I'm sure that the Bush people will try to put some conservative bills before them to make Democrats shoot them down," said Philip A. Klinkner, a professor of government at Hamilton College. President Bush would "start using his veto pen and cutting spending bills — he'd try to show Democrats are for raising taxes and spending."
The obvious example of this is 1994, when the Republican won both the House and the Senate and set out to implement their "Republican Revolution." In doing so, the allowed President Clinton to "triangulate" his way to reelection in 1996. An earlier example is 1946, when the Republicans came back to power after 16 years in the congressional wilderness. Nonetheless, they succeeded mostly in saddling the eventual nominee, Thomas Dewey, with a unpopular conservative record and allowing Harry Truman to run against the "Do Nothing" 80th Congress.
Nonetheless, I don't think you can win by losing. If you want to convince the American people that you can govern effectively, the first thing you need to do is govern.