Smoke, mirrors and graphs.
GOP Central has fun distorting numbers in its platform for the midterms. For instance, here's its graphic depiction of "soaring" U.S. government expenditure as a percentage of the economy:
At first, I looked at that graph and thought "Holy cow--President Obama is proposing to double the size of government!" But then I saw the numbers at the top and bottom of the graph. The increase in government as a share of GDP looks so large only due to the fact that the box only ranges from 17 to 24. With that scale, even a small increase looks huge. Here's what a more honest graph of the same data looks like:
That modest increase in government's role in the economy explains most of what you need to know about the despond Obama and the Dems find themselves in. It's not nearly big enough an increase to satisfy progressives, sufficiently disillusioned to stay home rather than vote, and sufficiently big (any increase would be sufficiently big) to motivate reactionaries to "kick the bums out" - the ones who staved off a second Great Depression, and brought about the biggest improvement in American way of life (aka Obamacare) since Medicare was introduced 45 years ago.