Hardcore rhetoric from George Bush.
Dick Cheney is somewhat more elegant about it: "It's my belief that [the insurgents are] very sensitive of the fact that we've got an election scheduled... [They believe] they can break the will of the American people," and "that's what they're trying to do."
Josh Marshall reads the linked article and comments: "Get ready for the fangs and knives... The desperation will be ferocious. Imagine everything from the last six years rolled into one toxic week. An electoral gauntlet of hacking knives and fire. But, then, where did one party rule ever end serenely?"
A gauntlet of hacking knives and fire? That's one crazy image. Like something out of "Edward Scissorhands" or maybe "Yellow Submarine" -- remember The Dreadful Flying Glove?
Ah, but wait. Only conservative usage writers insist on the gauntlet/gantlet distinction, and since Marshall's no conservative, he's allowed to stir up distracting glove imagery as he makes his point that the President is getting really, really desperate.
Everyone knows Bush speaks inelegantly. Is he charged up as the election nears? I hope so. He should be. Imagine what people like Marshall would say if he seemed ennervated and resigned. And it's not as if we aren't going to see Democrats reveal their sharp edges this week. Fangs, knives, fiery gloves, what have you. And it's not as if Democrats aren't going drop their guard and let a blunt phrase slip out.
UPDATE: If you listened to the audio at that last link, there's more commentary here, here, and here. It really is amazing how politically inept John Kerry is.