During the Bush years, many Democrats came to believe they were losing elections due to their inadequate framing tactics -- a belief that turned the linguist George Lakoff into an unlikely guru figure. It's a convenient excuse, but there's little systematic evidence that framing tactics can change the dynamics of the national debate under normal political circumstances. (For specific reasons why Lakoff's advice was likely to fail, see the links here.)
Now liberals are learning this lesson the hard way. A WSJ article reports that their elaborately tested health care messaging tactics aren't working:
In the rhetorical battle over health care, the forces backing President Barack Obama's overhaul have spent years polling and using focus groups to find the precise language that would win over voters -- an effort that doesn't at the moment appear to be working.
With both parties using these tactics, the likely result is a stalemate. It's a classic arms race dynamic in which neither side improves their relative position and everyone ends up worse off. (See All the President's Spin for much more on this issue.)