Democrats and the press don't realize what the political "game" is, and that's why we lose it (and "lose it") so regularly. What we see as ironic, hypocritical, disingenuous, and duplicitous is part of a quite deliberate and highly-effective strategy, one described in "1984" and used by Hitler, the Soviets, and Mao, but perfected by GOP "geniuses" Atwater and Rove. We lose race after race thinking politics is about issues, facts, truth, reality, logic, proof, and substance. Rove's extremely-effective strategy knows those things are not relevant anymore. Actually, liberals were successful for years with less sophisticated versions of disgarding reality and logic: winning elections by beating the GOP over the head with all-things-to-all-people, house-of-cards policies toward social security, farm programs, education, and supporting the "middle class." But Rove, "The Architect" as Bush calls him, left Democrats in the dust by operating principles like:

* Define your opponent before they can define themselves -- facts don't matter, merely what what sounds like it ought to be true, or "truthiness" as Stephen Colbert calls it. Thus, appeal to prejudice, preconceptions, "hooray for us" jingoism, labeling opponents as lacking principles and of hypocrisy ("flip-flopper").

* Governance as politics, partisanship, and campaigning 24-7-365. Liberals look at fundraising, politics and campaigning as preludes and separate from governance.

* "Spin" every event as a success validating your side's rightness and effectiveness or as a threat that requires your side's formulas for action (the Marxists used that for years). Thus, all GOP Congressional bills are named the opposite of what they do.

* Perceptions of character and values are everything in politics, while "issues" are merely the tapestry on which morality, right and wrong, heros and villains are woven.

* Discover all your opponents strengths and take them completely off the table in the election. Gore planned to campaign on his obvious success in promoting government efficiency, technology, and the environment, so Rove used things like "I invented the internet" to defang him early, turn strengths into perceived liabilities, and prevent these from coming up in the campaign. Rove did the same thing by swift-boating Kerry. And what Democrats label hypocrisy is by clear design to define yourself as what your opponent claims to be: compassionate, pro-environment, etc. As McCarthyism pioneered, be sure to demonize opponents' strengths of hope, fairness, intelligence, etc. as naive, weak, elitist, indecisive, unpatriotic, and intellectual.