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Democrats are constantly resorting to disaster messaging.

Here’s a description the typical situation.

• The Republicans outmessage the Democrats. The Democrats, having no effective response, face disaster: They lose politically, either in electoral support or failure on crucial legislation.

• The Democrats then take polls and do focus groups. The pollsters discover that extremist Republicans control the most common ("mainstream") way of thinking and talking about the given issue.

• The pollsters recommend that Democrats move to the right: adopt conservative Republican language and a less extreme version of conservative policy, along with weakened versions of some Democratic ideas.

• The Democrats believe that, if they follow this advice, they can gain enough independent and Republican support to pass legislation that, at least, will be some improvement on the extreme Republican position.

• Otherwise, the pollsters warn, Democrats will lose popular support — and elections — to the Republicans, because "mainstream" thought and language resides with the Republicans.

• Believing the pollsters, the Democrats change their policy and their messaging, and move to the right.

• The Republicans demand even more and refuse to support the Democrats.

We have seen this on issues like health care, immigration, global warming, finance reform, and so on. We are seeing it again on the Death Gusher in the Gulf. It happens even with a Democratic president and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

Why? Is there anything the Democrats can do about it? First, it has to be understood. It doesn’t just happen.

The Difference Between Framing and Messaging

Framing is the most commonplace thing we do with thought and language. Frames are the cognitive structures we think with. They are physical, embodied in neural circuitry. Frames come in systems. Their circuitry is strengthened and often made permanent through use: the more the circuits are used, the stronger they get. Effective frames are not isolated. They build on, and extend, other frames already established.

All words are defined in terms of conceptual frames. When the words are heard, the frames are strengthened — not just the immediate frames, but the whole system.

Fit matters. The brain is a "best-fit" system.  The better a new frame "fits" existing frames, the more effective it will be; that is, the more people will think, and make decisions, using that frame.

Frame conflict

The activation of one brain circuit may either activate or inhibit another. A frame that fits a system will activate other frames in the system and make them stronger. Strongly activated frames will weaken frames that they inhibit.

There are progressive and conservative frame systems. Activating the conservative frame system, weakens the progressive frame system — both individual frames for particular issues, but also the system as a whole.

That is how framing works. There are consequences.

High-Level, Moral Frames Matter More

Higher-level frames, deeper in the system, have a disproportionate effect.

The more the language of frame is repeated, the stronger the frame gets, along with the system the frame is in. And the weaker the frames of the contradictory system gets. The stronger high-level frames are, the more effective frames that fit them will be.  And the less effective frames that contradict them will be.

In politics, the high-level frames are the moral systems that define what is "right" for a conservative or progressive.

Most Framing is Unconscious

Frames are conceptual; they are the elements of thought. Most thought is unconscious. Words activate frames. We are rarely conscious of the frames that are activated by the words we hear. Yet those frames are there in our brain circuitry, and more we hear the words, the stronger the frames get, even though we aren’t aware of it.


Framing is Long-term

Framing is the establishment of permanent (or long-term) high-level frames and systems of frames with the brains of voters. Framing can be done by long-term careful political messaging, or through education (say, by controlling school textbooks).

Prototype Framing

An important part of framing is the establishment of prototypes: social stereotypes, prototypes (typical case, ideals, nightmares, salient exemplars). Stereotypes are used in automatic reasoning and decision-making.

Bi-conceptual Framing

For important domains of thought, like morality, religion, and politics, it is commonplace for people to have two inconsistent frame systems that inhibit each other.  When those frames apply to different issues and in different contexts, we speak of "bi-conceptuals." When you can shift back and forth on an issue, you are bi-conceptual on that issue. That is, you can frame the issue in two ways, using inconsistent higher-level frame systems.

Contested concepts

In politics, the high-level frames are moral frames. There are opposing conservative and progressive moral systems. Important political concepts are "contested," overlapping in some classic cases, but diverging in content depending on the moral system. Thus, vital political concepts like Life, Freedom, Responsibility, Government, Accountability, Equality, Fairness, Empathy, Property, Security, and so on are contested.

A major goal of political framing is to get your version of contested concepts accepted by the voters. Messaging can then use these concepts and their language freely and effectively.
That is how framing works generally — independent of whether the frames are used in politics. In politics, bi-conceptual voters can shift back and forth on an issue, depending on how the issue is framed in terms of higher-level political systems.

Political Messaging

Messages use words. The words activate frames. In political messages, you  have a double intention: to get voters to think using your frames and to keep voters from thinking using the other side’s frames, which contradict yours.

Your message will be more effective if it fits existing high-level frames in the brains of voters, and less effective it contradicts such high-level frames.

Political messaging and bi-conceptual voters

Your goal, with bi-conceptual voters, is to activate your system of political frames and inhibit the other side’s system of political frames. Your message should therefore fit your high-level frame system, and it should not fit the other side’s high-level frame system. If it fits the other side’s high-level frame system, your message will be helping the other side, because it will tend to make voters think using their frame system.

Why Does Disaster Messaging Arise?

Suppose the other side has structured its messaging over a long period of time to consistently strengthen its high-level frames, prototypes, and versions of contested concepts in the brains of voters. They can now do effective messaging by using those high-level, morally-based frames in messages that evoke the existing strong high-level frames.

Why Conservatives Consistently Win Messaging Battles

In the US, conservatives have set up an elaborate messaging system. It starts with an understanding of long-term framing and message experts who know how to use existing their long-term frame systems. Then there are think tanks, with experts who understand the high-level frame system and how it applies to the full range of issues. There are training institutes that teach tens of thousands of conservatives a year to think and talk using these framing systems and their language and argument forms. There are regular gatherings to consolidate messaging and policy around a contemporary issue that fits the conservative moral system. There are booking agencies that book conservative spokespeople on tv, talk radio, etc. There are lecture venues and booking agencies for conservative spokespeople. There are conservative media going on 24/7/365.  

As a result, conservative language is heard constantly in many parts of the US. Conservative language automatically and unconsciously activates conservative frames and the high-level framing systems they are part of. As the language is heard over and over, the circuitry linking the language to conservative frames becomes stronger.  Because the synapses in the neural circuits are stronger, they are easier to activate. As a result, conservative language tends to become the normal, preferred "mainstream" language for discussing current issues.

This messaging system has existed and has been extended and strengthened over many years. Democrats have a few of these elements, but they are relatively ineffective, since they tend to view messaging as short-term and issue-based, rather than long-term and morally based. Democrats tend not to understand how framing works, and often confuse framing (which is deep, long-term, systematic, morality-based, and conceptual) with messaging (which is shallow, short-term, ad hoc, policy-based, and linguistic).

This situation puts Democrats at a messaging disadvantage relative to conservatives, which leads to conservative victories. Hence the regular need for disaster messaging.

Polling and The "Mainstream"

When the Democrats are out-messaged, they call upon polling and focus groups to given an "empirical, evidential" account of public opinion and which language is preferred by the public. The "evidence" comes from polls and focus groups that test the normal "mainstream" language and logic, versus language and logic that is not "mainstream." This is, naturally, conservative language and logic, because the conservative messaging system has systematically made it that way patiently over years. The pollsters therefore report that the "mainstream" of Americans prefer the conservative language and logic, and the policies that go with them. The pollsters then suggest moving to right to go to where the public is. They then construct and test messages that move enough to right to satisfy the "mainstream." They also construct "good arguments." If the "good arguments" activate the conservative worldview, the conservative position will just get stronger in the brains of the voters.

What’s Wrong?

When the Democrats use conservative language, they activate more than the conservative framing on the given issue.  They also activate and strengthen the high level, deep conservative moral frames. This tends to make voters more conservative overall — and leads them to choose the real conservative position on the given issue, rather than the sort of conservative version provided by the democrats.

Disaster framing is a disaster.

The "Center"

There are bi-conceptuals of many kinds— you can have partly conservative, partly progressive  views on many issues, and people vary considerably. There is no general ideology of the center. The myth that there is a single "center" is an artifact of current polling practices.
Here’s how this works. Ask people whether they When you pick a given issue and poll on the most common "mainstream" language. It will be favored by both full conservatives and bi-conceptuals who happen to be conservative on that issue. Those bi-conceptuals may identify as "democrats" or "liberal-leaning" or "independents."  With suitable framing, those bi-conceptuals should shift on the issue, while the true conservatives will not.

Do they form a "center?"

That is an empirical question, but they do not appear to. Change the issue and a new issue-specific "center" may appear, person-by-person.

Such polling is rarely done, so claims about a single "center" — or a single left-to-right spectrum — should not be believed.

The Importance of Bi-conceptuals

Pollsters tend not to test for bi-conceptuals. They are not just undecideds, or independents, or mere swing voters. They are voters who have both relatively strong progressive and conservative high-level moral systems and apply them in different contexts to different issues. There are usually a significant number — in the US my guess is around 20% ± 3. They often determine elections. If they are given only conservative messaging, that messaging will activate their conservative frame system. If they are given progressive messages often enough over a reasonably long period, there is a good chance that their progressive moral system will be activated and strengthened.

The directly contradicts the traditional view of mainstream pollsters. As a result, it has not been tested empirically on a large scale, though there is one solid result.  

Recommendation

Don’t move to the right. Start thinking longer term. Build as much of a communications system as possible. Design long-term framing for your own high level, moral system and basic policy domains. Fit your immediate messaging needs to the long-term frames. Carry on both kinds of messaging in parallel.

Polling

Design polling to study bi-conceptuals through value-based frame-shifting.  Always use batteries of questions.

How Conservatives Change Policies Without Winning Elections

How do conservative Republicans have a large effect on policy even when they are largely out of office? Their communication system is never out of office. That allows a conservative minority to stonewall and resist and gain popular approval for it. Their communication system intimidates Democrats into disaster messaging and policy shifts to the right.  The Republicans don’t have move the country in a conservative direction by holding office. Their communications system can get the Democrats to move the country to the right by forcing disaster messaging upon them.

The example of immigration

The most recent example of disaster framing is reported on in an important Politico article by Carrie Budoff Brown, "Dems Tough New Immigration Pitch".  It’s an excellent piece, and I will be quoting liberally from it.

Brown reports that Democrats have taken "an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch that now defines the party’s approach to the issue." Democratic leaders are now following the advice of pollsters Stan Greenberg, Celinda Lake, and Guy Molyneux and strategist/focus-group dialer Drew Westen: Talk like Republicans.

"The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them "illegal immigrants," not "undocumented workers," the pollsters say." The pollster team was organized by John Podesta of the Center for American Progress.

"When [voters] hear ‘undocumented worker,’ they hear a liberal euphemism, it sounds to them like liberal code," said Drew Westen, a political consultant who has helped Sharry hone the message through dial testing. "I am often joking with leaders of progressive organizations and members of Congress, ‘If the language appears fine to you, it is probably best not to use it. You are an activist, and by definition, you are out of the mainstream.’"
 
And craft a policy with lots of Republican elements.  Here is what President Obama, following the pollsters’ advice, said at a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House:

"The way to fix our broken immigration system is through common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. That means responsibility from government to secure our borders, something we have done and will continue to do. It means responsibility from businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers — they’ve got to be held accountable. It means responsibility from people who are living here illegally. They’ve got to admit that they broke the law and pay taxes and pay a penalty, and learn English, and get right before the law — and then get in line and earn their citizenship."

Conservative Republican elements are being communicated here: Use force against the illegals ("secure our borders"); get tough ("held accountable"}; personal, not social, "responsibility"; criminals ("living here illegally"); be punitive ("admit they broke the law and pay taxes and pay a penalty"); English only ("learn English"); they’re getting free handouts ("earn their citizenship.").

Put aside for a moment the substance of the policy, and notice that these are conservative Republican themes that fit a conservative Republican view of the world.  Democrats, starting with the President, are using the language that activates the conservative Republican view of the world. Why? As Brown reports,

"We lost control of the message in the 2007 debate," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant rights group that worked with Center for American Progress founder John Podesta on the messaging overhaul.

"We were on the inside fighting off amendments, and the other side was jacking up their opponents and getting Rush and Hannity and O’Reilly on fire about this. We needed to do a much better job on communications."

But the biggest factor came from Greenberg’s polls: the threat that Democrats could lose "swing districts" in elections, but could win them with this message. So the Democrats not only adopted the message, but much of the largely conservative policy that went with it.

A major feature, however, is that the "illegals" would be legalized while on the path to citizenship. The conservative response is obvious: It’s just amnesty warmed over. The Democrats are still soft on "illegals" — a term now embraced by Democrats who follow Drew Westen’s recommendation.

With the Administration’s lawsuit against the recent Arizona anti-immigrant law, you can bet that the Republicans will use that lawsuit to pin "soft on illegals" on Democratic candidates.  And the Administration’s new "tough" right-wing rhetoric will only help support the Republicans.

Repetition over The Long Term

The only way progressives can avoid the disaster of disaster messaging is by regularly saying what they believe, in an effective messaging system — out loud, over and over, with the idea of changing how the public thinks and talks over the long haul.

Here is an uncompromising example of a possible op-ed:

End A Bad Law: 287 g

Bad laws, laws that hurt far more than they help, should be eliminated. Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is a bad law. Here’s why.

Almost all immigrants who entered the US without papers are honest, hard-working, decent people, who have often risked their lives to come the America. They do essential work, mostly for low wages, work that makes the lifestyles of most Americans possible: cleaning homes, caring for children and the elderly, gardening, cooking in restaurants, working on farms, doing odd jobs, working on construction. They deserve our gratitude. They are America’s mainstays, good guys. There are twelve million of them in America, helping us all live better every day.

A small number, as in any population, are bad guys: occasional murderers, human traffickers, drug dealers, gang members, and thieves. They need to be captured and convicted.

But 287 g mostly harasses, jails, harms, and deports the good guys, and in doing so, mostly lets the bad guys escape.

287g allows local police and jailers to act as deportation agents with ultimate power over the lives of the good guys, who are assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. Their very entry into the US without papers constitutes sufficient "guilt" to justify their mistreatment and deportation.

287 g promotes a form of racial profiling. 287 g is immoral, an affront to the human rights that define what America is about.

287 g is also ineffective in getting the bad guys, partly because it uses so many resources on going after the good guys.

As Alex DiBrancoreports,  the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that 287(g) is poorly managed, ineffectively organized, and arbitrarily implemented from place to place; ignores or actually provides false information to the public; fails to focus on non-citizens who pose a safety threat; gives shoddy training; and lacks oversight and has not terminated those local partners who have clearly violated the terms of the agreement — local law enforcement officials running amok in hunting down harmless undocumented immigrants. 287(g) also deters undocumented immigrants who witness a crime from coming forward and encourages racial profiling in which Latinos are "guilty until proven innocent."

287 g should be ended, and replaced by a law that protects the good guys and pays serious attention to catching the bad guys. It is not just ineffective; it is downright immoral.

The Point

Almost every day, I get a request from somewhere in the US — or various other countries — to help some group do disaster messaging.  It’s sad. Reframing rarely works with disaster messaging.

To work long-term, progressive messaging must be sincere and direct, must reflect progressive moral values, and must be repeated. Progressive framing is about saying what you believe, telling the truth, and activating the progressive worldview already present in the minds of those who are partly conservative and partly progressive.

Framing is, of course, about policy, more than about messaging. What you say should go hand-in-hand with what you think and do.

And, of course, the best messaging requires an excellent communications system, or it won’t be heard. Progressives have the money to build such a system. The question is whether they understand the desperate need for such a system, and whether they have the will to build it.

Originally posted to George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:05 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (344+ / 0-)
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    •  Excellent....and I might add (26+ / 0-)

      It's not always a matter of "moving" to the right. A companion process is that, especially in certain parts of the country (e.g. Appalachia, where I live, and the Ozarks), Democrats already ARE a right-wing party due to history.

      Democratic politicians from these areas are more than DINOs because they actually do represent reactionary party establishments back home.

      As the national party "moves" right through the process you describe, these figurehead politicians are then advanced to national leadership positions out of a misbegotten sense that they will bring along their regions. When the truth is that these politicians are despised by the common people they claim to represent.

      Thus the party brand becomes even more despicable in these locales, as the national party appears to endorse the most hated and undemocratic "leaders."

      Witness the current framing of West Virginia's Joe Manchin, and the refusal among national Democrats to accept that Ohio's Ted Strickland isn't popular any more.

      "Politics: The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." -- Ambrose Bierce

      by Ohiobama on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:08:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems need moral values based frames (59+ / 0-)

        Many Democrats end up hated because they appear to have no principles. When Dems shift positions based on focus groups and polling they appear to be appeasers. When they promise one thing when running for office, then change position after being attacked by conservatives, they look weak. When they resort to Republican framing they appear to be hypocrites.

        That's why the pie wars here.

        The Democratic base wants Dems to stand firm on a few basic principles.

        To Democratic centrists, everything is negotiable to achieve incremental gains.

        look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:51:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, moral values are key! (25+ / 0-)

          And that's what always attracted me to the Democratic Party and progressive causes in the first place.

          Progressive values drive towards fairness, justice, opportunity for everyone, healthy people, healthy environment, mutual concern and on and on.

          We need to stand on these values.  And frame our policies within these values, which are in fact the basis of our policies.

          Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

          by Happy Days on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:06:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When Nancy Pelosi listed 12 "Core Values" (8+ / 0-)

            or maybe it was 13 or 17 or 11 -- who can remember? -- it gave away the game.

            Republicans at least understand that there aren't 12 "core values." There's one core value, or two or three at most.

            Anyone remember any of Nancy's core values?

            "Politics: The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." -- Ambrose Bierce

            by Ohiobama on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:13:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Core values? (13+ / 0-)

              I agree - 1 or 2, maybe 3..

              Off the top of my head:

              1 - Flesh and blood people are more important than legal fictions.

              2 - The Commons belong to all citizens, and should be protected from poaching.

              3 - Leave the planet a better place than how you found it.

              How's that?

              "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

              by ARS on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:46:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness" (9+ / 0-)

                There it is -- the American core values. If you want to get French -- "Life, Liberty, Equality."

                No need to reinvent the wheel on this, or get wordy. And Moses only came down with Ten Commandments.  Was he deficient in core values?

                People actually get offended when national leaders neglect our founding documents.

                "Politics: The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." -- Ambrose Bierce

                by Ohiobama on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:53:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Falling into Republican framing here (7+ / 0-)

                  To Republicans:

                  Life = no abortions

                  Liberty = freedom from government setting rules.

                  Pursuit of happiness = do what I want and screw everyone else

                  Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

                  by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:23:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  the problem that I see... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dizzydean, cameoanne

                  ...is the willful misinterpretation of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" has already gotten us to corporate person hood, leasing or selling of public lands to private interests, protection of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, etc. etc.

                  You want core values that will resonate with voters -

                  people are more important than corporations

                  Our country belongs to us, and cannot be sold/leased out from under us. (or charge us for water, etc.)

                  Our children and grandchildren deserve the same or better than what we got handed to us. (i.e. don't crap on my yard)

                  "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

                  by ARS on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:28:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How about FDR's Four Freedoms as core values (5+ / 0-)

                    Simple, rooted in American history and values and is distinctly tied to the Democratic Party through FDR:

                    In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

                    The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

                    The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

                    The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

                    The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world.

                    That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

                    To that new order we oppose the greater conception -- the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

                    Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions -- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

                    This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

                    To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

                    When the storm blows hard you must stand firm, for it is not trying to knock you down, it is trying to teach you to be strong. Lakota saying

                    by dizzydean on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:41:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Three Core Values: Justice, Opportunity, Courage (7+ / 0-)

              These three capture the heart of progressive principles.

              1.  Justice for All - Policies that value everyone equally; sensible immigration policies that recognize the humanity of undocumented people working thankless jobs in America; no torture, even of terrorists; laws that don't discriminate based on class, gender, race, orientation etc.

              2.  Opportunity for All - Quality education; Safe food, water, air; enabling healthy people and a healthy planet; financial regulation that keep us safe from disaster and fosters a robust economy with fair rewards for hard work; etc

              3.  Courage - Policies that, in contrast with republican fear-mongering, do not lash out in fear, attacking countries that have not attacked us; no bullying, no hunkering down mentality; confidence in defending ourselves from real threats; preserving hope in the face of economic adversity or other challenges

              Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

              by Happy Days on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:00:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Additionally (16+ / 0-)

          The fact that there is an army of Obama supporters who are willing to essentially run interference for the party leadership not only limits the ability of the base to impact legislation, but also insulates Obama and the Democratic leadership from ever having to worry about standing firm on principles or making their framing/messaging more progressive.

          If they don't feel pressure from the masses within their own party to change, they just aren't going to. And we will never be able to exert the needed pressure as long as the Democrats are able to control and co-opt the efforts of so much of their base (eg. OFA and the veal pen). While this strategy may be great for a party that wants to govern as unaccountably to their base as possible, it is not great for a party that hopes to retain the support and enthusiasm of that base. It's also, I would argue, not a very smart way to govern.

          •  I don't agree. (0+ / 0-)

            Your message encourages the pie fights here in my mind.  You are pitting the two brand messages about governance here at Kos against each other.  One as right and the other as wrong.  But isn't that short term messaging, and NOT what Mr. Lakoff is recommending?

            You are reactive messaging yourself, and not meta-framing it in a way that both sides can agree upon.

            Don't continue to divide us. Break the cycle!  Step outside of your messaging and think originally on meta-frames that we can all agree on.

        •  Dems lose their principles (11+ / 0-)

          because they focused on messaging that supports GOP framing, instead of supporting their own. Fatal flaw.

          There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:40:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Morals? Lock up the lying criminal Republicans. (7+ / 0-)

          Moral values?  We already know that most elected Republicans are liars and frauds.

          Democrats who won't call it the way it is are doing themselves a disservice.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:03:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely right (5+ / 0-)

          Voters respond positively to candidates and officeholders who have strong principles and positions that flow from those principles and which they can articulate.  They will support politicians with whom they diagree on some issues if the pol can articulate a principled reason for his/her position.  Too many Dems have no principles and sound like their ideas come from a focus group.  One major exception is Nancy Pelosi.  The Right tries to demonize her without effect in most parts of the country.

          The Dems do not spend nearly enough time articulating the positive things they have done and the positive elements of the progressive vision.  And of course too many are just GOP-Lite.

          Thanks Lakoff for explaining how the messaging works and why the mainstream media repeats it so easily.

          Your new Democratic Party: Billions for the bankster boys and not one dime for abortions. Even if it's your dime.

          by Mimikatz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:24:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A few ? (0+ / 0-)

          I would settle for one principle.

          "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

          by justmy2 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:26:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your last paragraph is the key to everything (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hirodog, elwior, dorkenergy

          And, of course, the best messaging requires an excellent communications system, or it won’t be heard. Progressives have the money to build such a system. The question is whether they understand the desperate need for such a system, and whether they have the will to build it.

          Dems would need years at this point to put up a new network or five--long enough to overcome all 400-some-odd lying sellouts on current broadcast and cable systems. And we simply don't have that kind of time anymore.

          Of course we should absolutely move in this direction, but in the meantime, I believe we have an obligation to try and save the Broadcast System that we have in place right now. Because of the propagandists who have taken it over, the United States is in serious danger of losing hold of citizen safety, security and sovereignty because of these mass-broadcast LIES which reach every corner of this country.  

