Four more years?!… It?s understandable that Democrats this week are feeling alarmed and depressed, what with polls drifting towards the president and the Republican convention dominating the airwaves. Josh Marshall argues that Democrats are ill-served by their propensity to freak out at moments like this, and I agree with him. There?s really no reason right now to panic (worry yes, panic no). That said, we at The Washington Monthly figured it’s worth asking, for a variety of reasons: what if Bush wins? What would be the likely consequences of a second Bush term?

We asked sixteen dynamic thinkers, writers, and operatives, on both sides of the aisle, for their predictions. The resulting pieces make up our September cover package. Read them sitting down. You might want to start with Kevin Drum?s very smart contribution.

Also online from the September issue: Ben Wallace-Wells on why Virginia is tilting towards Kerry, Greg Sargent on the Democratic operative running the GOP convention, Jason DeParle on the next step for welfare reform, and James Warren on David Brock?s new book about the right wing media.

Update: Only about half the issue is online, so if you like what you read, subscribe!

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Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, he is writing a book on America’s involvement in the Greek War of Independence.