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Last night, Jon Stewart looked at the Republican messaging coming from Frank Luntz, and on some of the other ideas to get Republicans to win elections.

How did Republicans lose this eminently winnable presidential race?
AMY KREMER, TEA PARTY EXPRESS CHAIRWOMAN (1/25/2013): The Republican Party has a serious messaging problem.

REP. JUSTIN AMASH, R-MI (1/22/2013): I think our messaging has not been very strong.

LAURA INGRAHAM (12/26/2012): The messaging was bad.

Messaging!  If only people knew what the Republicans were about.  What the Republicans need is some kind of 24-hour a day, 7-day a week, perpetual messaging refinement and distribution resource.  Preferably one cloaked in the trappings of journalistic authority, but without any of its ethical constraints.  What would we call such a place?  Elephant News is too obvious.  Insane Clown Posse is already taken.  Ferret!  Ferret News!

....

Frank Luntz!  Republican Batman.  The famed Republican spin doctor credited with such masterful messaging coups as calling relaxed pollution standards the "Clear Skies Act"'; calling the estate tax the "death tax"; and making universal health care coverage sound like a shit sandwich.

8/14/2009:

FRANK LUNTZ: The language that you used before, you're calling it a public option, which is what the White House calls it.  Are you sure it isn't a "government option"? ... If you called it the "government option", the public is overwhelmingly against it.

SEAN HANNITY: You know what?  It's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option.

"Hey, thanks a lot, Frank.  I'm going to call health care, I'm gonna call it the government option, because I don't want people to have health care.  Thank you, thank you.  I appreciate you telling me how to fuck everybody over.  Thanks a lot."

And while that type of Orwellian sleight of tongue has traditionally been performed in a more catacombs-like environment, or underneath a volcano, the good people at Ferret News believe in transparency.  So let's fix that messaging.

....

1/14/2013:

GRETCHEN CARLSON: You believe the error is "smaller government".  The adjustment should be "more effective and efficient government".  Why are those words so much more important?

FRANK LUNTZ: Because the American people don't care what the size of government is.

"You see, Gretchen, if you say you want smaller government, the electorate rejects it.  But if you say you want the government to function more efficiently, the electorate likes it, even though that's clearly not what you believe.  It's the power of language!  It's why this is called a beard, and not a chin-faking face pube."  (shocked audience laughter)  I like this game!  Let's play....  Well, first of all, to be fair, it would be curlier.

Let's play more error and adjustment!

GRETCHEN CARLSON (1/14/2013): The error is, "controlling growth of Medicare and Social Security", the adjustment is "save and strengthen entitlements".  I guess that just sounds better, doesn't it?
It fucking does sound better!  "Save and strengthen" does sound better than the Republicans' actual plan for entitlements, which would cut them, which sounds shitty.

....

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA (1/25/2013): We've got to stop being the stupid party.
(audience laughter)

So actually change the way you are, rather than just the description of the way you are.  Instead of coming up with messaging to convince people that you don't believe women's vaginas have built-in defense systems that repel ill-gotten sperm, what you could try is not believing that women's vaginas have that capability.

(Jon strokes chin)  Makes me wanna stroke my chin pubes.

A fundamental rethinking of the more extreme and antiquated positions that — right now — form the backbone of the Republican Party platform.  All right, you could do that.  Anybody have a different idea?

ANDREA MITCHELL (1/26/2013): If Republican proposals in key states to change the way we elect our President are approved and applied nationwide, this week's inaugural...
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: Repeat after me.

BARACK OBAMA: ... preserve, protect, and defend ...

would have looked like this.

(audience groaning with laughter)

I understand the electoral math is slightly different, but why does he still get Michelle Obama?  (audience laughter and applause)  That seems... I've heard of winner take all, but please!

Now of course, some would call a proposal like that cheating.  Because that's what it is.  But why not take a page from the Luntz playbook here?  The language error is "cheating".  Let's adjust that to "winning through process innovation".

Video and full transcript below the fold.

As you know, a kind of funny thing happened in this year's presidential election.  Amidst the worst economy in decades, high unemployment, and a steep spiritual decline, the country chose not a self-made and virtuous patriot to heal our woes...

but the same foreign-born socialist tyrant who created all of our woes!  How did Republicans lose this eminently winnable presidential race?

AMY KREMER, TEA PARTY EXPRESS CHAIRWOMAN (1/25/2013): The Republican Party has a serious messaging problem.

REP. JUSTIN AMASH, R-MI (1/22/2013): I think our messaging has not been very strong.

LAURA INGRAHAM (12/26/2012): The messaging was bad.

Messaging!  If only people knew what the Republicans were about.  What the Republicans need is some kind of 24-hour a day, 7-day a week, perpetual messaging refinement and distribution resource.  Preferably one cloaked in the trappings of journalistic authority, but without any of its ethical constraints.  What would we call such a place?  Elephant News is too obvious.  Insane Clown Posse is already taken.  Ferret!  Ferret News!

I'll work on it, I'll work on it.