          What we need the will to do is to take the demonstrable liars off the air, no matter what it takes. And to that end, we must stop equating "controlling our Media" with "trampling the First Amendment". The First Amendment guarantees speech, period. It does NOT guarantee the speaker any audience they want, any time they want it, in order to freely speak.  And on that basis, you can get the liars off the air, if only you had the will.

          Then you rescind that odious Telecomm Act.
           

          Yeah, we're pissed, but at least WE don't have to make shit up like teabaggers do...

          by o the umanity on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:23:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Republicons are acting with ruthlessly efficiency (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, tempus binder

            getting people fired for views that are "offensive" to the narratives they want to promote—see Glenn Greenwald's Salon article today Octavia Nasr's firing and what the liberal media allows

            What each of these firing offenses have in common is that they angered and offended the neocon Right.  Isn't that a strange dynamic for the supposedly Liberal Media:  the only viewpoint-based firings of journalists are ones where the journalist breaches neoconservative orthodoxy?  Have there ever been any viewpoint-based firings of establishment journalists by The Liberal Media because of comments which offended liberals?  None that I can recall.

            I foolishly thought that when George Bush's own Press Secretary mocked the American media for being "too deferential" to the Bush administration, that would at least put a dent in that most fictitious American myth:  The Liberal Media.  But it didn't; nothing does, not even the endless spate of journalist firings for deviating from right-wing dogma.

            While Greenwald's article focuses on I/P (and Mideast), there are larger lessons we can glean from that article.

            Unfortunately, one of the lessons of Lakoff's work is that who is a "demonstrable liar" and what is the Truth are not the determining factors in this power play to control the frames of the American public.

            ambiguity is okay--if you know what I mean

            by dorkenergy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:47:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

              who is a "demonstrable liar" and what is the Truth are not the determining factors in this power play

              Oh, but they are. The Media is the Massage, as the book title goes.

              Don't agree? Convince me--again, this is a fine diary, but The Media is a big part of the problem of "disaster messaging". It's who they serve that is the determining factor of How The Message Is Framed.

              And if one blatant lie comes and goes, uncalled-on--or even if it gets called out, but nothing changes afterward--then The People are not being served. Period.

              So we either fix what we got or we build a new one. And we don't have the time to build, nor do we have the broadcast infrastructure for a new one. We damn sure won't be permitted to use the current infrastructure, not when the Propagandists are served so well by it.

              Yeah, we're pissed, but at least WE don't have to make shit up like teabaggers do...

              by o the umanity on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:57:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think we agree—in fact, you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tempus binder

                are clarifying one point I was trying to make

                The Media is a big part of the problem of "disaster messaging". It's who they serve that is the determining factor of How The Message Is Framed.

                However, I also think that we/dems are too easily distracted by trying to correct misrepresentations of the "Truth" when that is not where the battles are waged and won. One could say that

                Truth is the opiate of the Progressives

                ambiguity is okay--if you know what I mean

                by dorkenergy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:55:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

                  at least not yet. You keep talking about this:

                  I also think that we/dems are too easily distracted by trying to correct misrepresentations of the "Truth" when that is not where the battles are waged and won.

                  but you've yet to actually say where the battles are waged, and what makes them winnable.

                  Yeah, we're pissed, but at least WE don't have to make shit up like teabaggers do...

                  by o the umanity on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:56:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where the battles are waged is (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tempus binder

                    largely described in the diary above. As for win-ability, I don't think there are short-term solutions other than what Lakoff wrote:

                    Recommendation

                    Don’t move to the right. Start thinking longer term. Build as much of a communications system as possible. Design long-term framing for your own high level, moral system and basic policy domains. Fit your immediate messaging needs to the long-term frames. Carry on both kinds of messaging in parallel.

                    My choice for the high-level moral values would be the founding American principles of fairness, freedom, and opportunity should be guiding principles of every progressive framing and message.

                    In fact, if there is an issue that cannot be framed in those terms, I'm not sure it's a battle that should be chosen. (And we should only constrain freedom to ensure fairness and opportunity.)

                    ambiguity is okay--if you know what I mean

                    by dorkenergy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:07:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the message (0+ / 0-)

                      is pointless if when people see it, it's been turned on its head, propagandized, and sounds nothing like the message that WAS conveyed.

                      I'm sorry, but I just don't see anything in the diary which outright trumps that fact.

                      Yeah, we're pissed, but at least WE don't have to make shit up like teabaggers do...

                      by o the umanity on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 07:10:05 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm afraid I don't understand what actions (0+ / 0-)

                        you are proposing be taken and by what authority.

                        By what mechanism can we get the demonstrable liars off the air?

                        What we need the will to do is to take the demonstrable liars off the air, no matter what it takes. And to that end, we must stop equating "controlling our Media" with "trampling the First Amendment". The First Amendment guarantees speech, period. It does NOT guarantee the speaker any audience they want, any time they want it, in order to freely speak.  And on that basis, you can get the liars off the air, if only you had the will.

                        ambiguity is okay--if you know what I mean

                        by dorkenergy on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:50:13 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  aargh—garbled sentence: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tempus binder

                    My choice for the high-level moral values would be the founding American principles of fairness, freedom, and opportunity. These should be guiding principles of every progressive framing and message.

                    ambiguity is okay--if you know what I mean

                    by dorkenergy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:09:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Principles, yes. Moral values frames, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tempus binder, dorkenergy

          not so much.  Then again, I don't accept that the Republican high-order frames have a moral dimension.  That's one reason why they are so successful -- and a GOP diaper-wearing John like Vitter can get re-elected.  

          "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

          by Marie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:44:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank You - N/T (0+ / 0-)

          "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

          by linkage on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 09:33:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you so much for this! (28+ / 0-)

      Your expertise is much appreciated. But you fail to expose the fact that the Democratic party plan is simple complicity in failed framing and messaging to enable roadblocks. Democrats failure of messaging and framing is intentional!

      We see this on every single issue of dire consequence in HCR, Bank Reform, Immigration, Lobbying and Elections themselves, and it gives scant cover to the plan of villain rotation among the chief Senate enablers of this obstructionist complicity.

      The Senate, the most undemocratic institution in our government, should be rocked from end-to-end for its perversion of the politics of the people.

      Policies on both sides of the aisle are, in essence, a devout protection of corporations and bankers at all cost to the citizens of our country.

      My best idea tells me lately that we must absolutely throttle Republicans with wider and wider majorities of elected Democrats, particularly in the Senate. As the demographics and economics change, we may see a resurgence of stronger and stronger Progressive candidates.

      We are well-rid of Arlen Specter, and we will soon elect Elaine Marshall to replace Richard Burr. We came close to replacing Lincoln with Halter...so I have hope for an evolution of Progressivism.

      Elections are won by those who show up. We have to rock the vote, because when 18 to 29 year olds show up, it's no contest!

      TAX THE RICH! They have money! I'm a Democrat. That's why!

      by ezdidit on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:48:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So very true (28+ / 0-)

      These are the three big points on the issue, and they can't be repeated enough:

      1. The Democrats must stop constantly assuming elusive "swing" voters make a substantive share of independent voters, and remember that even among most independent voters, they tend to vote one way or the other and the real issue is which independents are going to turn out
      1. There IS no one static objective political "center", and thus terms like centrist and center are really jibberish
      1. The cycles that conservatives have locked us in of determining what's mainstream by seeking what THEY'VE already established as mainstream in must be broken by a comparatively deep-rooted communications apparatus that shapes the mainstream instead of just emulating it, or all the elections and kvetching about elected officials won't matter

      I don't think a week goes by on dkos where I try to make at least one of these points, so thank you for this diary bringing them to the surface.

      77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

      by ShadowSD on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:52:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am an independent voter (24+ / 0-)

        who has never in my life voted for the Republican party. They need to understand why people are registered Independent (or as some say, 'declined to state'). It is because my views are sometimes to the left of the Democratic party and sometimes a little to the right. But I always know that voting for those who are way to the right of the Democratic platform is a BAD idea.  My registration as an Independent is more of a traditional thing in my family and when I took the time to think about it, is a way to duck party fundraising and a blizzard of mail.

        Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

        by whoknu on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:25:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was too (20+ / 0-)

          For most of my life I was unaffiliated and that was primarily because I despise party politics and wanted to feel free of any obligation to vote for a politician simply because they are in my party. Over the years I have voted almost exclusively for Democrats, though there were idealistic excursions such as my vote for Anderson in the (I think) 1980 presidential race. And there was my one huge mistake, voting for Reagan in 1988, after which I vowed never to be fooled by Republicans again.

          I decided to register as a Democrat prior to the 2004 election, not because I suddenly fell in love with the party, but because I wanted a say in who the party that most represented me chose for their presidential and congressional candidates. I stayed on through the 2006 elections, volunteering for the Lamont campaign. When the party chose to support LIEberman in the primary, and then essentially refused to support Lamont after he beat LIEberman and LIEberman entered the general election as an Independent, I began to think about leaving the party.

          But I stayed hoping to impact the 2008 presidential election. And now here we are. I really thought progressives were winning the battle to pull the party back to the left with Howard Dean at the DNC, and then with Obama talking about being a fierce advocate for gay people and change you can believe in.

          Instead of seeing the Democrats continue moving to the left, though, what I saw instead was Howard Dean replaced with a corporatist at the DNC, our biggest grassroots group folded into the DNC and used to blunt the impact of progressives, and I saw Obama surround himself with some of the most anti-progressive advisors and cabinet members on the planet.

          I'm at the point now where I'm thinking seriously, once again, of bolting the party, because I think that the corporatist DLC power structure is so entrenched that we will never be able to overcome it, at least not during the good years that I have left. The Democratic party does not represent me. It does not care to represent me. And I have come to despise it nearly as much as I do the Republican party.

          That said, I'll probably remain a liberal DINO through 2012, or leave and come back, because nothing means more to me politically at this point than making sure that Joe LIEberman is voted out of office. And that may require my participation in yet another primary.

          So my long winded point here is that independent definitely does not necessarily equate to centrist. I am well to the left of both parties on most issues.

          •  Can you do more good inside or outside the party? (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, blueoasis, ShadowSD, elwior, BYw, whoknu

            That is the question, or at least part of it.  I'm in the camp that you can do more good from within, but it is always a struggle...

            •  Well, I chortle (0+ / 0-)

              when the Repub's assume I am a vote in their column because I am an Independent.  The blizzard of mail has descended over the past 10 years in spite of my lack of affiliation plus it is probably twice what I would get registered with a party.  I think they are all trying to woo me. ;o)

              To clarify, my sometimes to the right of the Dem party is more a fiscal concern. (not that the Republicans know what that word means). I am not against spending money, just spending dumb money.  Sometimes I think the Democratic party seems to believe that throwing money at a problem will fix it.  That is dumb money because it doesn't actually address the underlying issue.  Sort of like unemployment benefits.  I believe they should be extending the unemployment, don't get me wrong, but if they had spent the 'right' money to create jobs to begin with, maybe we would not have had to extend benefits.

              Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

              by whoknu on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:35:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I would add (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ShadowSD

        Independents who are actually swing voters follow the crowd.    You can't really sway them by losing the bigger messaging battle.   Aiming for swing voters directly is a guaranteed loser.

        "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

        by justmy2 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:46:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Stopping class warfare wouldn't hurt (7+ / 0-)

      I don't know why this insistence on pushing open immigration down our throats.  Whatever my "frame" of my mind I am definitely not inclined towards policies that are going to further weaken America's economic infrastructure.  With 20% or worse real employment why make immigration the issue?  Why not trade reform, financial regulation, taxing the rich etc.?

      The idea that Republicans have to represent the rich and powerful and Democrats the disenfranchised and poor is just stupid.  Why not have someone represent a strong middle class?

      •  Why not do all of it? nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zedaker

        If war is human nature, why are so many soldiers psychologically broken by it?

        by oxon on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:40:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You make excellent points (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, divineorder, MPociask

        Unfortunately, the oligarchs who fund the Democratic Party want illegal immigration to continue so that wages are depressed. The pro-immigration lobby has wanted this since the labor movement started. In fact, both parties favor the current situation and are just making grand gestures in the direction of pretending to solve the issue. Republicans want to capture the fascist vote so they gesture and rant about fences and draconian police measures. Dems want to capture the "bleeding heart" vote by pointing out the suffering of immigrants etc.

        If you make a comment here that illegal immigration is, well, illegal you are called a racist and not only does this cut off debate but it also insures that progressives continue to lose working-class voters who are threatened by illegal and legal immigration or at least perceive it.

        Mind you, I think the illegal immigrants that I've seen are good people and good workers--often better than our poorer citizens who are demoralized and demonized by society and have been for a couple of generations.

        Having said that I favor a more liberal immigration policy--just not one that favors illegal immigration.

      •  If Republicans represent the rich, (9+ / 0-)

        and Democrats represent the middle class, then someone has been left out of the equation.

        Democrats should represent everyone. To some extent, they do. So they ought to say so, strongly, confidently, and proudly.

        Democrats represent everyone. Republicans don't represent anyone. There is no good reason for anyone to be a Republican.

        •  It comes down to moral values (12+ / 0-)

          Progressives sometimes wonder how so many middle-income people can vote for republicans against their own finanacial interests.

          A good part of the answer is in moral framing.  They might think it's not "fair" for anyone to have to pay e.g. 50% of their income in taxes even if those people are very rich, because in their empathy they know they would not want to pay 50% of their own income.

          Or they vote for "Life" (i.e. against abortion rights) because their moral belief that abortion is murder trumps their personal economic concerns (unless, perhaps the economic situation is sufficiently dire--a Maslow kind of thing.)

          Wealthy progressives vote against their personal economic best interests.  Why?  Because of their moral beliefs in justice, fairness, a healthy planet, a well-educated populace etc.  

          So, voting against your economic best interest in not irrational. Your moral values trump almost everything else.

          Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

          by Happy Days on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:19:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. (5+ / 0-)

            I look at the graph and scratch my head about the "fairness" thing among Republicans and Independents.

            I'm not entirely a cold calculating mathematical statistical son of a bitch. And they aren't either.

            But I can read a graph.

            And know what it says about fairness, and know what it says about the deserved Republican chances of electoral success. (Hint: zero. Democrats represent everyone.)

      •  I'm with you on the immigration issue. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        But your comment misses the point.  The fact that Democrats have an ineffective apparatus not only for generating progressive frames and messages, but propagating them, means that Democrats start not only to speak like conservatives but think like them.

        To address your point about the middle class, Democrats would first have to break the stanglehold of conservative framing and messaging that the rich and powerful are the only ones who create jobs, and that taxing them more would reduce jobs.  They would also have to re-frame along the lines of the rich actually being the enemy of jobs and the middle class, and building messages around that frame that find their way into  public discourse.  plus, as Lakoff points out, the messaging and framing would have to be that working for the middle class against the rich is the moral thing to do.

      •  You imply (5+ / 0-)

        Ok, you state that we are "pushing open immigration" - that is a right wing framing of the issue, which means it is both inflammatory and wrong (since the right wing does nothing better than cloaking their logical fallacies in a wrapper that invokes anger, so your logical thinking facilities won't kick in).

        We want immigration policy to be more comprehensive and effective than simply pointing guns at people and pushing them back across the border. We want a policy that takes into account the root causes and eliminates those, for example:

        - Dumping subsidized US corn into the Mexican market put millions of Mexican farmers out of work, leaving them two options: let their families starve, or try to earn some money in the US. Just try telling people with nothing to lose and children to feed that the law says they have to let their children starve. The law, on its face, is absurd in that situation, and is thus ignored. Stop the dumping of corn into Mexico, and suddenly there will be the possibility for those former farmers to return home and feed their families from income earned at home.

        - US enforcement turning a blind eye toward employers who decide they'd rather risk tiny penalties in exchange for huge profits by using underpaid immigrant labor (too afraid to push for fair pay) instead of paying the prevailing wage to US citizens. Form the penalties such that they make it entirely unprofitable to hire anyone for a rate below a living wage, and you'll see imported cheap labor dry up considerably (for example, if those caught using undocumented workers were requred to retroactively pay those workers the difference between the official living wage and the amount paid to the low-wage laborer, plus 10%, they'd have no reason to seek labor whose wages they could depress.)

        - US consumers seeking the lowest possible price for everything they consume, despite the obvious cost in terms of their own wages. This ever-increasing demand for high-social-cost low prices provides the driving force behind employers seeking slave-wage labor.

        - US education and social policy that de-values science, reason, and critical thinking skills, giving high-wage employers the excuse that US citizens are too poorly educated to be qualified for the high tech jobs currently available (the few that exist), thus allowing them to, once again, import labor at sub-standard wages.

        The "problem" of immigration is really a wide-ranging societal values issue, and has almost nothing to do with the immigrants themselves. Our society is organized in such a way as to make undocumented workers a prized commodity for corporations. Solving THAT problem will solve the "immigration problem" in a lasting and effective way - much better than trying to stick on a damp bandaid, such as pushing starving people back through the revolving door and expecting them to happily choose to starve.

    •  Ok, send this to the WHITE HOUSE (14+ / 0-)

      NOW!!!!

      And all Dem orgs.  Send it to KO, RM, ED, any and everyone.  

      This is what is wrong with us....

      You have said it well.

      Now can we damn well listen and understand?!

      Sometimes I think I belong to a party of short attention span idiots with our heads in the sand like an ostrich, responding to the latest jerk in the puppet strings pulled by our puppet masters, the Repubs, who have mastered the art of planning and messaging and framing.  And we are outplayed on this level every f'ing day.

      The only thing that has kept us going is that the principles we stand for are the immortal principles.  But what a shitty job we are doing defending these principles, at least on this score.

      GRRR!

      THANKS FOR YOUR DIARY AND INSIGHT.

      If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

      by SeaTurtle on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:41:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need more ED, KO and RM's (5+ / 0-)

        I believe that they are aware of Professor Lakoff's assessment.  They are part of the solution, to build a communication system to project progressive framing.  The problem is we need more of them on more media outlets (CNN, ABC, CBS etc).  The cdore of the progressive MSM, aside from newspapers are MSNBC, Comedy central and Bill Maher.  This is not enough to instill the framing that Professor Lakoff talks of.  It is a start but we need more voices on more media outlets that reach more people for the frames to take hold.  Once they do then Progressive framing will become mainstream.

      •  I'm not sure I agree that we're doing... (15+ / 0-)

        "a shitty job defending these principles."

        I think we're doing a lame job of framing and message, that we're being totally outmaneuvered, and that has some causes:

        - Businesses and corporations tend to have conservative leaders with lots of money.

        - Those business/corporate leaders have been using "public relations" techniques for a century. - They have a close relationship to "public relations" people.

        - "Public relations" has become a discipline, with a canon, an intellectual pedagogy, and massive funding.

        - Business and Corporate leaders understand that "public relations" techniques work, because they have been employing them for a century.

        - "Public relations" techniques include exactly what Prof. Lakoff is describing:  patient, long-term construction of frames in the minds of "consumers."

        - As Progressives or Liberals, we tend to think of "public relations' as dishonest and manipulative, and it is.  In fact, it violates the frame of "individual freedom" to believe that people can be manipulated in this way.  It also violates our own idea of what responsible free speech is.

        Adam Curtis's BBC series The Century of the Self is an excellent history of the development of PR techniques.  He does not specifically treat Dr. Lakoff's frame theory, but it's pretty easy to see where and how it starts, develops, and is applied, and why businesses were so enthusiastic about using it.

        Dr. Lakoff is right, and we have to hear it:  this is not a short-term, this-election-cycle, emergency project.  It requires getting Soros and Gates and whoever has the resources and commitment to fund education, development, training, speaker placement, radio talk shows, etc.  It requires resources and patience and time.

        •  excellent video (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          I watched that some time ago and found it fascinating. Edward Bernays is not a household name, but should be!

          •  Yes, it is excellent. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, kimoconnor, elwior

            The trouble with it is that it's nearly four hours of TV.  

            But it's far more effective than just telling people "there are experts at psychology and propaganda, and they're working on you - every minute of every day you watch TV, read a paper, surf the internet where there are ads."

            Bernays was a self-serving prick, and his work is probably some of the most pernicious anybody's ever done, particularly because "it's just P.R."  It's not:  it's brainwashing.  Joseph Goebbles gave Bernays credit for his entire propaganda program.  (Just as Hitler gave the U. S. extermination of native peoples credit for the idea of the "final solution.")

        •  thanks for your insightful & informative comments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, undead peasant

          I looked up your link to Curtis and am thinking of getting it.

          I am most concerned re. all the pr brainwashing we are all currently being exposed to. One of the worst offenders, imo, is BigPharm, who hit us at every turn, trying to acculturate us to the constant use of all sorts of drugs.  You know, "ask your doctor, if "xyz drug" is good for you?"  This is truly frightening to me.  It seems to me that they are trying to set up a culture of drug use to deal with every aspect of life as the norm.  

          If you have a moment, can you suggest a couple of resources that you have found valuable on this topic.  I am working on a project which, among other things,  looks at propaganda and brainwashing as one of its components.  \

          thanks.

          If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

          by SeaTurtle on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:30:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're welcome. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, undead peasant

            I'm always glad to share things that work.

            BTW, the videos can be downloaded from that link - you have to look around a bit, but there are four episodes, and they run better from your local hard drive than off the web - or did for me, at 3.0 Mb/s.

            Resources:  I'm no expert, not even a student really.  But I'd say start with George Lakoff's books - he's excellent at explaining how the linguistic stuff works.  Read about Joseph Goebbles's propaganda programs in Hitler's period in Germany.

            Edward Bernays and his intellectual heirs published some books - take notes on the Adam Curtis videos, especially the last two where he mentions the writings of some of the advertising folks.  Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, and he used his uncle's theories to create "public relations," or modern advertising propaganda.  The first and second of the Curtis videos go into some depth on this guy.

            I'll offer an insight I had a long time ago.  Background:  there was a joke in the 60s and 70s that went like this:  

            If you want to sell something, try sex.  If that doesn't work, then maybe you should throw in some sex.  If that still doesn't work, then, well, use some sex.

            That was common wisdom about advertising.  But it didn't account for a lot of ads one saw, especially on TV.  

            I figured out that the truth was a bit different while watching a commercial for some deodorant, in which a modestly dressed, very attractive young woman confided to her (male) TV audience that if some guy wanted to get next to her, he'd better not stink (not the words used, of course).  He'd better be using Ice Blue Secret (or whatever it was).  The  hook here wasn't sex - it was fear of not getting any.  

            Sex is a useful motivator, but fear is more powerful.

            This explained those commercials in which people you just wouldn't associate with - people painted as ultra stupid, poor, ugly, whatever undesirable quality you might find humorous - were somehow "rescued" or "redeemed" by Burger King or Pepsi or some other hero brand.  It all plays on peoples' fears of being rejected, thought of as uncouth, dumb, untouchable...  

            There was a humorous commercial for Aamco Transmission repair, depicting a couple of grubby hick mechanics, talking slow, with Southern drawls:  One, the boss, says "We fixed your transmission.  Good as new.  Better."  His stupid hayseed assistant chimes in, "Much, much better than new!"  (You just know you're in trouble, here.  Good acting.)  The idea here is that you're smarter than to believe these guys, of course you are, aren't you?  So take it to Aamco.

