GOP JUST CAN’T QUIT BUSH…. The notion that Democrats would gain traction this year by tying Republican candidates to George W. Bush’s failed presidency has always seemed implausible to me. The GOP’s lack of popularity still stems from the previous administration’s catastrophes, but it seems challenging, at best, to keep connecting the party to Bush two years later.

Fortunately for Democrats, Republicans are making it easier. In recent months, leading GOP candidates and officials have made no real effort to hide the fact that the Republican agenda in 2010 is effectively identical to the agenda of Bush/Cheney. They’re even praising the failed administration while embracing its policy ideas.

This culminated over the weekend with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) suggesting on “Meet the Press” that his party wants to “go back to the exact same agenda” they pursued during the Bush/Cheney years. A day later, the DNC put together this video, highlighting not only Sessions’ remarks, but the consequences of a return to policies we already know don’t work.

“Republican candidates should expect to see this ad on a television station near them this fall,”a DNC official told Greg Sargent. “Republicans have given us an opening to tie them back to Bush and have also helped us frame this election as a choice — between Obama and Bush.”

I don’t doubt that Democrats face a very challenging cycle, and have every reason to be nervous, but the easier Republicans make it to tie them to George W. Bush, the better off Dems will be.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.