So, the Republicans lost, not because of the poor quality of their ideas, or their general reluctance to help govern when they're not in total command, or the rapidly approaching death of a great deal of their voting base, no!  A messaging problem, which means there's but one man who can save the Republican Party now.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (1/14/2013): Frank Luntz joins me now.
Frank Luntz!  Republican Batman.  The famed Republican spin doctor credited with such masterful messaging coups as calling relaxed pollution standards the "Clear Skies Act"'; calling the estate tax the "death tax"; and making universal health care coverage sound like a shit sandwich.
8/14/2009:

FRANK LUNTZ: The language that you used before, you're calling it a public option, which is what the White House calls it.  Are you sure it isn't a "government option"? ... If you called it the "government option", the public is overwhelmingly against it.

SEAN HANNITY: You know what?  It's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option.

"Hey, thanks a lot, Frank.  I'm going to call health care, I'm gonna call it the government option, because I don't want people to have health care.  Thank you, thank you.  I appreciate you telling me how to fuck everybody over.  Thanks a lot."

And while that type of Orwellian sleight of tongue has traditionally been performed in a more catacombs-like environment, or underneath a volcano, the good people at Ferret News believe in transparency.  So let's fix that messaging.  We'll start with rebranding the Orwellian process itself.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (1/14/2013): You know all about words and messaging and how to do it, Frank, so let's talk about the number one thing, the language errors that you have pointed out versus adjustments.
You see?  It's language errors!  You have to adjust your language errors!  You know, I think the Church of Scientology called.  They want their deliberately obfuscating words back.

See, Republicans aren't bullshitting you.  They're adjusting language errors.  Like how Elmer's Glue used to be Elmore Richardson's Horse-Boiling Emporium.

(shocked audience laughter)

All right, so the Republican Party is at stake.  Error me, and adjust it.

1/14/2013:

GRETCHEN CARLSON: You believe the error is "smaller government".  The adjustment should be "more effective and efficient government".  Why are those words so much more important?

FRANK LUNTZ: Because the American people don't care what the size of government is.

"You see, Gretchen, if you say you want smaller government, the electorate rejects it.  But if you say you want the government to function more efficiently, the electorate likes it, even though that's clearly not what you believe.  It's the power of language!  It's why this is called a beard, and not a chin-faking face pube."  (shocked audience laughter)  I like this game!  Let's play....  Well, first of all, to be fair, it would be curlier.

Let's play more error and adjustment!

GRETCHEN CARLSON (1/14/2013): The error is, "controlling growth of Medicare and Social Security", the adjustment is "save and strengthen entitlements".  I guess that just sounds better, doesn't it?
It fucking does sound better!  "Save and strengthen" does sound better than the Republicans' actual plan for entitlements, which would cut them, which sounds shitty.

You know, this is the kind of messaging strategy that the Republicans have had in place for years.  Maybe, this strategy is starting to have diminishing returns.  Maybe, Republicans have hit peak Luntz.

That their seemingly endless reserve of word-ipulations has run its course.  Is there another way Republicans can regain their competitive advantage?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA (1/25/2013): It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.
Ah, yes!  Talking like adults, like with curse words.  "So let's get this country back on the motherfucking track!  Oh yeah!  I'm Fucking Bobby Jindal, bitches!"

No wait, hold on... I don't think I did that right.  What are you talking about?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA (1/25/2013): We've got to stop being the stupid party.
(audience laughter)

So actually change the way you are, rather than just the description of the way you are.  Instead of coming up with messaging to convince people that you don't believe women's vaginas have built-in defense systems that repel ill-gotten sperm, what you could try is not believing that women's vaginas have that capability.

(Jon strokes chin)  Makes me wanna stroke my chin pubes.

A fundamental rethinking of the more extreme and antiquated positions that — right now — form the backbone of the Republican Party platform.  All right, you could do that.  Anybody have a different idea?

ANDREA MITCHELL (1/26/2013): If Republican proposals in key states to change the way we elect our President are approved and applied nationwide, this week's inaugural...
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: Repeat after me.

BARACK OBAMA: ... preserve, protect, and defend ...

would have looked like this.

(audience groaning with laughter)

I understand the electoral math is slightly different, but why does he still get Michelle Obama?  (audience laughter and applause)  That seems... I've heard of winner take all, but please!

Now of course, some would call a proposal like that cheating.  Because that's what it is.  But why not take a page from the Luntz playbook here?  The language error is "cheating".  Let's adjust that to "winning through process innovation".

"Ethics-modulated democracy improvement".

Takes a lot of hard work and intelligence, really, to remain stupid.  We'll be right back.

Jon then looked at some recent tech news.
Meanwhile, Stephen covered how they've now discovered Richard III's remains, and skewered the new CBS show "The Job".
He then looked at the bizarre story of the heroic homeless hatchet-wielding hitchhiker.
Stephen talked with actress Julie Andrews, and Jon talked with NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, which went long.  Here's the unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2

Originally posted to BruinKid on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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