Sure seems like it.
They certainly know what it means to be the political party in opposition.
They’re tough and ruthless and they use their authoritarian temperament as an advantage.
Obama’s early attempts at conciliation made him look weak rather than gracious.
On health care, the Republicans have created a no-lose scenario: they either kill the bill or weaken it to the point where it won’t work.
They’re aiming to do the same thing on global warming.
On financial reform, they get away with blaming the Democrats for bailing out Wall Street while - at the same time - making sure that meaningful reform is blocked.
They’re the party that can mobilize constituent anger and get media attention. Their search and destroy missions against ACORN and Van Jones have been well executed.
Now they seem to be successful in swaying independents in their direction.
Was 2008 a fluke?
Did we win only because of the ineffectual George Bush and the chaotic McCain / Palin ticket? Will an articulate conservative - Tim Pawlenty, Eric Canter - wipe out Obama in 2012 after Republican Congressional gains in 2010?
Are these just the early rounds, the chance for Obama and the Democrats to absorb some punishment before coming on strong and steady and winning back public confidence?
There’s a great deal of anxiety, doubt and disappointment on our side right now. Our opponents know this and they know how to exploit it.
Bullies always depend on exposing their victim’s weakness and forcing a sense of helplessness.
This is not the time, fellow Democrats, to go limp.