Tony Snow is filling in for John Gibson as host of The Big Story.

You know the no. 1 sign of desperation in a political party? It's the belief that the people in the other party are a bunch of little satans, who have the power alter history with the snap of a finger, and who are evil schemers to the core.

This mad politician disease afflicted Republicans during the — for them — frustrating presidency of Bill Clinton.

The ex-president seemed capable of getting away with any sort of crime. In fact, his poll ratings usually rose when he did something unforgivable and stupid.

Republicans raged, and William Jefferson Clinton laughed and bit his lip to a triumphal second term.

Well, now comes George W. Bush, with his bland personal life and fractured English, and guess what? Democrats are trembling with impotent fury.

Here's Howard Dean (search), hinting darkly that the commander in chief knew in advance of the Sept. 11 attacks, but did nothing.

And then there's Jim McDermott (search), claiming he saw something suspicious in the timing of the Saddam arrest.

Yep: If you want to fiddle with an election, do something 11 months before the vote. This guy sounds like he didn't get his chad punched.

Speaking of which, there's also the claim that Republicans stole the Florida election in 2000, even though seven subsequent recounts confirmed that Al Gore (search) lost by a squeaker.

This is all colorful, and it revs up partisan arguments, but if you're an outsider — and most of us are — the whole thing is a bore... like watching members of another family argue in public.
It's also a sure political loser. If you don't believe me, just ask Bob Dole (search).

That's My Word.

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