How do you plant a political message and watch it grow into an expression on the tip of everyone’s tongue? If you’re the Republican Party, you take a term like “class warfare”, get your leaders and like-minded pundits to say it over and over, and, within a couple of days, it’s stuck in voters’ brains like a successful television commercial jingle.
It doesn’t even matter that you’re fighting a real plan with a mere label. Your phrase becomes the basis for the debate. Then, President Obama has to come back first by denying that he’s guilty of the label being applied to him, and then embracing the label as a badge of honor.
Either way, it’s much better when your side controls the frame and the labels that get applied to you and your opponents.