            And there are articles on advertising that I've read - I can't point to them - that talk about exactly that:  appeal to the reptilian brain, the fear centers.

            That's what gave the G. W. Bush Administration Republicans their advantage:  they could use fear of terrorists at every turn.  Nine-eleven was a huge crime, but call it a war and threaten more of same at any moment; unless we repeal the Bill of Rights, a nuclear power plant will explode; botulism toxin will kill your children; anthrax in the mail...  Karl Rove and Frank Luntz are masters of this crap, and it worked.

            Hmm.  This went on longer than I thought it would.  Sorry for bending your ears.  I hope it's useful in some way.

      •  Thank you!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        DON'T PANIC -- Douglas Adams

        by CindyMax on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:56:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Establishments admirable attribu8te (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, zedaker, elwior

      IS their UNWAVERING tactical message machine,,,

      Sure The Establishment© own the domesticated media strings between the five media conglomerates and broadcast and cable media including NPR messaging from DC-

      Total media control notwithstanding, go view Boehner from last week, or any Establishment© zombie on HCR FinREg or immigration and you will never see them come to a progressive position...  Evah-

      The closest I have seen an Establishment© GOP actually move toward a progressive position is Ted Olsen co-counsel with David Boies for repeal of prop8

      Course Olsen is not in a McConnell\Lott\DrSmuggFrist Establishment© position of leadership, but he did help cement Bush v Gore and we all know how well that blowout preventer worked...

      Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

      by RF on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:46:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When our Democrats use right wing frames (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie

      ... in justification for Incremental policy action it jars my embedded Completionist progressive frames. This causes me to feel abandoned and short changed by my party. Leaving me only with my pony for comfort.

      We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

      by Duke S on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:14:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is unbelievably insightful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      Try looking at things another way.

      by atheistben on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:32:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please, please, keep putting this out there! (0+ / 0-)

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:59:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where you lost me is arguing that (0+ / 0-)

      higher-order frames have a moral component. High-order frames as simple.  Allow me to use and example:  warm and cold.  IMHO these high-order frames develop with an emotional charge.  When not in interaction with lower order-frames, warm is comfortable and cold is uncomfortable.  Comfortable=safe, secure, happy, etc.  

      Before messaging there is the simple fact of a person's physicality as captured by TV cameras.  Gore and Kerry were "cold" compared to GWB.  Obama was "warm" compared to Clinton and McCain.  Those successful at sales project "warmth" in their person and message.  

      To me a larger problem for many Democratic politicians is that they can't find the warm-fuzzy in a liberal world-view or effectively tag the opposition as the cold monster.        

      "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

      by Marie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:39:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good analysis. (39+ / 0-)

    One flaw may be your assumption that the Democrats actually want to govern differently from Republicans.

    If Democrats want to govern the same as Republicans, then your scenario just serves as an excuse for what they were going to do anyway.

    Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

    by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:11:14 AM PDT

    •  I think it illuminates the reality that (33+ / 0-)

      we really do have a facade of a 2 party system and that it's really all kabuki theater all the time.

      Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
      Doc in the Twitterverse

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:15:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Either gross incompetence or subterfuge. (53+ / 0-)

        This diarist has been trying to sell his "frames" to Democrats for 8 years.  He's not some obscure blogger, but a well-known academic with his own think tank.  And he's not getting through to them.  Does it tell you something?

        Let me try an alternative explanation for the same phenomenon.

        1. Democrats raise money telling their corporate donors that they'll look out for their interest no matter what.
        1. Meanwhile, they make promises to voters to enact specific policies demanded by their political bases (purposefully plural).  Their are direct conflicts between these policies and what their corporate donors want.
        1. Democrats win control of the White House and/or one or both houses of Congress.  (Oops!)
        1. Now they're in a bind.  Their donors expect them to govern as they want.  Their voters expect them to follow through on their promises.  (It can be a real pain when you win, huh?)
        1. The solution?  Appear to be incompetent politically.  Let the Republicans seize the messaging initiative as outlined above.  Use the "rotating villain" method outlined by Greenwald to provide cover for the failure to advance policies through the legislative process or for watering down policies in favor of donors' interest.

        I think that's more plausible than Lakoff's scenario.

        Nobody could be as dumb as Democrats appear to be for that long.

        Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

        by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:35:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that Dr. Lakoff is not trying to explain (24+ / 0-)

          the motivation of political office holders, but to illuminate the mechanisms through which political thought is structured and may be altered.

          So, the answer to your critique, goinsouth, "Elect Better Democrats!"

          "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

          by semiot on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:08:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lakoff doesn't try to explain motivation. (32+ / 0-)

            He assumes it.

            He seems to believe that Democrats want to enact certain policies but are thwarted from doing so by their incompetence when it comes to framing and messaging.  He has been trying to point this out to Democratic politicians for the last 4 cycles since '02.  It hasn't been getting through much, has it?

            I'm suggesting that most Democrats are not actually interested in enacting those policies for which base voters elect them.  

            If I'm right, I do think that Dr. Lakoff can get through to these Democratic Party politicians.  They would be interested in finding out from Dr. Lakoff how they can frame their excuses for inaction more effectively because fewer and fewer people are buying the old ones.

            Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

            by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:22:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well for one it would be nice (5+ / 0-)

              if they had the support of their base.

              The base of the left is never happy with anything.

            •  Personal assumptions are NOT relaity (6+ / 0-)

              Please stay focused, We're not here to make mere off the wall 'assumptions' about Dr. Lakoff.

              This comment was very sad, and reflects the points that he is making, these are definitely GOP talking points,, beleive me, we're barraged with them daily, those of us who fight the righties,

              Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

              by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:27:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I totally agree - Why bash Lakoff? (13+ / 0-)

                I think this thread says much more about the mindset of the commenters than it does about Lakoff. He's just making people more aware of the tactics used against them by partisans day after day. It says more about the commenters.

                To use the language of the diarist, there are folks that have been trying to establish a "frame" on Big Orange for years -- the frame that There is No Difference Between the Two Parties."

                Luckily for the rest of us, (1) the frame is false (2) we've seen it dis-proven as Bush v. Gore v. Nader, and we are all observant enough to have concluded the truth on our own. So this frame will not hold.

                Now, the Obama-as-corporatist frame is a first step toward the "they're all the same" frame unfortunately, and that one has gained purchase in some circles here....

                Pepto-Bismol stepped up. I'm going to be doing...contests for them in August. That worked out perfectly, because I already drink Pepto-Bismol.-Joey Chestnutt

                by malharden on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:13:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think that comes from (9+ / 0-)

                  a misunderstanding of how govt works in this country, and a feeling that what we want is what everybody wants.

                  Our govt was deliberately designed to be slightly insulated from the swings of public opinion, and to move ssssssllllllloooooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyy.

                  It was not set to jump wildly from one extreme to the other, or to react immediately to the whims of the majority.

                  Our govt was set up to be a slow moving ship, requiring time and effort to change course, so that there would be time for the passions of the moment to abate, and clearer heads to prevail.

                  Sometimes that drives people nuts.

                  •  the funny thing (10+ / 0-)

                    is that it moves rather quickly rightwards, but imperceptably leftwards if at all.

                    it's not a gradualist issue, it's a right wing ratchet.

                    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                    by wu ming on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:01:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  This is a truism that needs to be put to pasture (5+ / 0-)

                    It is true that our government was designed to resist sudden passions.  However, this does NOT mean that slow action is permissable by the government.

                    The passion-resistance is already built into our system.  Senators are elected on 6 year terms - Reps 2 years.  Then both houses need to agree on anything before action can be taken.  So yes, this is a much slower system than if we had a single legislative body that faced yearly elections.

                    HOWEVER, this does not mean that once that strong majorities have again and again sent Democrats to Washington that slow action should still rule the day.  Today's Senate is the result of three elections - the House majorities represent the people's choice for three elections as well.  The people of the United States have sent a clear message that they want a change toward liberal policies.  It is inexcusable at this point to say that our system moves slowly.  The slow part has already taken place - since 2004!  Reversing conservative policies is clearly not a temporary passion(what the framers were worried about).  In the end, we have a rule by majorities.  If the government continues to ignore the expressed will of the majority of the electorate, it lends more and more weight to the idea that we no longer have a democracy - we have an oligarchy.  

                •  It's not bashing Lakoff (8+ / 0-)

                  to point out an implicit assumption in his theory. The assumption is there, even if Lakoff does not state it formally.

                  I loved this piece, but I agree with goinsouth.

                  •  Yes but the assumption is reasonable. (7+ / 0-)

                    To start with the base assumption that Dems want (a) to Govern effectively and (b) to execute that governance in alignment with the party platform are both reasonable assumptions.

                    To assume anything else is counterproductive and resonates with a cynicism that makes reasonable political discourse impossible.

                    In other words, if you assume "they're all crooks" you might as well check the hell out of the debate. Coming here to spread that poisonous view serves no purpose but to stroke that commenter's ego.

                    Pepto-Bismol stepped up. I'm going to be doing...contests for them in August. That worked out perfectly, because I already drink Pepto-Bismol.-Joey Chestnutt

                    by malharden on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:36:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry but I don't agree with that assumption (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      blueoasis, MPociask, FreeWoman19

                      anymore.  The Democratic Party is too big a tent and has
                      enough of the 50's Republicans on board to make that a
                      valid assumption.  

                    •  I dunno (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      semiot, elwior, FreeWoman19

                      If one thinks "they're all crooks," why check out of the debate? That person needs to stay and be active for progress. Are you saying that there is no possibility that our corrupt, broken political system can change? Or do you think that the corruption and brokenness is only on the side of the Rs and not indicative of our system as a whole?

                      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

                      by srkp23 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:55:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Ignoring the reality (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      semiot, mrkvica, goinsouth, FreeWoman19

                      That the Democratic party establishment in Washington functions largely as the friendly face of the ruling corporate party - is far more poisonous.  People who believe that will continue to happily send checks to the House and Senate re-election committees(who will then spend the money on Blue Dogs), support the President's organization(who will ALWAYS support the Eisenhower-Republican policies that the DLC represents), and basically continue to fuel the power of the corporate party.

                      It's not cynical to describe reality as it is.  It's cynical to assume that nothing can be done about it.  The quicker progressives on the left start building their own, independent organizations that refuse to be put into the veal pen, the quicker Democratic politicians will start to respond to progressive concerns.  The alternative amounts to clapping louder.

                      •  I get the feeling you didn't read the diary. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        malharden, elwior

                        Why would you start messaging immediately to pit us against each other?

                        We know there are various camps here on certain issues.  But there are only a few meta-frames that we all agree upon.  Can we make some progress here?  Or do you just get-off on starting pie fights?

                        •  The right does it (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          elwior, MPociask

                          There are big concerns on the right that are effectively silenced. Some interests in their coalition just have sway. We need our values to have sway too. In many cases, the Democratic establishment is our outright enemy in that battle.

                          I don't read Lakoff as saying "can't we all get along" at all. I think that positive message discipline means more people with real leftist values having the courage to speak their mind, even if it means showing contempt for the overcompromised statements of supposed allies.

                          Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

                          by homunq on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:46:47 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  i wish i could rec this a million times (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  carlos the jackal, malharden, elwior

                  "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
                  --Tom Harkin

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:09:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You're confusing framing & messaging (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  semiot, zett, elwior, Tam in CA, FreeWoman19

                  Framing is based on values, policy, not individual candidates or officeholders.

                  People here criticize Obama because of his rejection of traditional Dem frames and his pursuit of GOP ones in a misguided effort to pick up GOP voters.  

                  Those are valid criticisms.  Dems can't win without having effective framing of their own policy and values and messaging to sell it to the public.  For too many years, the DLC magical thinking has convinced some Dem leaders that they can win by adopting GOP frames.  

                  It's weakened the party considerably and left it unable to effectively communicate to voters what it stands for.  The flaws in this strategy reveal themselves when GOP policies fail and become unpopular with the public.  Dem leaders, who spent years validating GOP frames, suddenly find themselves with no public leverage, no real identity to advance their own brand.

                  There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

                  by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:57:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  "how they can frame their excuses for inaction" (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zett, goinsouth, MPociask, Imhotepsings

              This possibility, of course, is there for any means of better understanding the world - it may be put to use for good or bad ends.

              I do think that Lakoff's insights offer possibilities for people to exercise more effective strategies for mobilizing human will. That they have not been so far well used by people of good will, well, "The fault, dear Horatio, is not in our [political] stars, but in ourselves."

              "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

              by semiot on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:17:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You are being handed the tools to help your cause (6+ / 0-)

              and they aren't good enough for you. No wonder we are having a hard time getting what we want.

              "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

              by high uintas on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:47:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  True but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiot, elwior

              That assumption is a necessary simplification. The topic is complex enough as it is. We have to take the ball and run with it.

              I do believe that whereas there is a kind of bootstrapping or Catch-22 mechanism at work, in which we can't get better leaders until we get better messaging and vice versa, nevertheless we have to try at the grassroots, and at every level we can, because it actually works.

            •  Occam's Razor... (0+ / 0-)

              From Wikipedia...

              When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question.

              In other words, maybe the Dems are not passing more progressive legislation because they don't really want to.  

              I'm leaning toward you and Occam, goinsouth.

              Nothing in the world, however base nor however good, nor however theoretically admirable, can justify murder as an act of policy. - James Cameron (journalist)

              by Jimbo47 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:14:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I would agree except; (5+ / 0-)

          The consistency of con-messaging is frightening, it must be centralized/tested/timed and widely released.  The difference may simply be that Conservatives have the mechanisms in place to make it work, radio/fox/nra/astro-turf groups.  Dems assume that their ideas are better - and they are, for the 85% that make up the "middle/underclass" - so by sheer numbers, conservatives HAVE to reframe the message to "fool" their electorate.  I can give just a few examples

          -the poorest states tend to be the most conservative, by all rights it should be the other way

          - "Death Taxes" - How the hell does the GOP get support for a tax that is as American as apple pie, WE do not believe in royalty, each generation should stand on its own.  Yet, they own this issue.

          - Capital Gains Tax - Somehow people who do not have capital gains support higher wage taxes over capital gains.

          The diarist may be didactic and agenda driven, but the salient points resonate.

          "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Coach John Wooden RIP

          by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:17:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But there's an overriding, and much more core, (23+ / 0-)

            frame that we can use, and seldom do.

            Fairness. And sharing. Things that get taught in kindergarten.

            Things should be FAIR. Everybody should have an equal chance, and the govt should help even the playing field. And people should share. Even if they don't really want to.

            That means you don't let somebody hog all the treasure, just because their parents hit the jackpot. It means you don't let somebody make billions and not pay their fair share of maintaining the infrastructure. It means you don't let somebody buy up all the toys and then refuse to let those they don't like play.

            Fairness. Sharing. Things we teach our kids at 3.  

            •  I wish I could rec this 1000x eom. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Themistoclea, elwior

              "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Coach John Wooden RIP

              by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:38:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Republicans call this (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mmacdDE, Lying eyes, BYw, DeepLooker

              communism.  The government can't make us share, we want our freedoms,etc.  

              And a lot of people are, well, very tribal.  My family first, then my church, and to heck with everyone else.

              People who apparently think like this have been encouraged, because it benefits Republican agendas.  With the economy in the dumps and everyone feeling it, I wonder if now is the right time to reintroduce fairness to the public debate.  

              •  I think it is (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior, BYw, ozarkspark, FreeWoman19

                we got some of those things during the Great Depression (and to some extent before it) precisely because the majority of people were feeling oppressed by those who had everything.

                When the majority feels its not getting its fair share, they start to get annoyed. Let it go on long enough, and they get really pissed.

                They're beginning to get really pissed. I think this would be an excellent time to start talking about fairness, and equality of opportunity, and economic slavery. And how govt can help ensure the first and the second, and keep the third from happening to YOU.

            •  I agree with you but the minute a (0+ / 0-)

              Democratic candidate says "share" the Gopers say Democrats want to take your money and give it to lazy, no-goods who don't want to work for a living.  I'm sure you remember Obama's use of an old saying - "spread the wealth" - and the firestorm that brought out.

              "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."

              by Lying eyes on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:26:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That is why I use the phrase "Equal Oppertunity" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              Life may not be fair, but if you have a system, everyone needs to be able to deal with it.

              Bad luck, from low family income, bad health, not knowing the company you worked for had financial issues, should not ruin you for life.

              Fair is hard to define.

              Opportunity, I feel less so...

        •  Don't 'blame' only the Democrats in congress (17+ / 0-)

          There's plenty to go around for the base here that uses Republican framing. Many of us have brought this out over and over, how 'supporters' adopt GOP frames to attack the 'Democrats' in Congress, or even us here.

          When we bring it out, we're shot down.

          Examples, going around tell peeple who support President Obama to not 'beleive in UNICORNS" that's directly from McCain's ad, his language, that some have adopted to blast at we Obama supporters.

          Another one, the Rand Paul cult film "V- is for Vendetta'

          Dsily for those of us who live in red states, we hear ad nauseum frames like have been stated in this thread:

          assumption that the Democrats actually want to govern differently from Republicans.

          From going south, that's a very popular frame here, which also results in the GOP frame of 'no difference between the 2 parties' which we also see here quite a bit these days.

          I suppose memory is extremmely short, because as for governing just tell me what 'oversight' hearings one ever had when the GOP was in power?

          Just tell me what sweeping health care legislation we had for all citizens? Oh, yeah they did the Medicare plan 'D" which is a boondoggle, give away to pharmacueticles compnaies and is making the SENIORS pay for it at increasing costs which is further detriorating our social security AND retirement funds even if we don't use it!

          Just beause the Democrats at the national level have a messaging problem, that doesn't mean that the 'base' should follow by using GOP frames to attack them.

          Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

          by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:23:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's the only reasonable explanation (8+ / 0-)

      that I'm left with.

      And be these juggling fiends no more believ'd, That palter with us in a double sense; .....

      by blueoasis on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:25:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is indeed (9+ / 0-)

      the problem.

      This analysis assumes that the Dems care about public opinion.

      It's just as likely in practice that coin-op Dems exist to sell profitable coin-op policies on behalf of their sponsors.

      Neither have any serious interest in promoting progressive policies.

      Effectively, politics is a sales-and-marketing job. Policy is set elsewhere, by lobbyists and campaign contributors.

      What's needed is a progressive party wing that isn't afraid to pitch fire-breathing populists against coin-op incumbents, and which is funded entirely by popular contributions.

      "Be kind" - is that a religion?

      by ThatBritGuy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:36:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. The alternative to "Elect Better Democrats!" (8+ / 0-)

        is "start a new, progressive party."

        The question is, which solution would be better, and more quickly, implemented? I believe there are good arguments on either side of that question, Ralph Nader notwithstanding.

        "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

        by semiot on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lakoff would be smart... (6+ / 0-)

          to quit wasting time on the Democrats.  They're not interested.

          Framing and messaging for the Left?  That would be a potentially fertile ground where there is some openness.

          Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

          by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:25:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really (6+ / 0-)

            Have you read this site lately.

            The left is all over the map. There is exactly one them that the hard left seems to hit. They are never happy and they  are really really angry.

             

          •  What do you want? Srsly? What is it that is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, Imhotepsings

            stuck in your craw? You live in a two party country and you basically have two choices, there is no viable third "liberal" party and the teabaggers  are Republicans. If you want to push progressive causes you are going to have to work with what you've got.

            Democrats are and always have been a free thinking, big tent party. It has advantages and disadvantages, I'll grant that. All in all I would rather be part of a movement that respects shades of grey in position than one who would toss anyone who isn't totally lock-step.

            It's your choice, you decide, what do you want and are you willing to work for it or just stand on the sidelines tossing tomatoes. Your posts suggest you don't support the progressive movement as much as you support your own agenda. You're way or the highway? Maybe I'm missing something, but this diary is about positive action.

            "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

            by high uintas on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:36:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Big tent? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zett, MPociask

              Right.  The Democratic Party's idea of a Big Tent since '72 has been to let Leftists contribute votes, money and time on the condition that they STFU and take abuse from party leaders whenever that's convenient for purposes of triangulating.

              You would like to define "positive action" as "doing things for the Democratic Party."  I don't buy that definition.  My time is better spent in local action in my community rather than expending energy helping national Dems and hoping to see something in return.

              Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

              by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:46:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I believe that the base is far more to the left (0+ / 0-)

                than the party, I think that has been clear for my lifetime. We make progress when the base is engaged and active, when the base is demoralized the corporatists and self serving wholly owned subsidiaries of banks, ins companies and extraction industries are satisfied.

                Ben Nelson is never more happy than when the Republicans are in power, same for Lincoln and Lieberman. They get to cast themselves as moderates and cut deals and become valuable commodities. When Democrats are in power the spot light shows them out for the cockroaches that they are, they hate it.

                You want to move the party left? Elect more and better Democrats and give us the room to gut the party of people like the examples I pointed to. It sure as hell isn't going to happen with losses or more narrow majorities and of course that is just what Republicans and people like Nelson are counting on.

                "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

                by high uintas on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:18:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And I believe that goinsouth (0+ / 0-)

                  doesn't believe a word of what he's writing.  He's laughing at us responding to his absurdity.  The jokes on us folks.

                  All he does is come here and disrespect us. He's obviously using Republican framing as proof in the pudding that we are a bunch of numnuts.  Forgetting that most of us are actively working nationally and locally on pure progressive themes.

                  But he's wrong.  And we will frame forward.  So there, goinsouth.  Nothing you're paultry little jibes can do about it.  Hah!

          •  I'm confused goinsouth (0+ / 0-)

            the Democrats.  They're not interested.

            Oh really?  Most of here are democrats, so you just dissed all of us.

    •  Poor messaging, GOP speak (8+ / 0-)

      Attacking the Democrats is exactly whoat is not helpful one bit.

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:09:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another flaw could be (6+ / 0-)

      that the almighty messaging gods analysis is too complicated.

      He wants us to build a movement, but posts and runs.

      The hard core liberals that post here and are dissastisfied with all things Obama screw up their messaging pretty badly.

      For example: Democrats never had a super majority. We never had 60 votes to over rule a fillabuster in the Senate.

    •  This must not be true for everyone (7+ / 0-)

      Conservative language automatically and unconsciously activates conservative frames and the high-level framing systems they are part of.

      Hearing conservative language automatically alerts me to a lack of critical thinking skills  by the speaker and, in extreme cases, makes me doubt his or her sanity.

      We have all heard so much Faux Newspeak by now that we can tell when we're talking to a programmed robot.  

      I think their whole program is beginning to backfire.  People are starting to automatically discount the conservative viewpoint as propaganda.

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

      by MadScientist on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:06:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think people have made it clear (8+ / 0-)

    that Dems must somehow learn to control the framing of the messages and debates, but the GOP - with the endless support of the media - totally control the framing of the message/debate.

    I am not aware of times where the Dems manage to control the frame and feel like part of the charade between the appearance of a 2-party system is that the Dems always let the GOP frame the debate, which is one major way those assholes retain so much power despite being a minority.

    But, alas...I don't believe Dems care to control the message, otherwise they would.

    Or so I think.

    Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:14:27 AM PDT

    •  When Dems had a reliable (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, malharden, Imhotepsings

      base, they worked with us to develop frames, like "Paris Hilton tax cuts' "Reverse Robin Hood tax cuts"

      With this hard left 'base' even if the Dems attempted to use message, that group would be pounding away so hard using all of the gop & media attacks to attack the Dems no one 'hears them' any longer.

