Super sneaky Republican strategy leaked…

Super sneaky Republican strategy leaked to press!

Pssst.  Bush wants Republicans to lose seats in Nov.  Then Bush can win in 2004 by showing everyone what baddies the Democrats are!  Fiendish!  And somehow this got leaked to the NY Times.

Translation: The Bushies are afraid of getting whomped in November and are spinning it by putting a happy face on it – “See this is what we really want, we like losing!”

It sounds so Machiavellian, even treasonous, that no one at the White House would dare endorse such an outcome – at least not in public.

But many prominent Republicans, including some of President Bush’s most faithful backers, are convinced that the most certain way for Mr. Bush to continue to rise politically, and ultimately win re-election in 2004, is for Republicans to, well, lose in November

Specifically, as the campaign season officially gets underway this Labor Day weekend, they are rooting for Republicans to fall flat in their aggressive drive to win back the Senate, and, better yet, to lose their precarious majority in the House.

Come again? Lose seats?

On the surface, that sounds preposterous.

Yet for purely pragmatic reasons, Mr. Bush may have an easier time seeking re-election if there is divided government. That way, he could use the Democrats as a foil. He would not have to meet the expectations of lawmakers in his own party whose agenda might be more conservative. And he could even continue presenting himself to the public as a Washington outsider. (In addition, White House officials can whisper to their friends that it’s not so bad that they lost after all.)