Tensions have come to the surface after meetings over the past few weeks in which Obama senior adviser David Axelrod discussed communications strategy with senior Democratic strategists and party officials. Some Democrats were so unhappy with the White House meetings, they started their own.
The strategy sessions aired a range of disagreements over how to help Democrats forestall an electoral drubbing at the polls—a defeat party strategists believe could have been minimized with a different White House playbook.
They still seem to think that their problem boils down to message. Even Democratic die-hard Kirsten Powers rejected that line a long time ago.
I’ll say this, their problem is in part message, but not in the way that they think. Overall, this administration has delivered a message very loudly. That message is: We will do what we want, and we will smear you and lie to you if you stand up to oppose us. That’s their message.
Oppose them on amnesty for illegal aliens — you’re their “enemy.” Or if you’re in Arizona, you’re getting sued.
Oppose them on ObamaCare — you’re a racist teabagger. Or you’re Astroturf beholden to some shadowy foreign interest.
Want to know what the tax environment will be on January 1, 2011? You’re out of luck, because the Democrats had no time to deal with that.
So yes, on message the Obamacrats have been awful.
But they’ve been awful on message not just because Robert Gibbs is an awful spokesman (though he is awful), but because they’ve been awful on policy, and they’re awful on policy because they’re hard core leftists who either don’t understand the country, or they do understand it but only insofar as they want to “fundamentally transform” it into an entirely different country.
So the problem isn’t message. And it’s not personnel.