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:49:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The disturbing thing.... (7+ / 0-)

    ....is that it's entirely possible that instead of being incompetent, the Democrats lose intentionally.

    •  No, give up if you believe that: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, zedaker, malharden

      They do not lose intentionally, they lose naively, we spend a lot of time thinking/analyzing the best approach to a problem and believe it will win on its merits.  See e.g. Health Care Reform.

      Instead, the other side never lets "what is best" get in the way of what outcome they want, and just as Madison Avenue can get you to buy a pair of jeans that cost $200.00 which are nearly identical to a $20.00 pair, the cons can get their sheep (their white sheep, that is how they primarily identify themselves) to believe that a capital gains tax is worse for people who do not own equities than higher wage taxes OR, less taxes on the rich which impact the middle class, their police, their schools, their roads, etc.

      Meanwhile, the con-control lives and does business in their "nation" - inaccessible to us, one of gated communities, private schools, government subsidies to corporations, tax loopholes etc etc.

      "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Coach John Wooden RIP

      by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:28:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No here's the REAL disturbing thing (5+ / 0-)

      Is that anyone would even post such a thing as this:

      is that it's entirely possible that instead of being incompetent, the Democrats lose intentionally.

      This is a knee jerk, emotonal feel good response with no basis in reality.

      If anyone is going to put totally useless stuff like this out, and I've already pointed out severla more up thread, then show us the money--otherwise this does more harm overall than has any basis in realtiy.

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:53:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't come up with any other explanation (0+ / 0-)

        The Democrats are pretty good at winning elections when they put their mind to it (see, Obama, Barack) and are really good at being cutthroat in primaries. But in general elections, it seems that every time the Republicans do something mean or underhanded, the Democrats just roll over and take it. John Kerry and Michael Dukakis come immediately to mind. They both ran brilliant primary campaigns and just sat there and took it as they got slimed in the general. Maybe it is incompetence, but these aren't incompetent people. I really can't see any other explanation. I'm not saying all Democrats do this, but it seems like far too many do. It shouldn't take much to realize what is needed to win, but far too many Democrats seem to avoid doing this!

    •  I vote incompetent (0+ / 0-)

      Some of them followed bad advice.  When it worked for them in a couple of isolated instances, it became dogma.  But it worked until it didn't, now they're left with nothing except blaming and flagellating their loyal base.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:07:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has it dawned on anybody yet (8+ / 0-)

    that the messaging, the framing and all the other stuff
    is going on 24/7 by a media that is completely
    controlled by our corporate masters?  Sorry, but we
    jumped over that cliff in the 80's.  

    •  You're repeating Democratic Party framing. (27+ / 0-)

      Committed Democrats on the Left have been sold a whole package of excuses over the past generation and you're still buying:

      1. The bad guys control the media.  What else is new?  Ever hear of Luce and Hearst?
      1. The Senate rules are bad.  Change them when you're in the majority.  That's what the Republicans would do if it were necessary, but they don't even need to.  There are always enough Democratic sellouts that they get their way with 51 votes--or 41 now.
      1. The Republicans are mean and nasty and don't care about the truth or bipartisanship or governing or the good of the country.  This is news?  Grow a pair.
      1. We can't raise enough money.  That one hasn't been true for the last few cycles because Dems have really been good at selling themselves to the money folks.  It's making a comeback now that this Administration's former bestest bud on Wall Street, Jamie Dimon, is getting a little petulant that his ass isn't being kissed with sufficient frequency.
      1.  McGovern!  McGovern!  McGovern!  Any time you want a Democrat to stand for something, they bring up '72 and say that Democrats have to be spineless toads in order to win.  Of course, the Republicans lost big in '64 with Goldwater and doubled down on their ideology and have been winning (and fucking up the country) ever since.

      I could go on and on.  It doesn't take long to compile a catalog of "Dems' Favorite Excuses for their Ineffectiveness" if you spend some time in the threads here.

      Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

      by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:47:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Total GOP BS (5+ / 0-)

        First of all let me give you the perfect example of  working for bi partisanship:

        The LIBERAL LINON the last REAL liberal in my book, Sen Ted Kennedy!

        He ALWAYS worked in a bi partisan mode ALWAYS--he is legendary!

        Next the corporate controlled media is legendary--don't know where you've been--

        Corporate controlled media is why we had to develop so many

        BLOGS, message boards to get out news on the Dmocrats to begin with--just where have YOU been?????

        So the Dems raised money for two election cycles, have YOU looked at that gap now??????

        Corporate money to support dems has DROPPED 65% over just last year and now it's going to the GOP!!!

        Thanks for providing the perfect example of the left using those GOP framed talking points right here on Daily Kos to attack the Dems!

        Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

        by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:00:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Progressives favorite excuses? (7+ / 0-)

        We didn't control the county/state Dem Party and put in our own sparkling messaging and candidates because
        a) we were busy watching Rachel Maddow
        b) nobody appreciates us
        c) we were exposing Obama's corporatism on FDL/DKos
        d) get out of my room

      •  Yes! (5+ / 0-)

        Of course, I knew the symbol for the Democratic party was a donkey.  I just didn't know it was Eeyore.  :)

        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

        by TracieLynn on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:18:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Point is (6+ / 0-)

        half of the "Democrats" are actually '50s Republicans.
        We have two generations of Americans who bought into the
        idea of "believe hard enough and you can become the rich
        people of this country" from religion, television and
        lottery spiels.  Just get rich and your worries are
        over.  Fight back against that.  Democrats (the smart
        ones) knew which side their bread was buttered.  Story
        short:  people will not concede being snookered unless/
        until there is no there anymore.  

    •  Yes, I agree. Always Remember the letters - CCCP! (0+ / 0-)

      CCCP STANDS FOR CORPORATE CONSERVATIVE CONTROLLED PRESS!

  •  You could teach Axelrod a few things. (6+ / 0-)

    I think he's been a disaster for the president, but the president either doesn't realize it, or is too loyal to do anything about it.

    "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

    by Bush Bites on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:38:08 AM PDT

    •  Axelrod may not be to your liking (0+ / 0-)

      But obviously he is to President Obama and he's the one who REALLY matters, don't ya think?

      Getting rid of Axelrod would not serve President Obama at this time, or else he would have done it.

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:08:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the Democrats go down hard in November, (5+ / 0-)

        and in the polling much is due to the public not liking or trusting Obama policies, somebody will be FIRED in the WH.  And expect Emmanuel to suddenly get a cush job in the millions and leave as CoS.  This happens all the time.

        •  More likely (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silverbird, Tam in CA, divineorder

          they will blame the loyal base for not doing whatever.  At that point, they'll exacerbate the whole mess by working even harder to be GOP-lite. They're too proud to admit they may have made a mistake.

          The sirens have been calling and our party leadership has been drifting ever closer to the rocks.

          There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:11:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ha! (6+ / 0-)

        Axelrod may not be to your liking (0+ / 0-)

        But obviously he is to President Obama and he's the one who REALLY matters, don't ya think?

        So... when anyone gives a political opinion on any politician here, the proper response is tell them that they're not the one that REALLY matters.  It's the politican who matters.

        Well, that would apply to any one of us here, including you.  

        You're confusing two things:

        1.  A poster giving a political opinion on a political website.
        1.  A poster deludely thinking that he/she controls events, and is at the center of them.

        But I suspect you know that.  Your real purpose: "STFU."

        Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

        by chumley on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:41:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So very true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      Emphasis on messaging to the exclusion of good framing has turned into a disaster.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:08:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How much time and effort is put into (12+ / 0-)

    'correcting' people like Glenn Beck's outrageous historical revisions and the rest of the Fox crew?
    I think building a counter structure to the one which Rupert Murdoch has built over the past 60 years which operates internationally in the way you have described, pushing conservative framing, is critical if we are ever to shift the level of discourse in the direction of reality.
    The RW propaganda machine scream blue murder at the inference of a Left Wing media bias, so shouldn't there really be something they are forced to 'correct' rather than imagine something which doesn't exist in order to set their own frame?

    Example :

    Penn State Completely Exonerates Climate Scientist Michael Mann On Bogus Climategate Accusations

    Besides, if we are looking to framing, I certainly don't understand why the GOP want to support the building of what is mentioned in my sig line, who would?

    When will we wake up to the fact that we are building a Greenhouse Gas Chamber for our kids?

    by Unenergy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:38:41 AM PDT

  •  Poll Article Link: (8+ / 0-)

    The Poll Democrats Need to Know About

    The link in the diary appears badly formatted at the moment. This one appears to be the intended article.

  •  Immigration issue shows limits of your technique (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, divineorder, numberzguy

    You skip over the history of immigration reforms: it's already happened.  Under Reagan, we already had the situation of millions of illegal immigrants in country because of years of lax enforcemnet of an irrational and underfunded system.

    There already has been a reform that was supposed to A) allow for a path to citizenship for those already in the country and B) bring about the enforcement that ensured it would never happen again.

    For everyone over forty, the terms and policies are poisoned by the fact that they know that B can just never come about.  No amount of terminology changes that.  It doesn't matter what you call A or B if B lacks credibility.  Obama's taking up of the strongest enforcement language, indeed, sending NG to the border, is trying to shore up the B side of the eventual compromise.

    I have two of your books on my dining room table waiting to be read.  Looking forward to it.

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:49:39 AM PDT

  •  I am not reading through all this (0+ / 0-)

    what is the point of knowing all this without doing something with the information?

    what are you recommending be done?

  •  so in a nutshell.... (23+ / 0-)

    if democrats talk like republicans to gain independent and moderate support they LOSE all segments, including their progressive base, and republicans win?  

    "The masses are asses" - Unknown

    by KnotIookin on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:51:33 AM PDT

    •  Yep. No one likes a Democrat that tries (18+ / 0-)

      to act like a Republican.

      I work with Back to Basics PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

      by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  then why do democrats in the 'base" (0+ / 0-)

        Act like Republicans? Examples, forming an alliance with Grover Norquist?

        Progressive alliance with GOP Grover Norquist

        Or most recent example of using a right wing tactic straight out of the old 'Red Scare tactics' to attack Obama and Democratic supporters as 'McCarthyites' for speaking of their support which those anti Obama supporters interpretted as attempting to shut them up. Hell the title was straight from the 1950's right here on Daily Kos!:

        There are enemies from within

        Now if this is how an alleged 'base' of the Democratic Party is acting LIKE a REPUBLICAN straight from thier modern day play book, just what are those elected officials expected to think?

        There are but two examples and anyone on Twitter knows full well that on TCOT that sad little 50's 'enemies' from within is very prominent now in attacking the Democratic Party AND President Obama.

        Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

        by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:01:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You and your OFA friends (4+ / 0-)

          Will never understand the damage that you are doing both to the Democratic party and to this country by your blind loyalty to the party and the extreme efforts you make to condemn and shut down criticism from those who disagree with you. The above is a perfect example.

          And believe me, if you want to play tit for tat, I can find plenty of examples for which your side has helped the Republican cause, the worst of it being your side's unwillingness to fight for anything that the party tells you not to bother fighting for.

          •  Sad, but true (4+ / 0-)

            These days I almost feel the same as when we were under GOP control.  Helplessly waiting for current Dem leadership failure to happen, the rebuild again.  It's like watching a slow-motion train wreck.

            There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

            by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:17:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Silverbird, divineorder, Betty Pinson

              It's like we're still heading for the edge of the cliff, just a little bit more slowly. And unlike the Mom and Dad we had before, who were yelling at us to shut up and putting tape over our mouths, our new Mom and Dad are feeding us ice cream and singing and laughing and telling us how wonderful everything will be when we finally get the car turned around. Only it's not turning around. It's still creeping towards the edge of the cliff. I can see it!!!

    •  All politics is local (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wary, Egalitare, lightshine

      Mark WArner is a sensible democrat in Virginia. He talks about free market solutions. Therefore Mark Warner must be evil.

      Try to elect a democrat in Virginia, and maybe you will get a deeper understand of local politics and how it affects democrats.

    •  Read comments here (0+ / 0-)

      Many people who say they are in the 'base' USE GOP framing as a matter of course, so yes, the Democrats are attempting to speak to them--so it doesn't bother me, what bothers me is that certain people in the left of the 'base' use these frames at all! Like when they attack we Democrats that still support Obama by using McCain's 'UNICORN" frame, or Rand Palu's cult film V is for Vendetta--that's I find objectionalble, those who should know better act as if they dont and say they are the 'base"

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:42:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hint: you're off message. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zedaker, shaharazade, ohmyheck, gardnerjf

        I know how you love to characterize criticism of Democrats from the Left as GOP talking points, but you're actually off message.

        When you see Lefties criticize Democrats, you're supposed to chant, "Nader!  Nader!  Nader!"

        Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

        by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:58:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for proving (0+ / 0-)

          my point, it's always about 'criticism' he leigitimacy of using GOP talking points.

          So change your right wing tactics and talks and perhaps those 'criticisms' will be taken sincerely other wise, it's all just GOP speak.

          Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

          by Wary on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:05:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  100% Correct! (6+ / 0-)

        Read comments here (0+ / 0-)

        Many people who say they are in the 'base' USE GOP framing as a matter of course,

        Lots of people here love to blame the "left," and "liberals," and sneer at "progressives" with Beltway arrogance JUST LIKE THE GOP.  It's like an echo of Fox News talking points.

        Thanks! You hit the nail on the head.

        Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

        by chumley on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:59:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think one of the most important, and (13+ / 0-)

    frustrating, things that contrast the conservative and liberal or progressive "frameworks" is that the former has strong structural members grounded in the assumption that there is a simple answer to any problem no matter how complex. And the answer usually entails - in effect - more decision-making discretion for the moneyed elites.

    I guess this is more or less your point here, Dr. Lakoff - the moneyed interests have paid good money to buy the framing devices (media, think-tanks, etc.), and through these to construct the frames, that promulgate this conservative thought structure and so assure their political ideology in American thought.

    And by the way, I think this diary is the best effort I've seen from you in "framing framing" in an understandable way for the dkos audience. Thanks.

    "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

    by semiot on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:05:13 AM PDT

  •  The liberal message is too complex for soundbites (4+ / 0-)

    Compare you're uncompromising example frame:
    "This law is bad"

    This cannot be generalized.  Not all laws are bad.  It needs to be explained in detail as you do in the subsequent paragraphs.

    Compare that to conservative messaging:
    "Illegals are bad and should be punished"

    Simple and easily believable.  Of course people who break the law are bad.

    Faced with these two frames it will be a long uphill battle for the liberal message to win.

    I wonder if it's not more effective to accomplish liberal goals using conservative framing, even if it means watering down those goals significantly?

    •  good point--I wonder though if that's because (13+ / 0-)

      the Democratic party no longer is what it used to be: a party for working people.

      That's what won it elections and loyalty from the 40s through the mid-70s. That was a pretty good sound bite: the working man.

      Now, it could be expanded to working people.

      And, yeah, the right will yell "class warfare." But instead of cowering and backing down, the Democrats could shout back "damned right: on behalf of the middle-class as opposed to the wealthy, the GOP's main interest."

      But I wonder if the Democratic party, like governmental regulatory agencies, hasn't been "captured" by center-right Republicans.

      •  Immediately there is a problem. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        And, yeah, the right will yell "class warfare." But instead of cowering and backing down, the Democrats could shout back "damned right: on behalf of the middle-class as opposed to the wealthy

        Republicans represent the middle class.  Democrats once represented the working class.  The middle class see their fantasy future in alignment with the rich and not allied with people called workers.

        2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

        by Silverbird on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:53:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a bigger problem for the middle class (0+ / 0-)

          is that the GOP does not represent them, and yet they support the GOP.

          Perhaps the key to Democratic messaging then would be to say "middle class" as often as possible. And back it up by presenting policies that actually benefit the middle- and working-class.

          •  Help the middle class . . . (0+ / 0-)

            Nope. Doesn't have that unselfish, egalitarian ring to it.  

            Unfortunately, the picture I get is like a cartoon of latte liberals saying that.  And how will you get the many working class non-voters to support saving the middle class?

            2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

            by Silverbird on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:24:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. I don't know why Liberals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chumley, blueoasis, zedaker

      always think that people are rational. People are not rational. In fact, it's not rational to think that people are rational.

      That is why you have to speak to people's gut.

      My take on illegal immigration would be simple:

      "Fair pay for everyone."

      That is what I would repeat over an over again. Do that, and it becomes easy to deal with everything else.

      "I'm not a gentle, man. I'm a Method Man!" The What @tweetbbb

      by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:56:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh man (0+ / 0-)

        did you just hit that one out of the park or what. i've thought for a long time now that requiring a living wage be paid to all workers would act to reduce illegal immigration by a big chunk. especially if the fines levied on businesses for hiring undocumented workers were large enough and enforced enough to be effective.

        "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

        by zedaker on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:59:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, its harder (0+ / 0-)

      for us. Our policies are better, and a little more complex. So it is more of an uphill battle for us. That and we tend to be so individualistic and opinionated that it is harder for us to coalesce on a given bit of language.

      That doesn't mean it can't be gone. We just have to try harder, and think harder.

      Occasionally, using conservative framing can be a good strategy, but only when we consciously realize that that is what we are doing.

  •  Tip: Democratic Leadership is Conservative (17+ / 0-)

    They WANT to move right. It's an excuse. The party isn't progressive, it just includes progressives.

    These people are professionals, they're not making a mistake this basic.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:06:52 AM PDT

    •  Amendment: "current" Democratic leadership (0+ / 0-)

      The DLC hasn't always controlled party leadership, only in recent years. It certainly wasn't the case when Dean was in charge of the DLC.

      Things can change, and they will.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:44:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  exactly--this admin. has revealed this deficiency (14+ / 0-)

    It's been a longstanding one, beginning with the Democratic party's "me-too-ism" after the so-called Reagan Revolution AND the GOP's taking the conspiracy-driven, Southern Strategy/John Bircher Appeal to the bank so many times over the years that they just kept creeping farther to the right on each trip. Now it's morphing into the Tea Party--a bunch of pissed-off and ill-informed people wearing hats festooned with tea bags and carrying misspelled signs. Proudly.

    So this nation has drifted so far to the right that virtually every regulatory agency has been "captured" and now, when economics and common sense tell us we need to apply more stimulus to a flagging recovery, we're doing exactly the wrong thing.

    This nation has drifted so far to the right that it has become risky to advocate diplomacy over war. Apparently, it is even too risky to withdraw from wars, even those whose causes are, in the words of "Scarborough Fair," "long ago forgotten" even while we're still waging them. (See Michael Steele.)

    The Democrats are our only hope for restoring sanity to our country. This is why lots of people who don't normally vote actually marched to the polls in November 2008. But this administration is doing exactly what Lakoff describes: letting pollsters who are measuring the unmoored, uneducated, rightward drift of our nation dictate policy.

    It's become painful to watch Obama try to curry favor with the right--and get called a commie for his troubles. This administration is letting itself be positively bullied by know-nothing obstructionists and, even worse, seems to have no faith in the ability of the American people to listen to reason. But, worst of all, after almost two years of watching this pathetic smooching up to the disdainful right, one wonders if maybe this administration lacks any conviction in any policy that might actually help the average people. Maybe this administration really is, at its core, center-right, with more faith in the folks with money and a great reluctance to ask anything of them other than a campaign donation.

  •  The DLC cheerleaders seem quiet tonight (7+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised no one has jumped in saying we must stay the course and not bad mouth the President?

    That we must get out the vote for November and don't question anything.

    The most powerful asset Obama and Democrats have is hope.  If people lose that hope they stay home and Republicans win. But then it will have been this White House's own fault for this set of conditions.

    I think it is not merely Gen. McChrystal that should have been fired, there are several in the White House that are not serving this President nor the American People well.

    --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

    by chipoliwog on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:09:47 AM PDT

    •  Did you even read this ? (9+ / 0-)

      There are training institutes that teach tens of thousands of conservatives a year to think and talk using these framing systems and their language and argument forms. There are regular gatherings to consolidate messaging and policy around a contemporary issue that fits the conservative moral system. There are booking agencies that book conservative spokespeople on tv, talk radio, etc. There are lecture venues and booking agencies for conservative spokespeople. There are conservative media going on 24/7/365.  

      BP - Proving Oil and Water do mix.
      A Presidency Among the Vuvuzelas.

      by amk for obama on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:13:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like the non sequitur. (6+ / 0-)

      It proves that there's some people who can't get past what they think is the real problem with America, namely, that someone likes Obama too much.  You have to insist on bringing the "problem" to the forefront, as if successfuly messaging for democrats means repetition of democrat bashing.

      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

      by Inland on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:19:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rinse repeat (0+ / 0-)

        Repeat a message ad nauseam until received and accepted by a critical mass of the people.  That is something the Republican's know how to do.  When will Democrats learn it?  

        --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

        by chipoliwog on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:05:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

      Well, that instantly got a couple of challenges.

      I won't call them 'DLC cheerleaders', but apparently they feel the shoe fits.

      Am I cynical? Yes I am! - Bob the Builder's lesser known brother Pete the Politician

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:45:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's like kryptonite to the DLC (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverbird, DeepLooker

      Their entire flawe political philosophy is based on adopting GOP frames, on running and governing as closely as possible to the enemy's political views.

      They slap a "bipartisan" label on it, but its no such thing.  Bipartisanship requires two separate points of views on the issues, two differing approaches to governing and problem solving.  When you adopt the framing of the opposing party, you become the same.

      Winning elections requires candidates to separate themselves from the opposition, not just in short term messaging, but in framing, in  policy, in philosophy, in action.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:16:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  quite simply; (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiot, goinsouth, ohmyheck, Egalitare

    progressive doesn't fit in a capitalist frame any more. It's an obvious dilemma for an entity trying to be progressive lite.

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:10:42 AM PDT

  •  Excellent post! (5+ / 0-)

    I work with Back to Basics PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:11:50 AM PDT

  •  It's about theater and understanding the audience (19+ / 0-)

    In my 15 years of theater, Hill and federal service, theater is a concept Democrats do not understand.  

    I once watched Gephardt's press people set up a presser in the swamp (the Triangle hill side) so that the CSPAN cameras faced Members looking directly into the sun.  That's basic staging that they failed.  You can't talk messaging if a press team can't set up a stage and podium so the Members aren't all squinting into a camera.

    Then there's the concept of willing suspension of disbelief.  We can't think that the American public is willing to believe we are working in their interest when we hand $700 billion to Wall Street for creating this crisis and pass the ARRA, which failed to create infrastructure jobs and instead patched potholes.  

    The American people want jobs and infrastructure.

    KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE 101

    •  I do feel at times that the Democrats are (7+ / 0-)

      the Washington Generals on the court with the Globetrotters.

      "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

      by semiot on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:19:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've noticed such PR ineptness by Dems (9+ / 0-)

      since the 70's, when I was growing up. It's like they only speak to themselves and have no awareness of how people not like them view them, or simply don't care, in a sort of "Well I'm smarter and right so I don't care how I come across to others" vanity. It's almost like they'd rather stay in character than actually win over the public, like an old actor whose acting style is 30 years behind the times but who's so vain and full of themselves that they can't get with the times and adapt to new acting paradigms.

