Larry Kudlow
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The door has been left wide open for Democrats to take over Congress, but they haven’t been able to walk through it. President Bush’s polls have been low, events in Iraq until recently have been discouraging, Republican scandals have been in the air, and the GOP has become the party of earmarks and spending. Pundits have expected the Democrats to nationalize the elections with a strong message to counter these Republican failings, but so far they have totally failed.

Not that the Democrats don’t have a message. They appear to be calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, higher taxes, a hike of the minimum wage, and increased spending on education and health care. But that’s just the same old same old.

Will the nation trust Democrats on national security? I don’t think so. Will the investor class trust Democrats on taxes and the economy? I don’t think so again. Should pundits count on Democrats nationalizing the midterm elections? I’d recommend against it.

Believe it or not President George W. Bush might be the one to nationalize the election, and in doing so pull Republican chestnuts out of the fire.

In the Rose Garden this week, Bush predicted Republican victories in November, saying the GOP “philosophy is one that is forward looking and optimistic.” He’s right. The Democrats are still the party of pessimism. Vice President Cheney recently said that Republicans will prevail in the midterms because of the strong economy and the ability of the Bush administration to prevent another terrorist attack. Now that’s a winning message.

And it’s filling a vacuum.

Killing Zarqawi triggered a chorus of Democratic negativism. A strong new government in Iraq elicited catcalls from Democrat John Murtha. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid showed up at a left-wing bloggers conference in Las Vegas, only to talk troop withdrawal and spit venom at Bush. Not a message to be seen.

The U.S. military takes over 400 al-Qaeda hideaways and for all we know U.S. Special Forces are in hot pursuit of Osama bin Laden. Yet not a single Democrat can admit there is good news on the war front.

I sense a pattern here -- and it is bad news for the party on the left. Democrats want to raise your taxes; Republicans want to reduce them. Democrats want to increase spending; Republicans want a reduction. Democrats want to cut and run from Iraq; Republicans want to finish the mission.

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Larry Kudlow

Lawrence Kudlow is host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” which airs nightly from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.