Messaging Doesn't Matter.

Generally speaking, Republicans aren't actually more disciplined or organized than Democrats, and vice versa -- whether your side is "good enough" is usually a function of whether you're winning or losing. That said, I'll make an exception for messaging; when Republicans lose elections, you really don't hear them complain about it for weeks afterward:

In interviews after the marathon three hour meeting, several senators and senior aides told POLITICO that Nelson was just one of several senators to express anger at White House missteps – and air deep concerns about their own political fates if Obama and the Democratic Party leadership can’t turn things around by 2012. [...]

Others said Democratic leaders need to clearly spell out what they believe are the motivations behind the Republicans' positions: that they are beholden to special interests, who bankroll their campaigns. If Democrats keep losing the message war, they worry, they will be wiped out in 2012.

Two things: First, Democratic senators have very short memories. Barack Obama was a boon for down-ballot candidates in 2008, and his massive coattails helped Democrats grow their slim majority into a supermajority. Before unloading on the president, they would do well to remember that he remains the most popular (working) politician in America: more popular than Republicans, Democrats, and Congress as a whole.

As for 2012, Democrats need to stop worrying about "messaging" and start trying to improve the economy; as I've said too many times, the only thing that will save Democrats is economic growth. If they can deliver economic growth, the messaging will take care of itself. Or put another way, the most brilliant campaign in the world won't matter if unemployment is above 9 percent and the economy is still stagnant. In which case, say hello to President Romney and his new Republican majority.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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