This will be brief.
President Obama has lamented since the GOP won back the House on November 2nd and made gains in the Senate that he believes the reason or part of the reason why Dems suffered so many defeats was because he had allowed Republicans to portray him as a tax and spend liberal in passing legislation to keep a terrible recession from becoming a full blown depression as well as health care reform. While its true that the messaging coming from the White House and Congressional Democrats was on the whole an epic fail I think to blame it all or even mostly on that is erroneous. And I think part of the problem is that President Obama and other Dems really believe people give a shit about whether he or they are a "tax and spend" liberal.
Here is what I see as the truth, had Congress passed and President Obama signed a much bigger stimulus there would have been an uproar momentarily but as the unemployment rate came down so would have people's anxiety levels. If going into this past November unemployment was down to something at least sellable like say 7% Americans would have voted for all those dirty fucking tax and spend liberals in record droves.
One thing about good policy is its hard to hide its positive outcomes. Republicans can, do, and will continue to kick Democrats' asses in messaging. Its just something they do better. But a slogan or a bumper sticker only lasts for a moment, results on the other hand stick. If Democrats ever figure out that as long as their legislation actually works then no amount of messaging will hurt them, then they will never have another problem when it comes to election season. But as long as they continue to buy into the GOP messaging themselves and fear being portrayed as something most Americans couldn't give a fuck about as long as times are good, they will continue to pass half ass measures and ultimately get punished for it.