      While listening to establishment conservatives like Boehner and McConnell is quite painful, listening to establishment Dems like Pelosi and Reid (and, increasingly and unfortunately, Obama) isn't much better. They both come across as fatuous blowhards who could care less about what the public thinks, and believe that condescension and patronizing and sticking to focus-grouped talking points and memes are effective and proper ways of communicating ideas. It just feels like one big put up job.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:12:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yet we have Hollywood support (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        Why do we not use Hollywood to help craft our message, our campaign ads, our direct mail.

        We use Hollywood to produce our conventions.

        Hope Change comes faster.

        by angry liberaltarian on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:24:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because Hollywood isn't about reality (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, Betty Pinson

          It's about fantasy, and we're trying to "sell" reality, as in real solutions to solve real problems. As liberal as most leading members of the entertainment industry are supposed to be (but aren't, since most of them are lifestyle, not real liberals), the Hollywood approach generally works much better for conservatives, who are in the business of selling fantasy, than liberals. Thus, Reagan.

          "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

          by kovie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:42:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Obama was 'framed' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silverbird, LostInTexas

        well during the election. He was made out to be extremely intelligent, wise, and progressive. He was going to help the poor, clean the air, and make the world a friendly place. And he won.
        Perhaps we should own the 'socialist' framing of the Republicans!

        •  Campaign framing not followed up by (4+ / 0-)

          corresponding governing does not play well with the public. It's called hypocrisy.

          I mostly loved the guy he ran as. Not so much the guy he's governing as. Framing needs to be about much more than just winning elections. It has to be about good governance and ideological pursuasion, in ways that are consistent with and reinforce each other. We're not getting that from Obama & Dems.

          "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

          by kovie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:57:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  His framing shifted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, Silverbird, goinsouth

          during the election. On more than one occasion, he advocated for different stands on key issues, for example industrial policy and protecting US jobs vs promoting a focus on a global economy that ships jobs overseas.

          He has his tail in a crack now that he's governing, trying to reconcile conflicting policy positions during a severe economic crisis.  Can't message your way out of that one.

          There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:11:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with theatre, but we CAN think that the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry liberaltarian

      American public will believe anything. It's been proven over and over.  If the financial crisis happened in 2007, the republicans would have Americans believing that saving Wall Street was the most patriotic thing we could do.  Just like they got us to go to war with Iraq by claiming that Saddam was involved in 911 (which many Americans still believe) all the while denying they ever said anything of the sort.

      Repugs know how to do theatre AND messaging.

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:38:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just politics (5+ / 0-)

    How many times have we seen inferior products win out over better products because of superior marketing? It is all about the framing.

    I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

    by jhecht on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:17:04 AM PDT

  •  Another Conservative Dog Whistle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird

    The Obama quote wherein the conservative code is exposed vis a vis immigration missed at least one other conservative dog whistle:

    and get right before the law

    Evoking the phrase "get right before god."

    It's full of them.

  •  This is so so important (5+ / 0-)

    Much too often among progressive circles, there is a belief that we lose because we compromise too much.  But compromise is essential to getting anything passed and not the reason we lose.  We lose because we (our leaders) have already accepted the conservative frame and our message is about compromising within that frame.

    Most media is, to put it bluntly, not smart enough to recognize this and every issue is analyzed on a linear scale within one frame - either you want to go even further or not as far as what is proposed.  But most of the times its just the wrong frame.

  •  DialyKos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, Justus, Betty Pinson

    on some days has the potential to be just such a tool for messaging.

    On other days, not unlike this one ... it's nothing but a giant suggestion box.

    Excellent diary.  It reads more like pages from a textbook that I wanna print and shove into the case with my other stuff.

    "The term 'Sloppy Joe' takes on new meaning...once your tribe descends into cannibalism." - Stephen Colbert

    by Detroit Mark on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:12:11 AM PDT

  •  Republcan's don't frame squat (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calidrissp, Cat Whisperer, Justus

    Republicans don't frame much into the American conscience.  They are other groups, which do it for them.

    You have the Heritage Foundation, started in the wake of Watergate, William F. Buckley's magazine which started off as a loan voice in the wilderness, the Washington Times, the Grover Norquist anti-tax nut group, Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority and its descendants, and whole host of other organizations, who do the framing and messaging for Republicans.

    Republicans just reap the rewards of their work by aligning with these nut-jobs.

    Liberals have not organized to get a message out.   Just because it doesn't look likely the minimum wage will be repealed anytime soon, it doesn't stop the anti-minimum wage folks from bashing the minimum wage wherever they get a chance.

    The interest groups, who support Democrats - environmentalists, unions, social liberals, gay rights activists, etc. - need to push their agenda relentlessly and not get mad at the one Party willing to entertain  you, when there's a set back.

    •  These groups ARE republicans! (4+ / 0-)

      Every time the Heritage foundation, Grover Norquist, Falwell or anyone from these groups speaks or writes, they are seen by the viewer/reader as republicans.  They multiply the presence of republicans because the ARE republicans.

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:27:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rs don't align with those nut jobs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverbird

      they ARE those nut jobs!  you honestly don't know that?  you honestly don;t know those organizations were all founded and funded by people with the goal of reinforcing the R message?

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      --Tom Harkin

      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:29:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's my point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Cat Whisperer

        There's a synergy with these groups and Republicans, which has built up over the last 30 years.

        Bush, Sr. wasn't calling Reagan's economy policies, "voodoo economics", in the 1980 Republican primary, because all Republicans bought into what Reagan was saying.

        These groups kept pushing their agenda and influence in the Republican Party, until now they Republican polticians are their mouthpieces and they are the foot soldiers for the Republican Party's PR campaigns.

        The GOP doesn't officially say much of anything to frame the debate. The interest groups, which support it are the ones floating the ideas and trying to frame the debate.

        If you want Democrats and liberals to match the PR machine of the right, its the liberal groups, which have to step up and frame the debate, until there is enough popular support for Democrats to latch on.

        •  you said (0+ / 0-)

          Republicans don't frame much into the American conscience because they have other groups that do it for them.

          But the Republicans and those "other groups" are not separate entities.

          So in fact Republicans ARE framing constantly into the American conscience through groups they created specifically for that purpose.

          If they have you believing that "the GOP doesn't officially say much of anything to frame the debate" then they've got you.  You have to realize that when those other groups speak they ARE the GOP speaking.  They direct the public statements of all the GOP elected officials.  I don't know what else they have to do to be "official" in your eyes.

          "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
          --Tom Harkin

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:02:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They are not one and the same either (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueMajority

            You do get traditionally Republican groups, who jump ship or get frustrated and stay home.

            Wall Street favored Obama over McCain in 2008.  Social conservatives aren't as much of an influence as they seemed to be 10 years ago, in my opinion and I believe many of them stayed home in 2008, out of frustration with the GOP's failure to deliver on the issues they care about.

            •  the groups you mentioned in your first post (0+ / 0-)

              ARE one and the same.

              now you are adding "Wall Street", but "Wall Street" does not speak with one voice.

              But the groups you named: the Heritage Foundation, the National Review, the Washington Times, Americans for Tax Reform (the Grover Norquist group), Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority and its descendants who do the framing and messaging for Republicans, they do speak with one voice.  and if by Wall Street, you mean the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, I highly doubt if most of them gave contributions to Obama.

              You have NEVER seen ANY of these groups get out of step or out of line.  They repeat the same talking points and message of the day almost word for word.   they are the messaging arm of the Republican party.  if you believe anything different, if you believe they have any independence from the GOPropaganda machine, they have hoodwinked you.

              "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
              --Tom Harkin

              by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:36:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  T & R with tag update. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:16:31 AM PDT

  •  Beginning to hear the terminology 'Global Climate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Justus, nicethugbert

    Chaos'

    Accurate, virtually indefensible, and apt in every locale, and in every season of the year. Especially lately.

    I like it.

    This is America. Huge multinationals choose our political officials here.

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:28:48 AM PDT

  •  we need (12+ / 0-)

    more. short. simple. slogans.

    People Matter.

    Corporate Heist.

    Common Welfare.

    Social Good.

    Public Interest.

    Fact based.

    Clean Energy.

    Old School.

    Tax Fairness.

    Full Employment.

    Just Society.

    Corporate Responsibility.

    BP Apologists.

    Worker Rights.


    Ed Schultz calls this the "2-word culture" --

    The GOP are masters at this -- thanks to Frank Luntz and the Heritage Foundation etc.

    The Dems not so much.
    Try to get the to Point with a typical Democrat --
    and you get a 12 Point Policy plan.
    (and the moment is lost)

    Having a backpack full of 2-word slogans --
    can help with those sorely needed "Elevator Speeches".

    As Howard Dean put it a few years ago --
    People Vote their Values --
    But Dem Run on their Policies.


    That can translate to "No Contest".


    thank you George Lakoff.
    We need your insights more than ever, lately.

    good to see you again.

    The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood. --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807

    by jamess on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:32:35 AM PDT

  •  I like the 'Second Great Republican Depression' (7+ / 0-)

    I'm a big fan of cutting rightwing revisionist historian's legs off at the knees.

    This is America. Huge multinationals choose our political officials here.

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:35:35 AM PDT

  •  I like your thesis.... (4+ / 0-)

    my concern is how do we get our message out clearly and simply.

    progressive/liberal ideas are often too complex for many average Americans
    (myself included, sometimes)
    but, I wonder what we can do to get our message out...
    do we need a script to follow, like the republicans do?

    repetitive and consistent messaging is very effective
    the conservatives understand this.

    so far, the best thing that I have come up with that seems to work is:

    "good government"

    when I hear someone repeating r-w talking points
    like: "less government" or "small government"
    my response is; "actually, what we need is good government"

    interestingly, I have had many people stop and think for a second
    and actually agree with me; "you're right...we need good government"

    imagine if we had 30+ years of messaging that good government was the answer,
    instead of 30+ years of messaging that smaller government was the answer...?

    at this point, the republicans in congress are governing like they hate America
    this is where their negative messaging over the years has led them...
    to a sad and destructive place, for all of us.

    if democrats, liberals, progressives...whatever you want to call us
    would focus on the one thing we actually agree on, the one thing we believe is possible,
    the one thing that we believe must be in place if we are to succeed as a nation:

    "good government"

    I suspect we'd be much more effective at governing
    at doing the important work of shifting our country
    towards progress.

    because, without progress....we don't stand a chance.

    __________

    as a side note:
    here in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey is the republican running against Joe Sestak for senate.
    Toomey's slogan is "More Jobs, Less Government"

    as much as I loathe Toomey (and his ad), it is pretty effective.
    but my idea holds up...perhaps a progressive spin might be:
    "More Jobs, Good Government"
    or, even
    "More Jobs, Better Government"

    point is, IMO, we need to start pounding our core belief
    over and over and over and over and over...

    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:43:03 AM PDT

  •  Lakoff for Chief of Staff. nt (3+ / 0-)

    If war is human nature, why are so many soldiers psychologically broken by it?

    by oxon on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:44:25 AM PDT

  •  This is EXCELLENT. (9+ / 0-)

    Spouting Republican, conservative themes will not win Democrats anything.  If you have a blathering Democrat talking like a Republican, but have a real Republican on the ballot, who will the voter vote for?  The Republican.

    That White House messaging is disastrous.

    •  What happened? (9+ / 0-)

      Messaging was effective up to election day.

      Was it Rahm?

      Was it the corporations calling in their chits and placing corporatists in key positions?

      Or, to give another point of view a chance, are we missing something?

      Are we asking for too much?

      Was Obama telling the truth when he talked about liking Reagan and wanting bipartisanship?

      Or is the administration ok but we have a problem with corporatist Dem senators who make it impossible to pass progressive legislation and who undermine progressive framing at every opportunity?

      I suspect it is a mixture of all of these factors.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:57:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are spot on. (8+ / 0-)

        I remember Roland Martin on CNN after Obama praised Ronald Reagan in video during the primaries.  Martin stated and I paraphrase, "Obama needs to stop praising Ronald Reagan the Black Community hated him and most Democrats do too."  But the reality is that you are spot on, it is a combination of all the above.  Especially Obama's over reach for bipartisanship, which has been an absolute FAIL.  Now to win in November he must be hard partisan, we will see if he can NAME NAMES, POINT FINGERS and CALL OUT REPUBLICANS in hard partisan rhetoric style.  We will see.

        •  oh ice, i can't believe you went there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terri, blueoasis

          you know perfectly well Obama did not praise Reagan in that video.

          "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
          --Tom Harkin

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:27:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, Tam in CA

          And I would submit that if Democrats really want to know what messaging works, they'd spend less time trying to listen to Republicans and more time listening to their most loyal constituency, which is not afraid to cast party positions in moral language.  Case in point - almost all of the pundits, media and blog, were winding up the whinge machines over and over again about health insurance reform  (because it sure isn't health care reform) and scratching their heads about why even that tiny bit of something was passed was close to going down in flames.   Why? Because they kept seeing the issue in terms of money.  Cash.  What it would, or would not cost them, financially.

          In contrast, virtually every Black person I know that was politically active on and off blogs pretty much concluded early on that if 30,000,000 people might now have a chance to see a doctor, it was worth it - even if it did cost some of us more money.

          If you look back at all our participation in this party, you will see over and over again the fundamental truth:  the most loyal constituency the Democratic Party has ever had thinks, behaves and votes based upon what it perceives as the correct moral values.  Not economic ones.  

          That has been the case with virtually every political campaign that our people have waged in this country that was successful.  People may have been interested in money, or the lack thereof, and that may have initially gotten their interest.  But what got them into the streets willing to die or go to jail was the fundamentally immorality of those things they were protesting, be it police brutality, race discrimination, you name it.

          All while always calling a spade a spade.

          The party could learn a lot if only it would pay attention to how we behave as voters rather than just assuming we vote for Democrats because we actually like much of what they do.  There is a reason we don't vote Republican despite the fact that collectively, African-Americans may be the most socially conservative demographic on the left side of the aisle.  One doesn't need a linguist to depersonalize and "make rational" what is going on.  All the party needs to do is actually pay attention.  

          If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

          by shanikka on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:05:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How does he define partisan? (0+ / 0-)

          That's part of the problem.  There is no clear consistent framing of the issues that separates today's Dems from Republicans.  It's also difficult to develop and sell that framing when Dem's actions are inconsistent with their policies.

          There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:40:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It was effective, but not honest (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        goinsouth

        Throughout the primary they shifted positions on key issues constantly as they moved from one state to the next. They were able to cover for it with vague, and sometimes contradictory messaging. The problem was compounded by promises made behind the scenes to secure corporate campaign contributions.

        When it came time to govern and put promises made into action, confusion and shock replaced voter support as they were forced to backtrack, fall back on deceptive messaging and blame the GOP.

        I was amazed during the primary campaign as they changed their policy positions on their web site, wondering how they would end up actually governing while maintaining their coalition of voter support.

        Its a mess.  There's no way they can maintain forward momentum unless they unwind all the false/contradictory political positions and "vapor" policy and develop a solid, clear framing strategy and govern according to it.

        There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:37:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Similar message to Cenk's diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, DeepLooker

    using less hyperbolic language...hopefully this diary does not get the same reaction...

    It is reasonable to assume hyperbolic messaging gets hyperbolic reaction, but this diary deserves a reasoned discussion...

    "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

    by justmy2 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 06:54:02 AM PDT

  •  With the help of Dems, the GOP has moved the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohmyheck, Betty Pinson

    country so far to the right in terms of policy, ideas and how we think about policy, that I don't believe we can move the country to the equivalent point on the left by simply framing and messaging our own policies, ideas and way of thinking about policy, and expecting the public to catch on. The chasm is simply too wide at this point to get them to make that leap in large numbers. Most will simply stay put.

    Rather, I think that we have to build a bridge to span the great divide today from right to left, and then gradually nudge the public onto and over it, which will take years if not decades. And by bridge I mean a set of gradually more progressive frames, ideas and messages that will incrementally get people to reject conservative ones and adopt progressive ones--just as conservatives got them to do the opposite years ago.

    I believe that this means focusing on ways of framing issues and solutions in practical, not moral terms, for now. E.g. "Stimulus spending will get the economy back in shape again, and pay for itself in the long run", as opposed to "People are out of work and hurting, and we need to help them in their time of need". Much as WE believe that progressivism is about both, the public tends to think about issues and policy in terms of their practical benefits and efficacy, not in terms of morality and goodness.

    Only once we've won the war of who has the better ideas and policies on a practical level can we then try to lock the public in on a more moral level, because they'll now be primed to listen to that argument, which they're not right now.

    Basically, it's a two step process:

    1 - Get the public to realize that our policies are smarter and work better for them.

    2 - Get the public to realize that our policies are also more humane.

    And never end this "PR" campaign, because the right will keep up its own campaign, and try to exploit every misstep and setback on our part. The public has a short memory, and tends to operate on a "What have you done for me lately" basis.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:04:00 AM PDT

    •  Selling our record of past success (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      is difficult when our leaders fail to embrace it.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:42:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They don't merely not embrace it, they REJECT it (0+ / 0-)

        Not all of them, of course. But when Obama himself asserts that "both sides went too far" in their "60's-based cultural wars" and "judicial activism", he is essentially kicking 100 years of progressive liberalism to the curb, in order, foolishly and shamefully, to look "reasonable", i.e. "I'm not one of THOSE (crazy and extreme) liberals".

        When he and other Dems do this, they are not just being politically stupid, because NO ONE in the history of the universe has respected someone for kicking people on their side, but cravenly so, as in lacking all principle and decency. And yet some call this "brilliant" and "pragmatic" (which to me means that they're just as much fair weather faux liberals themselves). Oh, don't get me started on two-faced people who do this.

        "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

        by kovie on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:41:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  George, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage, ohmyheck

    I'd like to know how you think the Democratic leadership might be made to listen to you?  You'd think they'd have learned by now that what they do isn't working.  Why do they persist in doing it?  If we can identify a cause, perhaps we can identify a cure.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:05:13 AM PDT

  •  Progressives must heed or die (8+ / 0-)

    The Republicans don’t have move the country in a conservative direction by holding office. Their communications system can get the Democrats to move the country to the right by forcing disaster messaging upon them.

    The left of the political spectrum is dying and will die out completely unless we take heed to what Mr. Lakoff is saying to us. We have not taken heed, rather we have done exactly what he describes year in year out over several decades.

    Of course progressives will not take heed--for some reason this country has created an intellectual class that has no moral center--no sense that there are basic ideas that we subscribe to. Since the American left largely rejected Marxism there has been little intellectual underpinning to leftist thought in the U.S. Here, in this country Keynes is viewed as a leftist!

    That's one issue, the other issue is that, in fact, establishment Democrats are not really Democrats either big or little "d". They are employees of large corporate interests. How do I know that? I've lived decades in Washington DC and know where the income comes for these operatives to live a fairly lavish lifestyle. Once they get near power they sell out, pure and simple--so they are always ready to delude the Democratic voter as they manage to delude the majority of posters on this site (maybe this is changing now). But if progressives here and elsewhere do assert some common values and, in fact, publish those values and ideas in journals and have meetings and seminars and more and better parties--this could get interesting and the establishment Democrats will be forced either to go to the Republicans or begin to represent our interests. Having said that, we have to be prepared to lose elections because in fact we lost the last election that, in fact, swept Democrats into power. Sadly, there is no "there" there.

  •  One Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    Once again, great stuff from Lakoff.

    But here is my question:

    Who funds the contruction of a parallel system that accomplishes this sort of framing for democrats?
    When you look it this way, you start to realize that it is no accident that the GOP has contructed the system they have, and the democrats have not. The underwriters of political power in this country have contructed the system as they want it to be, and have no interest in constructing a parallel system that undermines its purpose. Pieces of it can certainly be built, but only in part.

    So when you get frustrated by what democrats do or don't do, with their framing, their legislative agenda, or anything else, recogize that they are always going to be swimming upstream.

  •  It was not always this way (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, kimoconnor, Betty Pinson, etbnc
    • The pollsters recommend that Democrats move to the right: adopt conservative Republican language and a less extreme version of conservative policy, along with weakened versions of some Democratic ideas.

    Here is a 1940 meta debate, on the Essential Differences Between the Republican and Democratic Parties.

    Republicans were stuck delivering and supporting watered down versions of Democratic policy. Not, as now, Democrats stuck delivering and supporting watered down versions of Republican policy.

    MAN: Mr. Jackson, don't you think that one of the prime differences between the Republican and Democratic parties is that the Democratic Party, in its administrations, promulgates various pieces of progressive legislation that seem radical at the moment, and then, when its terms are up, the Republicans come in and mellow and sanctify this legislation?

    A woman in the audience sure isn't buying the watered down nonsense:

    WOMAN: I would like to ask Dr. Frank what proposals the Republican Party has for putting the 11,000,000 unemployed back to work.

    •  About that question (0+ / 0-)

      Gotcha questions in debate are hard.

      I think I'd nominate the woman for best pointed debate question of all time. The question perfectly combines an objective neutrality, and an emotional wallop.

      Could we now naturally speak that way, simply and effectively and reasonably questioning Republicanism at its core?

      The people in the audience, of all political stripes, come across as very well informed about the politics of the day, and very engaged.

  •  The so-called "mainstream" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Betty Pinson

    Everybody constructs their own mainstream. Pollsters probably do to some extent as part of their sampling assumptions. But at least as importantly, the villagers, the corporate media elite, will report as the mainstream whatever fits their narrative, and they don't give a damn as to what polls say Americans out there are really thinking. Mainstream in the lore of the villagers is simply code for white, rural, low-education, low-information blue collar males whose world is ruled by machismo and who carry a huge racial chip on their shoulder at all times. Who decided that that is the face of the American mainstream? The villagers, of course. On what basis did they decide this? Not on the basis of actually meeting those alleged Joe Sixpacks, that's for sure.

    If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)

    by brainwave on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:33:35 AM PDT

  •  damn! i wish people would take this to heart! (3+ / 0-)

    as someone who has been saying similar things since 1980 I am grateful to have Lakoff continuing to try to bring this to the attention of the Democratic mainstream.

    conservatives have set up an elaborate messaging system.... There are training institutes that teach tens of thousands of conservatives a year to think and talk using these framing systems and their language and argument forms. There are regular gatherings to consolidate messaging and policy around a contemporary issue that fits the conservative moral system. There are booking agencies that book conservative spokespeople on tv, talk radio, etc. There are lecture venues and booking agencies for conservative spokespeople. There are conservative media going on 24/7/365.  

    This is why words matter, and this is why we must enforce community standards here and HR people who post RW talking points.  There is an apocryphal story about R spokespeople being fined if, during interviews, they failed to use certain phrases like "death tax" and failed to rephrase questions with their preferred language if the questioner put it some other way.

    They enforce their propaganda system ruthlessly, while Ds let folks supposedly on our side reinforce R propaganda without consequence!

    When I joined dK i thought it was a place where we would establish countermessages that would go out from here to whatever communications venues we are able to access, including one to one fencepost/watercooler conversation with persuadables in our own lives.

    of course the larger problem is that we are automatically blocked out of most mass market communications venues.  therefore the goal of establishing our own messaging system is the most important thing of all.  The VRWC has television and radio and most of the newspapers, and that's bad, since those are the primary means of communication in the country.  right now we can get around them to a certain extent with various forms of web-based communication, and that is why we must fight hard to preserve net neutrality.

