According to E. J. Dionne, "In his first two years as president, George W. Bush set a trap. He pushed through tax cuts so big that they would inevitably force Democrats into a series of no-win arguments during this election year. Democrats could dedicate themselves to undoing the budget damage Bush had caused by favoring tax increases and spending restraint. Or they could ignore the issue of fiscal balance and propose popular programs.
Either way, Democrats risked getting trashed and tearing each other apart. The first option offers voters little to cheer (tax increases and fewer programs) while the second opens the party to charges that it's engaging in its own form of fiscal irresponsibility."
Dionne discusses whether the Democrats can escape this trap in this Washington Post column.