For many election cycles, Democrats have had major problems with being tagged as tax-and-spend liberals. The "L word" was a motto used by Republican candidates to sink their Democratic rivals.
Guess what? The Republican brand may be the losing one in 2008. Even some Republicans are openly talking about it in the face of significant losses in recent special elections.
Previously-held GOP House seats in Illinois, Louisiana, and even Mississippi have been won by Democrats. The Republican candidates looked to the L word and linked it to Sen. Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco liberal.
It didn't work.
Some Republicans on Capital Hill are scurrying around for answers. For instance, a new slogan, The Change You Deserve, was trotted out.
One little problem there was that the word change has been a constant drumbeat by Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Even a Republican veteran in Congress, Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, said his party was in its worst condition since the Watergate scandal. The GOP lost 47 seats in the House in the first post-Watergate election.
Davis is not seeking re-election this year although he could probably have held his seat. The Democrats could capture it.
All of this occurred while President Bush was on a swing through the Middle East with almost nothing to show for it.
The president inserted himself into the presidential race by calling it appeasement to talk to terrorists or radicals. He told the Knesset in Jerusalem that it reminded him of actions before the German Army swept into Poland in World War II.
The next stop was Saudi Arabia, where the leaders of the kingdom were not pleased with Bush's warming words to the Israelis. Bush's call for increased oil production fell on near deaf ears in a country we have been generous toward with arms.
Before a return to Washington, Bush had words of warning for the Palestinians and the Israelis on the need for peace and a Palestinian state. That did not sit well with either side.
So the L word may still be a call to arms by the Republicans this fall, but voters may not be listening.