Whenever you hear a Republican strategist proclaim that “the Democrats are going to have a real problem with the voters over the issue of ____” (fill in the blank with the topic du jour: immigration, health care, the war, the deficit, religion, the heartbreak of psoriasis) you can bet that the Republicans know well and good that they are the ones with the problem of immigration, health care, the war, and so on.
This is a pathology of theirs: projecting their problems onto their opponents. It was Karl “You Touched Me!” Rove’s best ability, reflecting his own fucked-up sense that everyone has to be as paranoid and cynical as he is, and he turned it into a campaign tactic.
So when you hear them spew that one forth, it’s a very good clue as to what’s got them really worried. Plan accordingly.
PS: I’m not the only one who has come to this conclusion. Melissa McEwan wrote about the projection (“What Lurks Beneath”) in a post in 2005, and fellow Shaker Space Cowboy tipped me off to a great article by David Neiwert on this same topic.