"The Democrats. Frustrated by their powerlessness in the Bush era, Democrats are flailing right now, struggling to regain power but also to regain their footing. Within the party rages a furious battle, which might be distilled into a struggle over whether it is safe to use the word "liberal" again. This battle played itself out most dramatically in the bitter primary struggle last month in Connecticut between Sen. Lieberman and Mr. Lamont.
"Though Sen. Clinton will sail to renomination and re-election in New York, some Democrats remain uneasy about her support for the war -- not enough to allow Jonathan Tasini to make even a small dent in the Clinton armor in next Tuesday's primary, but enough to provide an important obstacle should she decide to pursue the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
"These strains are well beneath the Democratic waterline this fall, but are not insignificant; they may explain, for example, Sen. Clinton's announcement last Friday that she would sponsor a fund-raiser and campaign beside Mr. Lamont, the insurgent who has emerged as the symbol of an Internet-based, left-leaning Democratic rebellion. These strains, moreover, are perhaps the most important elements of this fall's contests as the party positions itself for an election where it will not face an incumbent and thus must define itself rather than respond to an incumbent's record.