My prediction for the 2008 elections: Democrats are going to lose.
I predict we're gonna have another independent split the democratic vote ala Ralph Nader. It's starting already, with Leiberman filing to run as an independent. No, it's not a HUGE issue that he is, and yeah, maybe he'll lose (but miracles, even bad ones, can happen). But it's the simple fact that he's decided the best thing to do after losing the primary is to run independently. It's a pure example of where Democrats are going, and why Democrats will lose. And we're fucking stupid for letting it happen.
Here's what I believe the core problem is: While "Republican" and "Democrat" used to stand for a concept that could be boiled down to something as simple as the size of government, this isn't the way the average american looks at them anymore. Republicans are based on historical (read: conservative) moral values and principals, while Democrats are generally viewed as desiring progressive (read: liberal) ones.
What does this have to do with losing an election? Simple. Republicans have no problem providing not only a consolidated message, but a consolidated plan, with structure and basic party rules. You lose an election, you fall in line, and that's just the way it is. Structures based on power usually work that way, and that's what happens. Further, it doesn't cause any confusion for them to do this since they all look to history to define what they want going forward... usually as far back as one rather confusing book found in every hotel nightstand on the planet. They have one message, one methodology, one opinion, one direction, and even if they don't, they abandon their beliefs for the betterment of the whole (or at least to not get their asses kicked by the whole).
Democrats, on the other hand, look toward the future. They have a utopian view where everyone's opinion matters, individualism is respected, and disagreement is accepted (and occasionally even encouraged). Unfortunately, this also means that if you lose in say, a democratic primary, it's your democratic responsibility to stand up and say that your opinion matters, and that you represent the views of the public, and that public has a right to be represented... so gosh darnit, you're gonna run!
The most extreme endpoint here is when every single democrat attempts to run as an independent because their views matter, and they represent a segment of society that deserves to have an option on a ballot. And the five people that agree completely with that person vote for that person, and the other billion people split up and vote for their one of the 5 million people voting that support their views exactly. Everyone gets represented, but with no popular winner, Democrats lose.
By definition, the Democratic view of life is going to be it's own downfall. Granted, some of us are smart enough to momentarily override our utopian view, saying we're going to vote for the main democratic candidate in order to overwhelm the unified republican front... but many are either too stupid to realize that's necessary, or are too extreme in their utopian view to let them do that.
Leiberman is yet another example of this phenomonon... and while he may not win any elections, and while most may think it's incredibly unlikely that he'll divide the democratic vote enough to allow the republicans to win, it's not beyond the realm of possibility.
I hope we can unify the Democrats out there into voting AGAINST Republican, instead of FOR individual democratic values... but 2004 was a great example of us doing exactly that... and still losing, because of the exact opinions and values that we're trying to get into office.