DEPRESSED….McClatchy reports that conservative attack groups are in hibernation this year:

There’s no 2008 equivalent to the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which spent $22 million attacking Democrat John Kerry. Prominent groups and donors that played key roles in independent conservative 527 groups four years ago say they’re sitting out this election. And while they’ve raised more than they did at this point four years ago, the independent pro-Republican groups still lag more than $50 million behind pro-Democratic groups.

….At this stage four years ago, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had been up and running for more than a month, ripping Kerry’s Vietnam record. It started airing its big ads that August.

Another pro-Republican group, Progress for America, aired its first ad criticizing Kerry’s national-security record and credentials four years ago this week, the first $1 million salvo of what would be a $35 million barrage in key states.

Today, there are no such groups on the Republican side.

My naive explanation for this is that convervatives are just massively depressed this year. Continuing to try to defend George Bush is a bummer; John McCain isn’t really their guy; they don’t think they can win; Barack Obama is so talented he scares them; rich people don’t feel like wasting their money on a loser; evangelicals are sort of wondering why God has forsaken them; and overall, they’re as tired of the war as anyone. Basically, they’re having trouble getting out of bed this morning.

Which is all great news. On the other hand, my wife, who hangs out more regularly with normal people than I do, cautions me constantly that she thinks McCain has a better chance than I’m giving him credit for. My analytic side continues not to believe her, but her instincts aren’t bad on this kind of thing. So I’ll hold off on breaking out the champagne until November.

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