    We also have more effective use of comedy and music and drama, which have a way of getting past people's intentional defenses.  We will do better in these early stages if we focus on building our areas of existing strength rather than trying to challenge them directly in the places where the red team has been building fortifications for more than 30 years.

    LBNL, and this was the brilliant part:

    Their communication system is never out of office.

    Honestly, I think this is the reason we won the 2006 midterms.  Internet influence was new in 2004 and we were indisputably on top and although we were out of office we suddenly had our own version of a messaging system that operated 24/7/365.  I also think that is a large part of the reason Obama won in 2008, that and the fact that he grabbed the meme that appealed most to biconceptuals: change.

    Sadly, it is also the reason we may lose big in 2010 and lose the White House in 2012.  Suddenly all over Left Blogistan we now have people who used to be stalwarts for the Blue Team competing with each other to see who can reinforce destructive RW propaganda most effectively!  And there is nowhere, not even here, where people are laser focused on getting the progressive message out in a positive way.  (A positive way meaning a way that does not tear down the Blue Team at the same time and in the same way that Republicons do.)

    I'm not giving up, but it sure is a lonely fight right now, with criticism coming from all sides, including here.

    I'll just continue counteracting the GOPropaganda in my own way, using whatever means are available to me.

    But I miss the days when I felt I was doing it in concert with like-minded people on Daily Kos.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    --Tom Harkin

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 07:46:10 AM PDT

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, Betty Pinson

      that the blogosphere could be a place for us to craft messaging and tactics for positive, progressive agendas.

      The disappointing thing, to which you have alluded, is that we seem to be too busy fighting each other..."centrist/pragmatists" upset with "progressive/idealists" or whatever...it is true that we are divided into basically two perspectives, with the best of us able to see both sides of the equation...

      Perhaps it may yet emerge that if we can learn to have rational, effective discourse with each other, we can emerge unified and have a greater impact on the national dialogue and, stretching it further the Democratic party messaging. Working against us we have individual thinking and a philosophical divide, not to mention a miniscule share of the media bandwidth...in our favor we have an inordinate quantity of ingenious minds, heartfelt fervor, and healthy desperation.

  •  I thought it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyb, Major Tom, blueoasis

    was a pretty clear diary about the need for the Democrats to stop doing what there doing moving right and trying to 'frame' their corporate agenda as center when in fact it's not. All this talk of political 'reality' is just a lame excuse to message the by-partisan screw that the political machines of both parties are beholden to.

    The lefties are the bad guys is a ridiculous argument and only allows the 'owners of the place' to create reality that always gives us policy that is exactly what they wanted in the first place. Take HCR, Obama cut a deal in August 2009 with the for profit hospitals. The PO was eliminated before any of the political Kabuki in congress started.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    'Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

    "We have an agreement with the White House that I’m very confident will be seen all the way through conference," one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter.'

    The reality is that policy is decided not by public opinion, but by the corporate ownership of the government, by-partisanly.  The notion that somehow  the populace is made up of rabid wingers or left of the lefties so therefore we cannot get the changes we need as a country is a political fiction. the diaries main point has been totally overlooked by those who view any real progress legislatively or politically as a threat to their carefully constructed fictions and delusions. As long as we fight to keep this cooked up reality in place we are losers , all of us the so called progrssives, centrists, and lefties.

    The salient point being this one. Messaging disaster capitalism run amok because it is political reality is mind bogglingly stupid. Reality is not static it is created. Why stifle and argue against those that tell the truth?    

    'To work long-term, progressive messaging must be sincere and direct, must reflect progressive moral values, and must be repeated. Progressive framing is about saying what you believe, telling the truth, and activating the progressive worldview already present in the minds of those who are partly conservative and partly progressive.'

    To support bad legislation and frame it as all we can do is not helping it hinders real progress. Protecting Democrats who are part of the problem only enables the reality that no one wants.    

             

  •  Howard Dean! (4+ / 0-)

    Miss you man!

  •  Some diarists are more important than others, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    George Lakoff is important.

    Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Be yourself. Act for others.

    by DHinIA on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:01:17 AM PDT

  •  thank the stars for some sane and rational (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carlos the jackal, ipl

    analysis. Yesterday  returning from swimming (since I can't afford to get sick I'd better stay healthy and that is my responsibility) I heard Ed Shultz on our local progressive radio.

    Schultz, the king of disaster messaging was going on about his personal opinion that President Obama had decided he didn't really want to do this anymore, that it just wasn't his gig, that he probably wouldn't run again because it was just all too much man, all too much, he never bargained for this.

    What a load of bloody codwallop, stinking tripe and I am SICK AND TIRED OF IT, including the voices of doom in this so-called progressive blog designed to help elect more and better Democratic legislators.

    It has become a dumping ground for naive, unsophisticated whiners who think they can have it their way like kids in the kindergarten playground by scaring the rest of us half to death and the other half to staying home because Daddy didn't put a pickle in their lunch box along with the baloney sandwich.

    Grow up Democrats for the sake of your children's future and understand once and for all what your lives will be like if you elect the likes of Sharron Angles and Jim De Mint to the US Senate! Or allow a con artist like Mitch Romney to take control, lower your taxes and dismantle what is left of the social safety net.  Who's going to take care of grandma then? huh? you?

    Get a grip and get to work and ignore the Greek chorus and criminally naive advice you are getting from people who don't have a clue how to even play in the first grade playground, let alone in high school. Grow up.

    •  You do the disaster messaging quite well yourself (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, cslewis, Betty Pinson

      If we don't do as you say and join the la la brigade, we'll get Sharron Angle, Jim De Mint, and President Romney. And when that happens, ole grandma is going to have to be put down. Because that's what the people are going to demand, right? I guess with enough happy talk and BWD diaries you can convince yourself that the turd in your lunchbox is a Baby Ruth, but forgive us if some of us can still smell shit.

    •  So let's continue... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cslewis, DeepLooker

      To support Democrats as the continue to lurch to the right on every single fucking issue.  I'm not asking for a pickle or even a lunch.  I'm asking for a level chance of earning that lunch.

      Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

      by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:06:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  right, and the repubs will give you that? (0+ / 0-)
        •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

          The Democrats aren't - so what's the difference?

          Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

          by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

            •  Letsee... (0+ / 0-)

              There are senor Dems in the Senate that are worried about passing unemployment extensions because they 'don't want to encourage laziness'.  And they are telling anecdotal stories about how employers are trying to hire, but the people who are unemployed want to wait until there unemployment runs out first.

              The Dems agreed on a cat food commission whereby they are entertaining the idea of increasing the SS retirement age until 50.

              There is a real good chance that the Dems will vote to continue the Bush tax cuts before the election.

              The Obama Administration has made noises about the deficit being the number one priority.

              The health bill that was signed by Obama is almost word-for-word the same healthcare bill introduced by Bob Doll in 1993.  Yet he gets called a socialist for his troubles.

              I'm sorry, I really don't see a whole lot of difference expect for a few crumbs here and there.

              Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

              by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:48:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that's is exactly why people like you are easy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ipl

                pickings for the Teabaggers.

                Obviously we took away a different message from professor lakoff's excellent analysis.

                What I take from it is that you call it as it IS, not wrap it up in pretty liberal packaging.

                My framing or interpretation is that the REAL DISASTER would be to return control to the ever more extreme rightwing and that is a real disaster.

                So you can bleat all you like about what conservative democrats have NOT done done, my focus is on what extreme radical rightwing wingnut republicans HAVE DONE.

                And the return of a Republcian agenda to me is the real DISASTER.

                So post all you like about your views that there is no difference. You are just outright plain WRONG!!!!! (and naive and ridiculous)

                Case closed and people who think like you are NOT Progressives at all. I don't know what you are but you sure as hall ain't a democrat trying to create a more fair, equitable and just world for ALL.

                Adios. You are boring.

                •  I am totally fucking beat my head against the... (0+ / 0-)

                  Wall.  I make over 100k a year.  I am a middle aged white guy.  Yet, for some strange reason, I am truly concerned about the distribution of wealth in this country.  And you accuse me of wanting to join the teabaggers?  No, boring is people like you that think that if we just give the Dems more time and more of our money and volunteer harder, we might get a few more scraps from the table.  WAKE THE FUCK UP.  I'm not going waste my time on people who constantly compromise on their principles.  It is throwing good money after bad.  Have fun doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

                  Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

                  by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:12:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh and to be perfectly clear... (0+ / 0-)

                    Anybody who thinks that the unemployed are choosing to be that way for the measly insurance that they are getting is NOT A FUCKING DEMOCRAT.  Yet you seem be perfectly happy to support those people.  And I am not a Democrat.  I quit the party over the MCA.  I have principles.  I think you COMPLETELY miss-understood the article.

                    Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

                    by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:17:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bully for you. I live on about $24k a year (0+ / 0-)

                      and that is fine by me, that is all I need.  I DO support the Democratic party and I DO support President Obams's agenda, and I do NOT think that the unemployed choose to be unemployed and I DO place the blame squarely in the Republicans in the Senate.

                      You have now made it quite clear to all that basically your agenda is to destroy the Democratic party, so be warned folks, you and people like you are worse than Teabaggers, at least they know where they are coming from and are honest about their intentions.

                      So you are absolutely right, you are beating your head against a brick wall trying to insult me. And, NO, I did nto misunderstand Professor Lakoff's article. I drew my own conclusions from his very complex analysis, which I understood perfectly..

                      Have a nice day.

                      •  Boy... (0+ / 0-)

                        You are probably one of the thickest most infuriating people who I have ever encountered on this blog.  You didn't miss-understand - you just made up your own shit?  Lovely.  And I never said YOU were claiming that the unemployed were lazy - I was saying that there are DEMS IN THE SENATE that are saying this and I cannot abide by that.  You are like Glenn Beck in a liberal dress.  I NEVER said I wanted to destroy the Democratic Party.  Nice try at putting words in my mouth.  If the Dems act like 'reasonable Republicans', then they are destroying themselves.  They don't need my help.  And if you are happy with your $24k a year, then why the fuck do you care about any of this?

                        As far as accusing me of being in cahoots with teabaggers, I would say something, but it would probably get me banned.

                        Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

                        by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:20:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  LOL. You say you are a middle aged middle (0+ / 0-)

                          income white male and a former democrat, you sound more like a petulant teenager, obsessed with his own importance!. have a nice evening.

                          and why pray, because i am satisfied personally with the limited income I have should that make me NOT care about anyone else?  doesn't compute.

                          You are the epitome of the opposite of JFK's famous saying 'ask not what I can do for my country, ask what my country can do for me'!!!

                          •  I'm fine... (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm employed, have health insurance and a 401k.  I'm worried about people who don't have anything, because, as a liberal, I believe that as a society, we are only as good as the least among us.  I would work my ass off for somebody who believes that.  But this congress does not.  You are the one living in a fantasy world.

                            Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

                            by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:57:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh and... (0+ / 0-)

                            I have never said anywhere in this thread ANYTHING that would benefit me.  I think you are blinded by your own stereotypes.  One might even say racist.

                            Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

                            by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:58:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  it looks like you misunderstood the essay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM

      entirely.

    •  Thanks for sharing your feelings (0+ / 0-)

      and for the comedy with billyb. Sheesh.

    •  did I detect a gratuitous dig? (0+ / 0-)

      I couldn't afford to get sick either, so I was a thin, non-smoking, non-drinking, vegetarian marathon runner. I guess when I was diagnosed with cancer, I abdicated my "responsibility to stay healthy".
      It's great that you are getting exercise, and it certainly does increase your odds of remaining healthy longer, but it is no guarantee, and no substitute for medical treatment if one does become ill.
      But I'm sure you knew that already, and I'm just oversensitive. Maybe we all are right now.

      To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

      by kareylou on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:53:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If your hypothetical Op-Ed is supposed to be (0+ / 0-)

    a good example of the kind of framing/messaging that progressives/Democrats supposedly need I'd call it a big fat FAIL.

    An Op-ed about 287g that doesn't even explain what 287g does?

    Almost all immigrants who entered the US without papers are honest, hard-working, decent people . . .

    You've lost about 80% of the American people right there. You can't be both "hard-working" and "honest" as an illegal immigrant. If you are "honest", you will disclose to any potential employers that you do not have the right to work in the United States, in which case you will not be "hard-working".

    And what is "decent" about sneaking into our country, fraudulently obtaining documents, many times through identity theft, and surreptitiously working for unscrupulous employers? These are the "good guys"?

    If you're talking about preaching to the choir here at Daily Kos or at UC Berkeley, that's one thing. This kind of rhetoric works great. But if you're talking about "bi-conceptuals" you can forget it.

    •  Um... (5+ / 0-)

      They wouldn't have jobs to go to if they didn't have employers to hire them.  Why is it that we blame individuals who have no power and are just trying to feed their families and we never focus on the corporation who are allowing for the illegal act.  And since when is it your responsibility to provide everything about your life to your employer?

      Irony: Apparently, the teabaggers would have apologized to the East India Trading Company for dumping their tea into the Boston Harbor.

      by RichM on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:53:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All jobs in the U.S. require that the (0+ / 0-)

        potential employee provide proof of authorization to work in the U.S.

        http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/...

        Both the employer and the employee are responsible, unless the employee presented a fraudulent document that the employer had no reason to suspect.

        •  yeah, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RichM, k9disc

          the "illegals" are all dirty, drug crazed criminals, and the employers are all innocent little lambs, fooled by these conniving and horrible Mexicans.

          Got it.

          Thanks for playing.

          James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

          by shpilk on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:31:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

            Sometimes people get hired by presenting fraudulent documents. It's hardly news. If you were to meet me where I am writing this, within an hour I could get you a fraudulent social security card.

            Does this mean that the employers are blameless? Of course not. In many cases, I'm sure it's a "wink, wink" type of deal.

        •  OMFG LMAO (0+ / 0-)

          You REALLY believe it works that way? Are you serious?

          "All jobs in the U.S."??? "unless the employee presented a fraudulent document that the employer had no reason to suspect."???

          So, I take it you are saying that in the vast majority of cases, all illegal immigrants working illegally in the US produced flawless documents, and spoke English as well as an seven-year-old raised on American TV?

          •  Where did I say "the vast majority of cases"? (0+ / 0-)

            It's unquestionable true that all legitimate jobs in the U.S. require proof of authorization to be presented in person. In some cases (far from the "vast majority"), the employee presents fraudulent documents.

            •  What I was saying, (0+ / 0-)

              and sorry that I overreacted, is that, from what I have understood anecdotally, it is the employer that overlooks faulty documentation or doesn't ask for it all...in other words, I can believe that this is the law, but is it really enforced? From what I understand, it really isn't.

              •  I think there's actually a fair amount of (0+ / 0-)

                mythology around these issues that probably derives from the origins of illegal immigration as a farming issue. One huge factor is the informal economy and informal work. Something like 30% of the total economy in many places is informal (i.e. "off the books"), and that's where you find a lot of illegal immigrants working.

                By way of example, even formally, if you are using an "independent contractor" for a job, there's no requirement to check their work authorization. If you hire a gardener or a housecleaning service, you don't check for their work authorization. If you buy a bag of fruit from a vendor, you don't ask for their work authorization.

                Then, you also have a very active fraudulent document industry. If someone shows up for a job, and they have documents that look good, what is the responsibility of the employer to establish the authenticity of those documents? The federal government has started making E-Verify available for this purpose, but it doesn't necessarily work that well so far.

                Then, of course, even if the percentage is small, you have those illegal immigrants who are involved in illegal activities such as the drug trade, and those who manage to find their way onto the public benefit rolls either legitimately through citizen children, or not.

                So, when you add all of that up, you can see that the percentage of illegal immigrants who are working in the U.S. because an employer knowingly hired them is probably relatively small, compared to the mythology around it.  

  •  Thank You - N/T (0+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 08:30:40 AM PDT

  •  We can't say "Socialism". (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Silverbird

    And we can't say "Social Democracy" because it has the "S" word in it and Glenn Beck will get mad at us and that would be terrible.

    We can't promote economic democracy in any terms whatsoever, because Democrats have internalized conservative hatred. We need to use these terms, not avoid them because of opposition, but use them BECAUSE of opposition, to fight for the people.

    There is no Left. Just a few forlorn websites that hold a tiny flame for ideas like democratic control of wealth, distribution of goods on the basis of need and public ownership of land.

    You don't believe in these things? That's fine. But someone has to, because if weak Social Democracy is at the far left end, and holding on by its fingernails, we are all screwed.

    There is no center-left without the far-left. Without socialism the center moves to the right.

    This is the idea that changes the world: Economic Democracy.

  •  Liberal values are Christian values (5+ / 0-)

    The subject line above is an example of a long term frame for liberals.

    This kind of statement has the moral component that Lakoff speaks of. It has the ability to feed off established conservative frames. Establishing it as a frame is, as Lakoff suggests, a long term project, but one with obvious benefits.

    (And I'm guessing, an odious idea for many of the commenters here. Go ahead, flame me.)

    •  I'm Not Going to Flame You (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Frederick Clarkson, Silverbird

      Because I think if folks could get over being terrified of saying that (as well as trumpeting that liberal values are core values at the heart of ever major religion on this planet) and being proud of that, as opposed to being alternatively terrified of it or disdainful of it, a lot of the party's problems would be solved.

      Of course this requires that our politicians actually share those values, and I admit I am not convinced as I was when I was younger that this is true.

      If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

      by shanikka on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:12:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think its a great one (0+ / 0-)

      Remember, we needs LOTS of memes like this, to retake the national discourse. That one you stated sounds really good. For one thing, it helps to restore the word "Liberal" which somehow became a dirty word.

      I can think of other variations, such as, "When it comes to the environment, Democrats are the true conservatives"

      Not every single thing has to work in all circumstances, and if one meme isn't working, we can switch to another.

      Believe it or not, the way ideas and language spread, even things spoken to a few neighbours or on a blog can have an impact...a good idea is like a beneficial virus that spreads and permutates.

    •  Liberal Values are (insert your belief system) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      values.

      They are also the values of almost every other major religion and belief system in this country.

      Excellent approach.

      Jim Wallis is an example of those who communicate in this way without turning it into a sales pitch for his belief system or a denunciation of other beliefs.

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:48:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You get a rec from me (0+ / 0-)

      it is one of my deepest beliefs. Also, it has to be remembered that the US is much more religious than other First World countries. You have to go where people are - not in a slick, calculating way, but in a way that respects their beliefs.

      It would be easy for me to frame a message like that because I do actually believe in it.

      It seems to me that Democratic pols suffer from a perception that they don't actually believe in the liberal stuff they say during election season - and Americans hate "two-faced-ness." It helps make them look like wimps afraid to stand up for anything.

      Feingold did not vote for Alito.

      by zett on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:50:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great points, read the books, but... (0+ / 0-)

    One of the main questions I have after reading this diary and after reading books like "The Political Mind" or "Don't Think of an Elephant" has to do with the hope for genuine dialog and disagreement on issues.  If everything boils down to conceptual frames that get activated in the brain, why does it matter which frames are activated?  Do you (or we) use science to tell us how to get other people to share our conceptual frames simply because we prefer them and we prefer them simply because for whatever reason of birth and upbringing they are the frames we happen to have?  All of the arguments that you make could be (and ARE) used by those with highly conservative frames.  I assume your research could be used by bi-conceptuals to try and get more and more people to be frame inconsistent like they are.  Is there, ultimately, some REASON (other than the arbitrary chance of having developed a particular set of frames in the first place) to advocate for one kind of framing over another?

    Put another way, I tend to frame economic issues in terms of equality and at times in an almost Marxist way.  I worry about the alienation of the worker.  I see the corporate CEO as taking way more than his "fair share" from the labor of others.  I think health care is a basic human right.  But these are all just "frames" that I happen to have.  If I'm in a community or family that doesn't share them, might I not be happier just abandoning them rather than trying in vain to get others to abandon their very strong conservative frames about hard work and lazy people on welfare?  What REASON do I have for holding onto THESE frames and rejecting the frames that were just as arbitrarily created in others?  I happen to prefer liberal frames over conservative ones, but others prefer conservative over liberal ones.  Is there any reason a given person SHOULD prefer one over the other?

    "What is essential is invisible to the eye." www.thefoxfoot.com

    by greywolfe359 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

    •  By communicating them, (0+ / 0-)

      by getting the frame "out there", we have a better chance of altering the flavor of the debate.

      In general, the rightwingers are more unified, and they have the support of the media, in general.

      We, on the other hand, are smarter. Our policies are smarter, and at some point, that begins to reveal itself. People want to be on the smarter side -- not the "more intellectual" side, but the common sense side.

      People should support our framing because the ideas therein are based on common sense.

      Also, because of the very difficulties we progressives face in framing ideas, they will by default be better thought out -- and that shows.

  •  Maybe that's why rethugs prepared so many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Socratic Method

    disasters before leaving office. Great diary - thanks.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:00:23 AM PDT

  •  Both Lakoff and goinsouth are correct (7+ / 0-)

    Lakoff's points about messaging are correct.  

    goinsouth is correct that the Democratic leadership generally has no interest in pushing truly progressive policies and often uses incompetence/GOP obstructionism as useful excuses for settling on the Third Way corporatist policies that they secretly support.

    Where I disagree with goinsouth is in his assumption that Lakoff's recommendations are only useful tools for Democratic leaders.

    On the contrary, there are many genuine progressives in the House.  Guess what? They suck at messaging.  There are also plenty of progressive interest groups that suck at messaging.  The sample op-ed that Lakoff posted?  Where does he write that such an op-ed could only be submitted by Rahm Emanuel?

    As Lakoff said, progressive Democrats need an elaborate, self-reinforcing messaging system.  Not just the White House and Harry Reid speaking in more progressive language.

    What Lakoff is really saying is that a proper messaging system can alter how our entire society thinks about policies.  One way to defeat corporate lobbyists is to alter the hyper-corporatist, executive mindset, so that the lobbyists are asking politicians to implement dangerous policies.  Yes, American corporate culture always has and always will oppose excessive regulations and favor tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy.  But it hasn't always done so with the religious fervor that we see today.  

    For example, during the HCR legislative process, House progressives simply accepted that Blue Dog democrats needed to oppose HCR in their districts.  Why?  Leaving aside the thoroughly corrupt Blue Dogs that just were being bribed, why couldn't House progressives have done a better job of (a) convincing their more conservative colleagues that the Public Option was good policy and (b) helping ConservaDems sell the Public Option to their constituents as good policy?

    There was no reason for progressives to ever concede that the Public Option was inherently unpopular in Red districts.

    It is possible for all of us to change the anti-regulation zealotry by standing proud for good policies.

    •  not so secret, their support for Grover Norquist. (0+ / 0-)

      James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

      by shpilk on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its all about having a good, proven product (0+ / 0-)

      and selling it to the public.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:55:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just a clarification. (0+ / 0-)

      Where I disagree with goinsouth is in his assumption that Lakoff's recommendations are only useful tools for Democratic leaders.

      Somewhere up there in that nest of comments, I said that I hoped Lakoff would focus his efforts to "sell" his ideas on the Left.  We could benefit from it, and I think a lot of people on the Left would be open to it.  We'd be idiots not to recognize that there's a lot of work to do.

