If you had any doubt that this is a time of constitutional crisis, read the important, frightening (and under-covered) story in Sunday's Boston Globe. It documents an accumulating pattern of Presidential abuse, overreach and lawlessness.
Using the insidious pretense of "unitary executive" power, this president has renounced two centuries of prior constitutional understanding of how US democracy and government work. He has violated the fundamental rights of his own citizens and brutalized the "checks and balances" at the heart of our Constitutional design.
Here's one way to "nationalize" the 2006 election: Demand that all candidates defend the constitution. If that's a difficult or radical proposal, we might as well return to the monarchical system we overthrew some time ago.
(I have little doubt that quite a few Republican representatives (and, shamefully, a few Democrats) might well prefer that system--judging from how they've capitulated to King George's shredding of the Bill of Rights and Constitution.)
Defending our country means defending our form of government, as well as our physical safety, and that means defending the constitution from the vicious attacks emanating from this White House.