As political slogans go, “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead” is truly excellent. …

The Obama campaign is seemingly unaware that its slogan echoes one that helped propel Theodore Roosevelt to victory in 1904. Then, the cry was “Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.” …

We now know, however, that like a blinding light, Roosevelt’s slogan obscured at least as much as it illuminated. …

Certainly one thing obscured by “GM is alive and bin Laden is dead” is that while Osama bin Laden may be dead, al-Qaeda most emphatically is not. Suspicions that the Obama administration wanted to perpetuate confusion on this point drive the ongoing controversy regarding the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Questions about what the White House knew and when are aimed at uncovering whether the administration tried to conceal al-Qaeda’s role in the attack. …

Finally, the Obama slogan implies that GM might not be alive under policies recommended by those who wanted to, say, “put GM into bankruptcy,” such as Romney. This confuses the difference between bankruptcy and going out of business. Obama ultimately put GM into bankruptcy — but ensured that his union friends’ contracts were protected — so his real difference with Romney is over the terms of that bankruptcy. Here, too, history will be the judge: whether GM emerged stronger as a result of the taxpayer-funded terms imposed by Obama, or if it would have emerged stronger under the regular rules of bankruptcy.