      And I'd include some office-holders in that: Sanders, of course, Kucinich and Brown, Grijalva, Lee, Lewis, Franken, etc., etc.  I think a good first step would be to carefully write down what some Dems say: Lieberman, Reid, Hoyer, Nelson(s), Lincoln.  Then absolutely resolve never to use the same phrases and words they use.

      My suggestion that Establishment Dems would be interested in having Lakoff help them do a better job of framing their excuses was just a bit of my sarcasm.

      Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

      by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:42:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Framing or No Framing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, goinsouth

    (A concept which I understand as a legitimate place for intellectual study but find manipulative and a bit skanky when it is being advocated as a way to approach politics.)

    I agree with what I think is the bottom line of this piece:  This party will continue to chase its tail, and fail, unless and until it take positions based on rightness, morality and fairness and advocate for them forcefully and with sincerity.

    In other words, we have to stop being afraid of the idea of morality.  I think that our party is afraid of it because in this country, people associate it with "religion" and too many loud voices on our side have made clear that they cannot separate disdain for religion from disdain and disrespect for the people who believe in religion.

    That approach loses us a lot of traction for discussion, IMO, with people who I believe would support our platform and our policies if we could just stop looking down our noses at them (i.e. calling them "ignorant", "delusional", etc.) quite so much.

    If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

    by shanikka on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:10:49 AM PDT

    •  You just don't get it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie

      (A concept which I understand as a legitimate place for intellectual study but find manipulative and a bit skanky when it is being advocated as a way to approach politics.)

      Look, politics has to persuade.  Look at how the Republicans are using the framing of "We are drowning under a mountain of debt - we can't add any more to it" to stop doing anything about unemployment, as against a framing of "Borrow now when we have to - pay it back later when we can" framing that would make sense of additional stimulus spending. Instead, the Obama administration is allowing the Republicans to set the agenda here.

      It's not a question of being manipulative. It's about setting the terms of debate on our terms and what we believe in, not on their terms.

      Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

      by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:32:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Get it Just Fine (0+ / 0-)

        One does not need a "science" (i.e. linguistics) in order to talk and reason and persuade from the heart.  Democrats would be in a far better position if we stuck to that, and not be afraid to say that our positions are the moral ones.  

        Let's take your example.  Borrow now when we have to - pay it back later when we can.

        It's all about depersonalized, non-feeling, MONEY.

        Nothing in that so-called frame talks about the humanity that lies behind a decision to go into debt.  The immorality of allowing people who have struggled and worked and played by the rules to fall into penury, desperation, suicide even at times.

        As I mentioned in another context, if you spend time looking at the messaging that is most effective in the Democratic Party's most loyal constituency - African American voters, you will find that all that focusing on money does it turn many off.  Why? Because it feeds into a racist stereotype (yet deeply felt even if most would never admit it) that all white people care about is money instead of what is right.  Two, borrowing now to repay later begs the question of why we're borrowing at all, rather than cutting things off that provide no social value (i.e. war.)

        In other words, talk straight. Don't beat around the bush.  Be willing to own a firm position you can't wiggle out of later just to get a vote.

        You don't need focus groups or linguists to teach you how to manipulate people's thinking when you can directly affect their thinking just by a change of approach which respects that people in this country, by and large, gladly vote against their economic and other self-interests because of their sense of a "higher" set of values.  Even if those values are not all that called out in many people.

        So, as I said, I get it just fine.  You, perhaps, didn't get what I was saying.  Hopefully now you do.

        If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

        by shanikka on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:48:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, then (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, Msanger, DeepLooker

          You didn't like the example I used.

          Here's the one I used in my comment just before yours:

          Potential framing: "Protection"
          (Protection of people from dirty air, polluted water, unsafe working conditions, tainted food, etc.)

          Actual framing: "Regulation"
          (Government is being intrusive, telling us how to do things)

          What's manipulative about using the first framing as a positive, rather than just trying to respond to the second framing with its negative connotation?

          That's a simple example of what Lakoff means by framing.  Nothing manipulative about it - just setting out what you believe in clear language that people can respond to emotionally.

          Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

          by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:04:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ding, ding ding!!! (0+ / 0-)

            the Government's job is to protect people!

            That's a great contribution there, john Q. I've been hitting on this one for some time now.

            Love to see it go live.

            peace

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:00:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that we should embrace morality, and respect for others of all backgrounds and beliefs.

      I disagree with the idea that "framing" is manipulative. Politics is all about perception. If you are coming at an issue from a moral perspective, that's great, but you must communicate that or allow your opponents to cast you in a different role (as immoral, opportunistic, anything but the truth). You have to make your case to the public, and if you can do so in an honest and straightforward way, that's great. But you have to do it.

      Taking some time to get clear on what message you want to be heard is just common sense.

    •  Not just religion. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      I can agree with a lot of this:

      I think that our party is afraid of it because in this country, people associate it with "religion" and too many loud voices on our side have made clear that they cannot separate disdain for religion from disdain and disrespect for the people who believe in religion.

      But I think the problem the Democratic Party and the country have goes beyond that.  Emil Brunner, admittedly a theologian, said that, "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system."  Certainly, neoliberal Capitalism, completely denuded of any moral concerns which Adam Smith tried to graft on to it, is an immoral system.  It's never ending drive to accumulate capital at the expense of human and moral values has never been more apparent than now.

      Many Democrats are not at all unafraid to use the language of religion.  The party's leadership has been pushing religious language on candidates for several cycles now, even if that's never been popular here (remember the beating Obama's diary took?).  The real problem is that no one is willing to address the fundamental immorality of our economic system and the military, political and social systems that it drags along in its wake.

      Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

      by goinsouth on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:52:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A diary draft of mine that fits this comment... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        goinsouth

        You can prolly see why it's a draft:

        When are you going to learn...
        When we do it to you it is called Austerity. When you do it to us we call that Class Warfare!

        You do know that the human race is supposed to Grow or Die it's the New American Way.

        The Business of Good Products has led to the Business of Business which has lead to Business of Government and the Only thing that's left is the Business of Living.

        What happened? Where did we go wrong.

        The Business of Good Products
        It's all About the Product, Quality is Job #1!

        The Business of Business

        Do a good job as cheaply as possible. Make the most money you can.

        The Business of Government

        Leverage market clout and access to influence Public Policy.

        The Business of Living
        It's already started. Those who are not growing their bottom line are dying. Regular people have to earn more and more just to stay alive. We have to claw and scratch our way over our fellow human being

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:03:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats continue to ignore (7+ / 0-)

    or belittle Lakoff.

    Here's what Rahm Emanuel had to say:

    Lakoff insists that when arguing against the other side, the main principle of framing is "Do not use their language. Their language picks out a frame -- and it won't be the frame you want." What he doesn't realize, however, is that the whole notion that words matter more than reason is the Republicans' frame, and it's the wrong one for the country's future.

    How profoundly stupid is this!  You only have to look at the polls to see where reason is getting us.

    I'm going to repeat the example of framing that I've often put forward on this site:  the issue of "regulation."
    Republicans score points when they talk of cutting regulations - the word does have a negative connotation.  Democrats defend regulation by reasoning - but still the framing is that of government stepping in to tell us how to do things. I've long argued for Democrats to stop using the term "regulation" - use the term "protection" instead. (Regulations are just the mechanism by which protections are enforced.)  If the positive protection is emphasized (protection from bad air, from polluted water, from unsafe working conditions, from tainted food - the list goes on), the Democrats have a winning "Republicans are against your protection" argument, rather than the present mealy mouthed and weak "We need regulation" response to the Republicans.  Instead, leading with the "Republicans want to do away with protection" means Republicans have to respond on our terms, rather than our side responding weakly to theirs.

    But do the Democrats take this advice? Nooo.....

    Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

    by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:11:30 AM PDT

    •  Priceless (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CindyMax, Betty Pinson

      I hadn't seen that Rahm article/quote before. It provides a priceless illustration as to just how clueless (either deliberately or incompetently) Rahm is.

    •  The idea of 'common weath' and 'public interest' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      scares most Democrats shitless, because if they adopt these core concepts, they have to face their corporate masters head on.

      Not going to happen.

      Democrats are beholden to their corporate masters; they just try to pretend they aren't. Republicans wrap themselves up in the flag and "god" and are proud of their allegiance to their masters.

      James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

      by shpilk on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:40:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Tough Times We Come Together (0+ / 0-)

        It's a simple and powerful message that would be valuable for Democrats to employ.

        Politicians set their sails to catch the wind.

        If we expect them to sail in the direction we want, we must not merely rail against the winds against us but build the ones that will force them (allow them) to chart a new course.

        If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

        by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:11:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rahm's big problem (0+ / 0-)

      other than his complete and utter lack of morals and ethics, is that his approach to the problem has never been successful. Never.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:58:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rahm Inadvertently Proves Lakoff's Point (0+ / 0-)

      What he doesn't realize, however, is that the whole notion that words matter more than reason is the Republicans' frame, and it's the wrong one for the country's future.

      Rahm says the Republican's notion is 'words matter more than reason'.  
      I agree.
      I believe Lakoff would as well.

      That's not their frame.
      That's their strategic approach (using coded and highly connotative 'words that work' and avoiding 'words that work for the other side') to embed their view of right and wrong and to cement in the public discussion their view of why an issue should be viewed as significant.

      It's the same reason it is best not to allow the questions in a candidate debate to be written by the candidates.  

      The words you chose reveal why you think something is important and how you think it is significant to people's lives.

      One of Bill Clinton's messaging strengths was his habit of including in any answer a brief point in that regard.  He still does it.  

      He'll start answering a question with, "You know why that's important? It's important because .......".  He then gives the moral foundation, places the issue in it's larger moral and conceptual context, and then and only then returns to the detail answer.

      By then the detail answer is both strengthened for those still listening and irrelevant for those who either stopped or can't follow it.  He has explained the moral background and given an example of how the issue impacts people.

      By this habitual structure, his answer both reveals his own moral positions (of right and wrong) confirms that he understands how the big picture relates to individuals (he knows and cares) and provides a framework within which people can begin to understand why the issue is important and why his position is the best way to approach the issue.

      Bill ain't perfect by a long ways, but on getting the message across in an interview or debate that messaging approach is something anyone - politican or not - could emmulate.

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:07:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can't frame a pile of dog droppings (0+ / 0-)

    people know that the war is still raging, there is a gigantic hole in the Gulf spewing oil, the economy is dead no matter how much they try to paper it over with debt.

    In other words, people KNOW that a whole way of life is changing and no amount of massaging the "narrative" can undo that knowledge.

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:16:29 AM PDT

    •  Glad FDR Did Not Take This Defeatist Attitude (0+ / 0-)

      Do you really think things are worse today than they were when he took office?

      It was the strength of his views of right and wrong, his views of what was important and why it was important that provided a vision for the future and provided both hope and direction to the people during a time when we faced real, present dangers that dwarf what we have today.

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:15:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats have supported trickle down (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23, pontechango, goinsouth

    economics for 30 years. This is didn't just start last week, it's an ongoing process.

    A fair number of so called Democrats have been an active partner in 'Club for Growth' BS, and are working to drown government in a bathtub, and give even more money and power to the wealthy.

    There's a small handful of Democrats who stand in opposition against this trend.

    James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

    by shpilk on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:19:07 AM PDT

  •  The flaw in Lakoff's analysis (0+ / 0-)

    This

    In the US, conservatives have set up an elaborate messaging system. It starts with an understanding of long-term framing and message experts who know how to use existing their long-term frame systems. Then there are think tanks, with experts who understand the high-level frame system and how it applies to the full range of issues. There are training institutes that teach tens of thousands of conservatives a year to think and talk using these framing systems and their language and argument forms. There are regular gatherings to consolidate messaging and policy around a contemporary issue that fits the conservative moral system. There are booking agencies that book conservative spokespeople on tv, talk radio, etc. There are lecture venues and booking agencies for conservative spokespeople. There are conservative media going on 24/7/365.  

    As a result, conservative language is heard constantly in many parts of the US. Conservative language automatically and unconsciously activates conservative frames and the high-level framing systems they are part of. As the language is heard over and over, the circuitry linking the language to conservative frames becomes stronger.  Because the synapses in the neural circuits are stronger, they are easier to activate. As a result, conservative language tends to become the normal, preferred "mainstream" language for discussing current issues.

    is inconsistent with this:

    Start thinking longer term. Build as much of a communications system as possible. Design long-term framing for your own high level, moral system and basic policy domains. Fit your immediate messaging needs to the long-term frames. Carry on both kinds of messaging in parallel.

    There is no recommendation on how to accomplish the latter.  So as a result, the comment threads devolve into the usual accusations about how the corporadems don't want to do anything, and how a third party would help, ad nauseum.  And no discussion about now to actually stop the enormous messaging advantage on the right.

    •  Your pull quotes are not inconsistent (3+ / 0-)

      If you look closely, I think you can find the recommendations you want. Lakoff observes that conservatives have established think tanks, programs of seminars, speakers bureaus, etc that, over time, have inserted their frames in the minds and discourse of Americans. This is the result of long term work.

      The implication is clear, build similar institutions with similar long term goals.

      Few of the commenters here seem to have the patience for that.

      •  I think this could be rolled out in a different (0+ / 0-)

        fashion from the Left of Center.

        Cons are top down authoritarians, not very clever and certainly not very passionate - too much plastic shit to buy, American Idol and Nascar to distract them.

        I think that the left, given that it's bottom up, active and intelligent, should be able to cooperatively develop a similar 'institutional' set up with no bricks and mortar.

        This place certainly was capable of it back in the day. Unfortunately we've lost a lot of talent and prolly don't have the staff anymore.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:06:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  American Constitution Society for Law & Policy (0+ / 0-)

        Is an example of what we need to do:

        http://www.acslaw.org/

        And here's an example of how to do some decent framing by Senator Al Franken:

        http://franken.senate.gov/...

        We don't have the GOP messaging system.  Boo fucking hoo.  

        We don't want their system.  It doesn't fit us or what we believe.  Because of that, it would never work as well for us.

        The biggest difference is we don't want to be told what to do, what to say, or how to say it.

        On the other hand, we long to known what to do, what to say and how to say it.

        So instead of trying to replicate the GOP messaging system (that is built on their frame) we look at it's components and build a system that achieves the same results in a way consistent with our frame.

        We go looking in good places for 'words that work' and share them in places like here.

        If the 'hive mind' can't beat Frank Luntz, we might as well hand the Internet over and be done with it.

        If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

        by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:24:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Republicans have... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods

      ...long term strategy plans. This one from 1971 is consistently and coherently in play today. Still.

      Democrats do not.

      The best practice is pretty standard...one coherent long term strategic plan with annual updates, broken down into objectives and short term goals with integrated strategies and criteria for the staffing all measured and adapted with an integrated architecture and infrastructure including all of the fundamentals like communications.

      Unless I'm not understanding your comment, the "hows" don't need to be reinvented.

      Democratic Party strengths defy a single point of coherence ad so a longer planning horizon but do support a reactive, dynamically relational, defensive mode of operation.

      Democrats play defensive defense and defensive offense. When Republicans play defense they take the offense even at the risk of sounding insane because they have disaster planning in their plan.

      •  Self-Evident Moral Superiority of Democrats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kck

        is evident mostly to themselves.

        We stopped explaining why things are important and necessary to our general audience because we started to assume that everyone both understood and agreed with the underlying moral and priniciple foundations for our positions.

        Meanwhile, the GOP and the extreme right-wing have chipped away at the very foundation of our country's belief system on key structures and principles of our society:

        Public Education
        Public Infrastructure
        Organized Labor
        Equal Opportunity
        Economic Parity (not disparity)
        Civic Engagment
        Protecting the Market from manipulation, distortion and uncontrolled greed
        Peace
        Love

        The list goes on and on.

        If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

        by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:36:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No inconsistency there (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, the two selections you quote are perfectly consistent:  that's what they're doing to get their message out, so we need to start doing something similar if we want to get our message out.

      As to the mechanics of how - that's kinda up to us, isn't it?  (For a while, I thought moveon.org might be a voice to push progressive ideas out into the mainstream, but then they completely destroyed their credibility with the profoundly stupid "General Betray us" ad.)

      Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

      by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:49:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your messaging is falling on deaf ears (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, CTPatriot, goinsouth, Betty Pinson

    As long as Emanuel and the rest of the main stream party continue their folly of reaching out to Republicans, they're undermining any message we can generate.

    •  Did you fail to notice the "long term" reference? (0+ / 0-)

      You may be right on Rahm and even Obama.

      But it is that short term view that prevents us from starting and it is the long term view that keeps the folks on the other side from ever quitting.

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 01:38:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about using the opponent against himself? (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to work in RL for me.  Why not in Framing or messaging?  Conservative speech and doctrine are loaded with inconsistencies that weaken their image when they are brought to light, exposing them as "outside the mainstream", thereby making them ineffective sales people.

    Also, I don't think that "soft on xyz" stuff is all that potent when you are, like  GOP/Bush/Cheney/Rove, a washed up batshit crazy loser that pissed in everyone's punch bowl.

    My shorter version of 287g is bad:

    287g claims to go after criminal illegals.  But, instead most of the illegals it catches and punishes are not criminals, just people working hard, doing the worst jobs, stuck living where the real criminals operate.  So, while the government is wasting time and millions of dollars with harmless people, the real criminals are free.  287g is a disaster.

    Someone might say that being illegal is a crime and therefore illegals are criminals, but that speech only appeals to Tea Baggers.  And when Tea Baggers crow, everyone vomits.  Most people would say that a good person is never a criminal no matter what the law says because most people are minor violators of the law everyday, too cynical, or too politically minded, and do not blindly trust the law, law enforcement, legislators, judges, government.  Many people feel that freedom and normal behavior is being criminalized.

    A problem in framing and messaging in the wild is that rethugs will not hesitate to shout people down and they usually have the loudest shouters or the moderator on their side.  If they insist on being heard above all then their message has to be soured, by their own tongue preferably.

    •  I think you mistake tactical comm. with framing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      What you say about 287g and the Tea Party is true, but it's not what Lakoff is talking about. He gives the 287g message as an example of disaster framing, which doesn't work unless you've got established frames to link to.

      He's arguing for long term framing of the type: liberal values are Christian values. If that frame was established, disaster framing that it's wrong to persecute good people to try to get at the bad would be more effective.

      •  But he says nothing about linking Disaster....... (0+ / 0-)

        Framing, unless I missed it.  He says, IIRC, that Disaster Framing does not work.

        Also, my speech shares some commonality with GOP speech.  I guess I am reframing their speech by using it in the context of what they have actually done to us.  

        But, Lakoff says that using conservative speech only strengthens their frame.  But, I think it is possible to help the conservatives implode themselves sooner rather than later.  And, it is best to do it now while the memory of the disaster they imposed on us, the cratering, the disaster they "rammed down our throats", is available, rather than later when it seems that "they're all the same."

  •  First problem I have with this is the insistence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, nicethugbert

    on using the word 'conservative' to describe the current iteration of corporatists that infest our political system.

    Second problem I have is that you neglected to address many of the Democrats which buy into Norquist's and Reagan's ideas, that "government is the problem", and trickle down VooDoo economics works. A significant portion of Democrats in the Senate buy into one or both of these core ideals.

    Other than that, good dissertation.

    James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

    by shpilk on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:37:33 AM PDT

  •  Why Republicans message well (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, zett, Into The Woods, Tam in CA

    I have my own corollary.  Republicans message well because they are good at choosing scapegoats and blaming problems on them.  That's a natural human tendency, and it's satisfying to blame some outside force instead of thinking through issues and trying to come up with constructive solutions.  If I'm out of work I can just exclaim: "Deport the Mexicans!  Stop giving free stuff to the blacks!  Lock up the unwed mothers!  Shackle the Muslims!"  It doesn't require any thought, and it's satisfying.  I don't have to take any responsibility at all, and most importantly I don't have to think.  It's just somebody else's fault.  The Others.  The ones we need to take America back from.  The Limbaughs and Becks have such an easy time making viscerally satisfying programming because this stuff just writes itself.

    Making constructive social policy, as Democrats would have it, doesn't message quite so easily.  You try starting a "Let's Work Together For The Public Good" radio show, and see how long it takes listeners to fall asleep at the wheel.  Thoughtful social policy doesn't fit with our instant-gratification, me-first, soundbite world anymore.

  •  Democrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CindyMax

    in my local mildly Democratic and liberal-leaning suburb pander to the middle and upper middle class terribly.

    You can stop that now, thanks.

    Give me government programs that benefit all Americans, either equally, or progressively. Give me the pride of that, that I am not just in it for myself.

    Stop with the watered down buy-in to Republican economic nonsense. It is harmful. It is falsified. It is untrue.

    Tell me that you are working for all Americans. That Republican economics are nonsense. That Democrats are always better for the economy.

    It's a simple message. Since I am dumb and stubborn and resistant, you need to repeat it, constantly.

    Looking at Republicans, constant repetition of a simple basic message works.

    We have got a message that is as simple as theirs. But true.  

  •  Thank you for posting this here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CindyMax, Betty Pinson

    it's a treat to have a first-rate scholar and thinker posting original stuff here.

    "Save it for 2050." -- Mark Penn (on Obama's electability)

    by throughaglassdarkly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:54:05 AM PDT

    •  Not the first time (0+ / 0-)

      George Lakoff has been posting diaries here for at least a couple of years. Unfortunately, he's a voice crying in the wilderness as Democrats refuse to take his ideas seriously, and in fact belittle him.

      Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

      by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Mr. Lakoff. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CindyMax, Betty Pinson
  •  Jon Corzine lost New Jersey...................... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    He had a wonderful, gentle, presentation about how he was the right person to do the right things to get us through the republican disaster.

    Chriti smeared the fuck out of him and beat the alarms furiously no-stop.  The fool independents in their confused panic and disgust gave him the 1% to put him in the govenor's mansion.

    Rethugs make disaster framing work even when the disaster is their fault.

    •  Corzine went 90 mph down the Garden State Parkway (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      Dumb fuck could have killed people.

      He did get into a wreck. Trashed the big black SUV he was in. Hospitalized him.

      (Yeah, the driver did it. No excuse.)

      corzine lost because people hated him personally AND for his Goldman, Sachs ubermensch attitudes.

      Career criminals + Angry White Teabaggers and racists + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:23:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Framing flaw (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc, DeepLooker

        That the needs of the private financial sector and its wealthy beneficiaries are more important than the economic health and well being of the country.

        Should our frame be more along the lines of establishing a comprehensive, fair regulatory structure that protects the rights of all Americans and promotes long term strategies for sustainable, economic growth?

        There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:58:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cristi was no angel and certainly not the........ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74

        lesser of two evils.  He used his office to avoid punishment for breaking the law.  But he managed that disaster.  Why didn't Corzine manage his?

  •  This is what I've been waiting for. Thanks! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    DON'T PANIC -- Douglas Adams

    by CindyMax on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:08:43 AM PDT

  •  The most basic framing of all (3+ / 0-)

    which isn't repeated often enough:

    Republicans:  the party of "me"

    Democrats: the party of "we"

    Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity. -- Alvy Ray Smith

    by John Q on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:26:30 AM PDT

  •  The content monopoly of Corpo-Conservative Media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, StepLeftStepForward

    goes way beyond messaging and framing in how things happen here.

    You can have the most vile, insane, rightwing message held by 4% of the population, but the "balanced reporting" scam elevates it to one, equal, side of an argument.

