This passage from one of Holbrooke's memos during the Vietnam war seems like a pretty good analysis of the state of play in the current war between Democrats and Republicans:
"Hanoi uses time the way the Russians used terrain before Napoleon's advance on Moscow, always retreating, losing every battle, but eventually creating conditions in which the enemy can no longer function," he wrote. "For Napoleon it was his long supply lines and the cold Russian winter; Hanoi hopes that for us it will be the mounting dissension, impatience, and frustration caused by a protracted war without fronts or other visible signs of success; a growing need to choose between guns and butter; and an increasing American repugnance at finding, for the first time, their own country cast as 'the heavy.' "
Unfortunately for us I don't think that the Democrats are Hanoi--using time like the Russians used terrain, giving up a battles but, long term, gaining the advantage. I think we are in a war of attrition in which the Republicans have successfully figured out that if they can just prevent the Democrats from winning anything publicly, and prevent the economy from recovering, the average voter will be so bewildered that they will have no idea who to blame (who is the "heavy") and simply return them to power.