war. And they gave animals like al-Zarqawi a pulpit and a base of operations. The resolution also criticized any attempts by Democrats to set a timetable for withdrawal of our troops. Majority Leader John Boehner (OH) predicted that this debate would show Americans that "there are clear differences between Republicans and Democrats on how best to confront the global war on terror."

I have to say, I agree with Boehner. There's a monumental difference between how Dems and Repugs think on this critical subject. Dems would not have knowingly invaded a sovereign nation which posed no threat to us whatsoever, squandering thousands of lives, $300 billion, and valuable military resources in the process. Instead, we would have chased down bin Laden and focused our efforts on Al Qaeda and those who carried out the murderous attack on our citizens. We would not have invaded Iraq as a means of distracting Americans' attention away from the real enemy, nor would we have masterminded a campaign of deception that successfully morphed bin Laden into Saddam, and Al Qaeda into Iraq in order to carry out this charade. We would have fought terrorism by going after the terrorists. Sounds simple, right?