David Frum’s summarizes what he believes is each side’s message in 2012
I have a longstanding theory that every campaign has a secret message, a 1-sentence summary of its offer to voters, for good or ill. These messages lurk beneath the formal slogans. They constitute the reality of the campaign.
The Democratic message is shaping up as: “The Republicans/the Fed/the Europeans wrecked the recovery, and we weren’t smart enough or tough enough to stop them. Vote us.”
The Republican message: “Obama could not fix the mess we made. Vote us.”.
It’s usually presumptuous to believe that one can explain complex matters by twittering them down to bite-sized statements. While they may satisfy the least informed in society, there is usually more to a story than could be fully told by a single statement. That said, they do serve a purpose. If accurate, they can peel away the rhetoric and layers of spin to reveal an underlying truth.
In the case of Frum’s interpretation of Republican’s “secret message”, it’s bang on although I don’t think there’s anything secretive about it. To anyone but a hardcore, Kool-Aid drinking Fox believer, the right-wing’s intent has been obvious since day one of Obama’s presidency. After Bush’s unnecessary trillion dollar war and the sinking of the economy with irresponsible tax cuts to the rich, and further deregulation of the financial sector, Republicans game plan was to put the blame on Obama. Furthermore, they ensured that economic recovery would be slow and painful by blocking as best they could every measure taken by the Obama administration to stimulate the economy and create jobs. There was nothing subtle or secretive in their tactics. They understood early on that a one term Obama presidency could only be possible if they were able to hinder a thriving, growing economy from becoming a reality.
This is clear.
As for Frum’s Democratic message, much of it is true but it ignores the simple fact that when a political party with a formidable spin machine at their disposal can use a mere 41 senators to block any legislation put forth by the party in power, getting anything out of Congress is near impossible. Unbridled obstructionism and a total unwillingness to compromise are powerful tools. Republicans have used them well…to the detriment of an entire nation.