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View Diary: Anyone That May Receive Social Security Must Read This (192 comments)

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  •  however the legal meaning of a term vs the (1+ / 0-)
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    ozsea1

    common meaning of a term may lie very far apart; check out the term murder and how often it is invoked by death penalty opponents.  You will frequently find the term "state sponsored murder" used ,which is not possible in legal terms but is very often the term used in public debate.

     Since we are engaged in a public debate, dealing with the common meaning of the term, arguing that the term is correct as a legal definition muddies the waters and illustrates why Democrats so often lose arguments in public discourse which they should easily win

    •  I think if we are engaged in a public debate, (1+ / 0-)
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      ozsea1

      we should use words correctly. And if people are ignorant of the meaning of the words, they should be educated. But stooping to the level of Republicans of using terms incorrectly and pejoratively  is not the best strategy IMO.

      I have no problem with people using the term earned benefits; that is perfectly correct and acceptable. But people who say "they are not entitlements" are just wrong; they are and there is a legal reason they are called that. I have read people here excoriate President Obama for using the term entitlements, even though it is the perfectly correct term and carries a particular meaning regarding the budget - mandatory.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:20:15 AM PST

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      •  to reiterate: the GOP wins the public debate time (1+ / 0-)
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        Brown Thrasher

        after time as they are the ones who define the terms used in the public debate.  They choose simple terms that sound good as sound bytes or as bumper stickers.  The actual meaning of the term is meaningless to them.

        OTOH Democrats are hopelessly mired in legalisms and how many liberal angels can dance on the head of a pin. This does not appeal to the general public with an attention span of 30 seconds or less.  They view lawyers askance and view legalisms as "weasel words" used to obfuscate and confuse.

        So on the issue of entitlements, we can quibble among ourselves on the exact definition of the term per Blackwell or the OED while the Rs have already successfully defined the term for the public.  At this point, to concede that SS is indeed a legal entitlement concedes the point to the Rs and again reinforces the image of Ds publicly as pointy headed nitpickers

        •  And you think the Republicans have convinced (1+ / 0-)
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          vigilant meerkat

          the American people that Social Security and Medicare are somehow bad or "welfare," or something people "feel" they are entitled to but in actuality are not entitled to them? I don't think so and I don't think they have won that debate by a long shot. Every poll I know says that the American people think people should get their SS and Medicare, that they are entitled to them both in the legal and moral sense.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:03:03 AM PST

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          •  however the argument is still framed (1+ / 0-)
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            Brown Thrasher

            as if SS and MC were somehow gifts given to moochers.  Check out any Sunday talking head if you doubt me.  While the wingers may not have won the war of definition on this term yet, the operative term is yet.  They are very adept in this as is seen with liberal now being seen as opprobrium

            •  Well. just call me stubborn and legalistic then. (0+ / 0-)

              I am a liberal, have always been a liberal, and always will be a liberal. And damned proud to be one. Words have meaning, no matter what some people do to distort them. I won't run from liberal and I won't run from entitlements.

              You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

              by sewaneepat on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:23:54 PM PST

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              •  which means you will never hold public office (0+ / 0-)

                except in the bluest of areas, no more than an avowed atheist would.  Liberal, atheist, socialist, all of these terms are campaign killers where "wife beater", "deadbeat dad" and "public drunk" are not but may actually enhance a candidate's chances

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