The talk of an impending implosion for the Blue Team continues to rage.

In a nutshell: the conventional wisdom of the moment confidently asserts that a rancorous primary equals a big loss in November.

This storyline is mostly driven by partisans for the candidate slightly ahead right now, who see advantage in prematurely calling the contest on account of damp underpants, and a press corps that lacks a sense of history or the ability to take the long view--but loves to push the panic button and breathlessly report on an onrushing cataclysm.

An aside: none of us are very good at predicting the future--but no cohort in America is any less prescient than the jittery chattering class of mainstream media impalas, nervously sniffing the wind, kibitzing with one another as they pass the time between dashing off to the next stampede.

There is a crisis looming for the Democrats--but it is a brand of trouble that they all seem completely blind to at the moment. The Democratic Party is not positioning itself very wisely for a general election.

First, the good news for Democrats.

No matter what happens between now and August, this remains a Democratic year.

The eventual Democratic candidate of 2008 will run buoyed by intense George W. Bush fatigue. The electorate is restless with an unpopular five-year war with no end in sight, and the uncertainty concerning the economy always plays in favor of the out-party.

The eventual Democratic candidate of 2008 will run against a presumptive Republican nominee who is seventy-one-years-old, who is admittedly inexpert on the economic questions, and who stubbornly (albeit bravely) advocates extending the five-year war indefinitely.

Bottom Line. Incontrovertible Fact. This is a good year to run as a Democrat.

However, for the first time in a long time, I am starting to believe that John McCain has a slim chance to prevail in November.

But not for all the conventional hand-wringing reasons we keep hearing presently.

Why might McCain actually have a chance?

The unique and thoroughly unpredictable Obama Phenomenon has pushed the Democratic party well to the left of traditional viability.

Obama is the most unapologetically liberal candidate to seriously contend for the Democratic nomination since George McGovern.

Obama is unabashedly against the war in Iraq. He is no less adamant on this point than Dennis Kucinich.

Anti-war candidates do not get elected president of the United States. Never. Not once.

Mrs. Clinton certainly understood this, which is why she began her campaign for the nomination as a centrist Democrat, strong on defense, tough as nails on terrorism, and committed to success in Iraq.

But then came unforeseen calamities between the Tigris and the Euprhates--and then came Obama. When she voted for the war back in 2002, she bet on a more competent Bush administration and a few more of the intangibles breaking our way--but Iraq surprised everyone. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton is the only person in America who had more to lose from a mishandled Iraq than George Bush.

A festering Iraq opened up the door for O--and he did the rest with his charisma, oratory, message of reconciliation, and implicit offer of racial redemption.

But the Obama Juggernaut comes with a price. Not only is Obama anti-war, he is for higher taxes, national health insurance, more social programs, a radically liberal view of America and its place in the world, and a whole host of things to which most Americans are completely unsympathetic.

These are views that Republicans take great pains to project on a Democratic candidate (oftentimes needing to exaggerate for political purposes). There will be no distortion necessary in the case of Obama. He is the genuine article.

If Obama wins the nomination, Democrats will need to hold their breath for three months, hoping that the "spell" does not wear off before the first Tuesday in November. For, stripped of the magic, Obama's views on public policy and political philosophy are not the stuff of successful general election campaigns.

And, even if Mrs. Clinton "steals" the nomination between now and August, she has tarried too long in the left-wing morass: parroting his anti-Iraq rhetoric, bad-mouthing free trade, and promising billions to every American in need. She had no choice: she had to either move left or get crushed--nevertheless, there she is, spinning her wheels in the soft turf of liberal disconnect.

Mrs. Clinton has enough political acumen to start steering back toward the center line ASAP--but is it too late? Will she be able to gain traction? Has she gone too far? Specifically, would she lose all credibility, if she suddenly started speaking sanely on Iraq again for a general election audience?

Of course, let me repeat, this is such a dismal year for the GOP--none of that may matter. But it gives McCain some hope.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers; it is always an honor--but we especially appreciate the company. In tribute to the Senator from CT, here is the BB "Lieberman file" from 2006.