    Then look at, say, how Gary Condit was treated as compared to Joe Scarborough. Look at the infamous "Dean Scream" which turned Dean from front-runner to lunatic in 4 days.

    The control of media is the much bigger problem for us.

    What the Conservatives did which is more significant than anything else, by a lot, is seize the Media. And there's your real problem. Our Centralized Media. Deal with that, and you'll see things change pretty quickly.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:33:30 AM PDT

    •  We can't just blame it on the media (3+ / 0-)

      Though they are to blame for a lot of our problems, it would be much easier to overcome those barriers if we had solid, quality framing and messaging strategies of our own. We don't.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:00:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cart and horse. (3+ / 0-)

        Like Dean showed: he had the right message and Media decided to kill him off. They all knew they were airing a crowd-suppression mic, they all knew that a mic on the floor would show you could barely hear Dean.

        They made him look like a lunatic. Every person in America heard, or heard of, the "Dean Scream" within 48 hours.

        You can craft the most perfect messaging possible, how do you get it on the air? And if you do, how do you avoid it being surrounded by undercuts, distortions, and omissions? You can't and you won't.

        That's why:

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:07:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True in that situation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, DeepLooker

          but if Dems had a strong system of framing and messaging in place, the public would have seen through they ploy and the media would have had a harder time selling it.  When the public doesn't have a strong idea of Dems' political values and agenda, they're more susceptible to distractions.

          There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:03:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In our case, the President (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Betty Pinson

            has the ability to bypass, or at least stymie to some measure, the CorpoCon Media agenda. That would take using the Bully Pulpit, making himself the "Little Guy's Champ" and then enforcing message discipline throughout the Dem Congress.

            But that is mitigation. The Right very consciously aimed to seize the Media starting about 40 years ago, and they've succeeded. Even in the scenario just described they can bury, distract, or defame at will.

            And they will do so. For instance, even as the teabagger adherents decline, the media still promotes them as something really "happening." The Media's game, and they will play it come hell or high water, is to make sure we have no real say in our own governance.

            This sooooo trumps messaging.

            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:20:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          Having better messaging is one of the weapons we will need to break that corporate monopoly.

          And it won't be easy. Its kind of like a Catch-22/Bootstrapping operation.

          How will we get the message out? How will we counter the spin of something like the "Dean scream"? By using every means available, no matter how small. By working hard to come up with really good messaging. Through miracles, prayer, and really good luck! We may never win this fight, but musn't we try? If you can have an impact on person you are starting somewhere. Its easy to point out the futility of small-scale efforts but better to help to strategize their success.

          Here's a meme we can adopt from the right wingers, "Freedom isn't free". Only difference is, the new warrior isn't wearing a uniform and carrying a gun, but an ordinary person using their thinking cap, voice, typing skills, imagination, heart, and soul, communicating with everyone in his or her community, pushing for a little light and sanity.

          •  We break the corporate monopoly (0+ / 0-)

            by attacking it directly. There is nobody, no faction, in the US which loves Corporate Media (outside Corporate Dogs.) They have no popular allies, they are vulnerable on the widely accepted meme that we are a Democracy.

            Until we make the monopoly control of programming the issue, they'll just keep burying and falsifying as suits their requirements.

            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:23:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Quote the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

    Explain opposition to AZ immigration law: "The Constitution says that states like Arizona can't make their own foreign policy."

    When AZ Republicans explain that the federal government wasn't protecting Arizona borders, repeat above.

    "That may or may not be true, but states can't make their own foreign policy. It's in the Constitution."

    Conservatives and progressives like to know the rules stated clearly.

    PAUL KRUGMAN: The triumph of prejudices over the evidence is a wondrous thing to behold.

    by mrobinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:41:55 AM PDT

  •  Good diary. Having some trouble, though, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papicek

    picking out how the "framing" of the BP oil disaster fits this model.

    The facts are simple enough: BP and Halliburton caused a blow out. We're going into the hundreds of millions of gallons of oil that get dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. Scaling for the overall damage is not getting into the public information loops.

    There is nothing to be done about it.

    1. Booms are useless in 2-foot to 3-foot waves.
    1. Surface skimmers are working on the 20% of the oil that comes to the surface right off.
    1. 80% of the blow out oil is going to surface eventually -- meaning over a 5 year period.

    Covering up for the long term inevitability has taken quite a turn with deliberate disinformation. Faked maps of the Gulf of Mexico got it rolling:

    Clean Sweep map from BP & CG 2010

    The deep water Loop Current is shown taking the deep level oil right out of the Gulf. CSC NOAA for more of the same:

    CSC NOAA

    But that is not what is happening.

    Those are not the GoM current patterns.

    The Loop Current is no where near to the blow out site. Two other currents intervene. They dominate the DWH deep water flows.

    Instead of the message of simple clean-out, an offshore pair of circular currents -- one a cyclone and another anticyclone -- will hold the blow out oil for months, going surely into years.

    Cyclone above - anticyclone in blue

    These rotating currents will catch the 80% of the blow out oil that has been spewing into the Gulf. Typical flow pattern:

    Cyclone - anticyclone detail from Gulf

    These currents will give the oil the time to get back to the surface -- where wind currents will take it north.

    The situation for the Gulf coast from Louisiana around to the Florida Everglades is far worse than they are admitting.

    These cyclone and anticyclone currents assure that 80% of the oil remains in the Gulf, rising to the surface randomly over about a 5 year period.

    The experts at NOAA and at DoD have to know it.

    FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    Putting out bogus GoM current maps has only one pay-off: that there's somebody out there with connections rushing to go short against the Gulf littoral and short on every business that is dependent on the Gulf's ecological stability.

    Go short on BP ??? You have to pay quite a premium to get one of those contracts.

    Career criminals + Angry White Teabaggers and racists + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:46:20 AM PDT

    •  Gulf Spill Is Perfect Example (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      The facts are simple enough: BP and Halliburton caused a blow out.

      That's certainly one way to look at it.

      Another way to look at it is that years of deregulation and fake-regulation of the oil & gas industry and years of at best naive or at worst complicit acceptance of meritless industry assurances of safety and preparedness created an environment in which it was inevitable that the high risk drilling operations that go up to six miles below the ocean surface would eventually 'cause' a blow out.

      BP, Transocean, Halliburton are not the only bad apples, they are from a rotting and infested orchard and unless we recognize the real system-wide problem and fix it, we'll just be waiting on the next deep or ultra-deep 'accident' to occur.

      The New York Times article laid out the 'facts' that fit into that frame incredibly well.  The fact that the oil industry and GOP are framing this in a way not consistent with those 'facts' is a perfect example of how others use framing to their own benefit even when it is obviously in conflict with 'reason' and 'facts'.  

      We encourage that frame in a small way by focussing all or our outrage at BP or even the parties involved on this well.

      It was no 'perfect storm', it was not 'unpredictable' or 'unforseen', it was not merely failure to follow 'best industry practices' or isolated negligence or recklessness.

      Some of all of those obviously existed.

      The bigger question is how did we allow the creation of an environment of business and regulation in which those elements could result in what we are seeing today, when with only a reasonable amount of additional protection justified by a wealth of existing knowledge of the risks we were running, we could have both limited the potential for something like this occurring, limited the potential for damage if it did occur and been better prepared to mitigate that more limited damage.

      Long term, big picture focus.

      We are already fighting yesterday's spill.

      They are already fighting next year's potential regulation.  

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:22:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Regulators Failed to Address Risks in Oil Rig (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      Regulators Failed to Address Risks in Oil Rig Fail-Safe Device

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:26:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most Helpful Diary All Year (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson, DeepLooker

    Simple, straightforward, evidence-based analysis. Hotlisted.

    It needs to be read,discussed, digested and expanded upon.

    First action item: Send it to President Obama, Dem leadership in Congress and the DNC and request they realign their strategy for the party.

    We are the Democratic Party. It's up to us to support it and change it when necessary.  Change is now necessary.

    There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:49:56 AM PDT

  •  It ain't rocket science. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeepLooker, Betty Pinson

    Marketing and attacking the other brand. That's what works. Dems are as stupid as a sack of hammers.

  •  So, framing, polling, messaging, will replace. . (0+ / 0-)

    RESULTS from our Democratic President and Democratic Congress that would get Dems to vote?

    The President has failed to use the power he has to push Congress (especially the Dem Reps) to pass laws that he, the President, said that he supported when he campaigned.  The President has been Missing In Action on so many issues, and during so many fights, that it is laughable.  But we should all worry about framing?

    I agree with your point on Immigration Reform.  But why hasn't the Administration done anything about it, except to give it lip-service?

    All politics is class-warfare.

    by dhfsfc on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 10:56:20 AM PDT

    •  It's part of the big picture (0+ / 0-)

      We can't change direction and make Congress and POTUS work more effectively unless we get a better plan in place.  That likely includes some honest navel-gazing and most certainly a much needed change in the status quo on our key issues and values that support them.  Some may resist the change and may have to go overboard, jumping or being pushed.

      Change won't be easy, but once its done, it will be much easier for Democrats to run, win and govern successfully for the long term.

      There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:04:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And yet, the Dems never listen to you. (0+ / 0-)

    So good is your own framing and messaging?

    The Raptor of Spain: A Webserial
    From Muslim Prince to Christian King (Updated Nov. 24)

    by MNPundit on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:03:25 AM PDT

  •  Progressive moral values (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, chriscol, DeepLooker, Betty Pinson

    I am my brother's keeper.
    Neighbors help each other.
    We can build good communities together.
    We are stewards of the earth.
    We plan for the future because we care what happens to the children of our grandchildren.
    We live to make a difference to each other.
    We work together as citizens to form a more perfect union.
    We are fortunate to be born in this country.
    We are responsible for our own actions that harm others.
    We support prison sentences and fines for law breakers, regardless of class.
    We support criminal justice and social justice with our taxes and without complaint.
    We always vote.
    We don't complain when our side loses, but we try harder next time.
    We criticize leaders on our side when they are in error.
    We like mocking better than bragging, and winning better than anything.

    PAUL KRUGMAN: The triumph of prejudices over the evidence is a wondrous thing to behold.

    by mrobinson on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:06:50 AM PDT

  •  I think it does make a difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StepLeftStepForward

    A lot of power good framing can have, thoughtfully chosen, not only for the Democratic Party, but also for Progressives doing our best to hold their feet to the fire, and demonstrate that progressive policies can be popular and win elections.

    For example, I'd like to hear about the value of "courage" more often, used constructively to encourage and applaud what we want to see, as in, "I know that representative X will have the courage to vote against funding for the War in Afghanistan that is draining the finances of this country at a critical time", or "I know that the Obama Administration will have the courage to provide oversight to BP's criminal handling of the oil spill, because that is the right thing to do".

    "Right thing to do" "Courage" "Willingess to fight for the little guy" "Equal opportunity for all Americans" "Humane" "Kind",

    I could go on and on...these are down-to-earth values that almost all Americans share, and we could be using them, genuinely to advance our causes.

    In the meantime, we progressives, pragmatists, purists, idealists, centrists, democrats, and Americans need to start acting like we are on the same team, give each other the benefit of the doubt, rather than blaming each other like the crooks in Reservoir Dogs.

    Working together we can make a change. And it will be fucking hard. This diarist gives us some tools to start working with. Let's get to it.

  •  I think this would have been (0+ / 0-)

    a more effective diary if you had not linked the "messaging" meme to a single issue (immigration). As such the whole has been made less than a sum of the parts.

    "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

    by Angela Quattrano on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:30:27 AM PDT

  •  Republicans don't think. They operate on (0+ / 0-)

    instinct.  In the old days, the resultant attitudes were defined as the seven deadly sins:

    wrath
    greed
    gluttony
    envy
    lust
    pride
    sloth

    The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

    by hannah on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:51:28 AM PDT

  •  LOMG! This Is Why "Lesser Of Two Evils" Is ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc

    such a sucky message & such shitty framing!

    /snark.

    You can't do long term NON fascist liar framing & long term NON fascist messaging when you're a sell out.

    It is pretty tough when you're politically incompetent.

    It is hopeless when you don't even know which group you belong to.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:02:48 PM PDT

  •  This bears repeating - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papicek

    Democrats tend not to understand how framing works, and often confuse framing (which is deep, long-term, systematic, morality-based, and conceptual) with messaging (which is shallow, short-term, ad hoc, policy-based, and linguistic).

    Even when you look at the comments above, I can see where people are confusing messaging with framing.  We don't invent new frames overnight.  We take frames that already exist and pull them back into the mainstream.

    Many times I have seen conversations on Kos that deal with framing.  The latest has been The Angry Black Man frame.  Obama can't show anger because it would scare the masses.  

    But so many Americans understand leadership in an authoritarian frame - Father Knows Best.  They look for their leaders to be good at taking control.  Sometimes, it means showing anger at those that fail.  It doesn't mean losing control.  It's a different frame that Obama could take advantage of.

    Obama didn't show anger at the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.  Still hasn't really.  Folks are not happy with how things are going there.

    Obama did show anger at General Stanley McChrystal.  Didn't see any Angry Black Man comments made about that.  He was taking control of a difficult situation and operating under the Father Knows Best frame.

    These frames aren't conscious for most people - they just react to them because of the way their brains process information.  For those Bi-conceptuals, both of these frames may exist at the same time.  That's when the messaging becomes important.  Obama would want to use messaging that fits the Father Knows Best mode.  He doesn't need everyone to accept it - just most people.  

  •  Excellent Stuff. (0+ / 0-)

    It seems so simple.  But resistance to ANY tightly defined message is part of the M.O. within the Big Tent Dem Party, and one of the reasons this overhaul to adjust long-term framing is so hard to do.

    The battle over message within the party trumps the long-term frame oftentimes.  Here at Kos, we call these competing messages "pie fights."  This division in our ranks could be healed with long-term framing on agreed upon principles.

    Someone should start a meta-frame diary series.

  •  Family values (0+ / 0-)

    means embracing your gay relative and their partner.

    Conservatives, on the other hand, choose hateful ideology and closeted spite over love and kindness.

  •  I wonder whatever happened to organic, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wamsutta

    off-the-cuff truthfulness, not manipulated and preconceived messaging, but honesty and authenticity that mean you can take someone at their word. I guess those days, if they ever were, are gone. I'm so tired of the plastic pre-formed media personae that leave me wondering always: Is this someone I can trust, or is he an actor? We are left suspicious, and the social contract is left damaged, each time falsehood wins over honesty.

  •  I wish the strategists would listen to you more (0+ / 0-)

    but I fear that a large part of the problem is that Democrats appear to be abandoning their traditional base intentionally.

    I think they are too busy "messaging" the oligarchs and The Village, reassuring them that they really are the New Republican Party in order to stay on the corporate donation gravy train.

    They can't get it through their thick, self-interested skulls that if they keep presenting themselves as Republican Lite, people will just vote for the real Republican.

    Obama and his team showed during the campaign that they understand completely that progressive/liberal messages appeal to voters. Obama was very good at using big themes, values and moral messages to show why he was a better choice than Republicans. Candidates who ran like Republicans and went right on immigration lost.

    My theory? Democrats don't actually want to follow through on delivering to their voting constituency. They are more interested in delivering for their donor constituency.  The problem for their reelection chances is that Republicans, through their obstruction strategy, have declined to give any cover to Dems for passing "bipartisan" corporate friendly, status quo "reforms"  - thus revealing the kabuki.

    A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.-- Buddha

    by whitewidow on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:41:58 PM PDT

  •  287 g is the basis for the Arizona law nt (0+ / 0-)

    It's called the Dodd-Frank bill. What else do you need to know?

    by roguetrader2000 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:43:59 PM PDT

  •  That's a whole lot to think about. I'll be (0+ / 0-)

    reading carefully through the comments here to get a sense of what the implications of the theory are for the upcoming campaigns leading to November.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

    by dendron gnostic on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:47:34 PM PDT

  •  damn, you're good (0+ / 0-)

    but you knew that

  •  Framing is certainly important (0+ / 0-)

    I think we'd be better off if the president had framed the drilling moratorium as an opportunity. An opportunity to retrain folks into working in renewable energy fields. As a wake up call for clean energy etc. Even if you continue to drill, you emphasize turning the boat.

    Instead we got same ole shit at a slower pace.

    I think the framing problem runs even deeper though. I think we have mostly abandoned some of the bigger moral issues that held this party together.. supporting unions and women's rights for instance. You can't use those things as bargaining chips and then rally the troops around them at a later time. The president can't go around offending the unions by telling them to back off on supporting progressive candidates then claiming to be for the middle class.

    I don't think we, as a group, are in agreement about what is moral and what is not at the core any more. Until that gets hashed out you can't build a frame on quicksand.

    President Obama is the best moderate Republican president in my lifetime. kasandra.us

    by KS Rose on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 02:12:05 PM PDT

  •  It's dangerous to adopt parts of the other frame (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papicek, divineorder

    because it causes us to get the blame for their failed shit. Conservative economics was thoroughly debunked when Obama got to the WH. But what does Obama do? He continued Bush’s trickle-down economic philosophy of trying to rescue the economy from the top down (financial sector bailouts), then let us wait for that to trickle-down, when a hell of a lot more jobs would’ve been created with a bottom-up approach to economic recovery (i.e. the traditional Democratic approach he campaigned on), which would’ve been to invest those 100s of billions into the bottom of the economy, then let the financial sector (which was largely responsible for this economic crisis) wait for that economic growth to trickle-up to them. Wealth trickles-up, not down. This administration making concessions to the top-down republican economic frame is causing us to get the blame for their failed shit.
    The fact that the conservative economic philosophy had been thoroughly debunked by the time Obama got to the WH makes this administration such a missed opportunity that it even exceeds the grasp of the so-called experts.
    But Obama has done one thing that I thought was impossible to accomplish in a year and a half. He has resurrected a thoroughly self-destroyed and debunked republican party (by making concession to their frame).

  •  I was going to say that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    You've obviously read some Lakoff and then I laughed at myself.  Glad to see you on DailyKos.

    Words will always retain their power -V

    by studentofhistory on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 03:40:49 PM PDT

  •  Some months after 9/11 we were chosen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papicek

    to go to DC and work on a curriculum project for the American Federation of  Teachers. One of the AFT staffers shared in private how disturbed she was that the Republicans seemed to be way out front of us on controlling what the public thought and getting them to vote.

    Now I understand more of what has been happening.

    I have supported MoveOn, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the Progressive Democrats of America because of their focus on progressive values. Wonder if their leaders know your work, benefit from it.  Will have to take a closer look after this lesson.

    Thanks, George Lakoff. Great to meet you and your work. Really appreciate you posting here!

    www.yesweSTILLcan.org

    by divineorder on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:54:45 PM PDT

  •  Let's Reframe the Season (0+ / 0-)

    Bravo, Dr. Lakoff.  I always enjoy your contributions to political discussion and this was no exception.

    Let's all of us reframe the issues of this political season leading up to the November elections.

    Why are Republicans anti-Christian?
    In all the Gospels, Jesus is clear that we must help the poor and the sick, but Republicans want to terminate unemployment benefits and repeal health care insurance reform.

    Why are Republicans anti-patriotic?
    Americans have always rallied to the cause of shared sacrifice to overcome the greatest challenges of the past, but Republicans refuse to support the idea of shared sacrifice, sacrifice shared not only by the poor and middle class, but also by the wealthy.

    Why do Republicans fail to support our military?
    Americans agree that we should support the needs of our armed forces not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also when they return back to the United States as veterans.  But Republicans insist on spending money on weapons systems and planes that the US military does not want, while refusing to support budgetary allocations to provide veterans with health care and to help homeless veterans. They even pretend that there are no homeless veterans!

    Why do Republicans hate children?
    As Americans we have always loved our children and focused on their future by investing in their education and protecting their health, but Republicans across the country have blocked support for schools, head start programs, and children's healthcare programs.

    Why do Republicans want to increase government intrusion in our private lives?  Why do Republicans oppose personal freedom?
    As Americans we are proud of our traditions of privacy, individual autonomy, and personal freedom but Republicans support government intrusion into the most intimate and private decisions of our lives.  They want the government to decide whether a husband can allow life-support to be withdrawn from a brain dead wife.  They want the government to decide whether a woman who became pregnant from a rape or even from an incestual rape can terminate that pregnancy.  They want the government to decide who can get married, even though many of the most prominent Republicans have had numerous failed marriages and sexual infidelities.  In some places Republicans are proposing to prohibit certain kinds of sexual activities among consenting adults. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that every person is endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Why don't Republicans support this very American concept?

    Why do Republicans want to destroy personal responsibility?
    As Americans we value personal responsibility.  We teach our children to clean up after themselves, to fix the things they break, so that they will be responsible adults.  But Republicans are opposed to personal responsibility:  they don't want BP to be responsible for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and they call the $20 billion fund that BP is creating to help those who suffered in this environmental disaster a "slush fund."  Republicans want to "protect" corporations like BP from responsibility for their negligent behavior.

    Why do Republicans love Saudi Arabia more than America?
    Americans recognize that we need to grow our ability to run our economy on sustainable energy sources, but Republicans refuse to support projects that will help us wean our economy off of oil.  This means that Republicans support the Saudi oil industry more than alternative energy projects here in the US.

    Why do Republicans love pollution?
    Americans want to live in a clean environment, drink clean water, and breathe clean air.  We want our children and grandchildren to live in a cleaner and safer environment than we live in today.  But Republicans want to "drill, baby, drill," even when drilling has been proven to be unsafe. They want to drill off the coasts of California and Florida, in sensitive marine environments. They want to drill in Lake Erie, risking significant pollution to the drinking water of people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.

    Why do Republicans hate our grandchildren?
    Americans look to the future with hope and optimism.  We cherish our children and grandchildren and want them to live in a better world than the one we live in today.  But Republicans focus again and again on short-term solutions that benefit small sectors of our society, the wealthy, rather than on long-term solutions that will benefit all Americans in the long term.  Republicans refuse to consider scientific data in the arguments they make.  They have been proven wrong again and again:  this is evidence that they lack wisdom.  When there was a particularly snowy winter in the northeast, for example, Republicans argued that this was "evidence" that global warming was a myth, rather than science.  But the snowy winter was evidence of increased moisture in the atmosphere, consistent with scientific models of global warming and the remarkable heat wave of the past week in the northeast is also consistent with those very same models.

    Why are Republicans promote hate?
    As Americans we value respect and tolerance.  Our nation was founded on the principles of respect and tolerance, even though those principles were not fully realized at the time of our nation's founding.  Our nation's history is the story of a progression to an ever-more perfect union in which people are free and respected regardless of race, religion, and gender.  Republicans devote a great deal of attention to promoting hatred of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people, surprising given the large number of prominent Republicans who turn out to be closeted Gay men.  If all people were respected, treated fairly, and given all their rights, including people in the GLBT community, perhaps these Gay Republicans wouldn't have to live their lives in the closet and project such hatred to try and hide their closets.  As a heterosexual man married to a heterosexual woman, I'm not threatened by a happily married gay couple:  why should the Republicans be threatened?

    I'm sure that many Kossacks will be able to offer more details to these short paragraphs framing topics in accordance with Dr. Lakoff's suggestions as well as more suggestions for framing the issues.

    We must do well in the midterm elections.  Our future - our children's and grandchildren's well-being, depends on it.

  •  Always, thanks for visiting. (0+ / 0-)

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