The Kerry team doesn't seem to understand that they are fighting two Mecha-Godzilla-scale forces of human repression: religious faith and fear, things that by themselves have the capacity to shut off the powers of critical thinking, and can combine to do untold damage, esp. when harnessed by dangerous millionaires. These forces make people feel protected by their exploiters.
I think Kerry still has a chance of winning, but he has to somehow use the media to send the message to the population that the Bush crew is 1) robbing us 2) killing our children for no reason 3) poisoning our air and land 4) raiding our retirement funds 5) systematically bankrupting and weakening our country. Can this be done in the current media landscape without threatening people's realities to the point where there's a backlash within the population, causing them to retreat into a violently self-disempowering fantasy space where they have not elected a maniac, putting their poetic imaginations to use in the face of an unpleasant and unflattering reality?
For most Republicans, the fact is that their father-figure/buddy leader and protector is stepping on their necks, and they respond to this by asking for more -- and by licking the offending boot. Will the swing voters adopt the same mental strategy? Is Kerry too blandly patrician to understand what it would take to win against people like Carl Rove? You have to credit the Republicans with a knowledge of mass psychology that completely leaves the Democrats in the dust. The RNC was brilliant performance art. The Republican poetic is masterful. These tactics, the swift boat stuff and the RNC pitch, the bald opposite-of-the-truth dissociations, the fear mongering, the character assassination, these are thousands of years old, and the Kerry crew responds by taking a nap.
If the Bush people win again the ante on the worst-case scenario is up considerably: American religious fundamentalist-led creeping global neo-capitalist corporate Stalinism working in a symbiotic relationship with an equally fundamentalist and militarized fragmented Islamic radical terrorist _opposition._ It's a perfect mutually-empowering partnership against the populations of the world, who are the real opposition to both groups. If this happens you'll have the Christians of middle-America to thank: people so uncomfortable with their own identities they agree to tolerate having their children killed in profiteering wars of foreign occupation as long as they don't have to hear anything on the news about the president getting a blowjob.
As long as W keeps intoning _I'm protecting you people from A-rabs_ and there's no proper answer to it from anyone, then he'll win. Then again, the American death count in a war justified by and universally accepted as unrelated to 9/11 is already at 1/3 of the number of people killed on 9/11 and rising.