Here’s the sentence that sums up what was wrong with election coverage ’10, courtesy of the New York Times‘ Peter Baker (11/3/10):
Was this the natural and unavoidable backlash in a time of historic economic distress, or was it a repudiation of a big-spending activist government?
Clearly, the economy was the main thing on the minds of American citizens, and we needed the media to lead a serious discussion of what to do about it. Instead, we got a bogus debate in which the left-wing pole was that nothing could be done to improve the situation–when the actual progressive view was that a great deal more could have been done–and the right offered an attack on federal spendingbut was never required to offer a coherent explanation of how this eliminated jobs. This is a framing that the right could not help but win by default.