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Jackie Calmes is getting a lot of crap from people in a front page post but there is no need to shoot the messenger.

You know I love ya, kos, but Calmes is, unfortunately, right.

Instead of making fun of her and blasting her, we have to figure out a way around that sad but true political reality.  And fast.

I firmly believe, and have said so for many years here, that the main reason The Blue Team keeps losing elections is because we are stuck in the idea that all we have to do is present facts to people and that will get them to vote for us.

But the majority of people, and the majority of voters, don't live life that way.

They don't calmly look at facts and make reasonable decisions based on those facts.  That particular approach to life is only engaged in by a relatively small minority of people, who mostly walk around frustrated because everyone else does not operate that way.

In fact, most people go out of their way to AVOID making decisions that way.  They do not enjoy that kind of thinking and logical analysis of factual evidence.  They do not solve problems for fun.

They associate that kind of thinking with school, and they hated school, because they weren't good at that kind of thinking and so they did not do well in school.

People avoid doing things they are not good at.

Their idea of fun is something presented to them that they do not have to think about at all, but can just absorb on an emotional level.  Think of the TV they watch, the movies they see, their leisure time pursuits.

The only thing they are good at is feeling their own emotions, and they do not have very much emotional range.  Screenplay writers will tell you that lust and fear are the two easiest emotions to evoke in the widest number of people.  So, surprise, the Red Team motivates voters by playing to their fears.

An emotion-based pitch will always win over a analysis-based pitch because more people are capable of absorbing and understanding and responding to the emotional pitch than the analytical pitch.

Let's all read that aloud and keep repeating it until it sinks in:

An emotional pitch, even one that is based on a lie, will win out over a thoughtful pitch based on evidentiary analysis...

...because more people are capable of absorbing and understanding and responding to an emotional pitch than an analytical pitch.

It is a question of sheer numbers.

We love (well, at least *I* love) Stephen Colbert because he makes fun of that phenomenon in a way that also entertains thinkers because we can hold both ideas in our heads at once--the parody he is presenting and the underlying facts that make the parody funny.

What makes him brilliant (put me down for greatest) is that you could ask the other demographic to watch him, tell them he is real, and they would not be able to detect it (except for the times when it is so funny he laughs at his own jokes and breaks character.

A big part of our problem is that we think things are simple that in fact require analysis, because analysis is such second nature to us that we don't even realize when we are doing it.

The newspapers and magazines we read and even the blog posts we write, contain vocabulary commensurate with our level of education (see what i did there).  The New York Post and the Boston Herald and People Magazine and other periodicals aimed primarily at redvoters are written at a very very basic vocabulary level.  It takes a lot of thought and intentionality to do this if it does not come naturally to you.

It is like a talented musician trying to deliberately play off key and out of tune to match the way most people sing.

Educated people have a skewed idea of just how basic common vocabulary is.  And if someone does not understand a word you used, s/he will in all likelihood be embarassed to ask when it meant.  They just stop listening to you.

Even something as simple as talking at a slower speed can be part of this.  Chris Hayes, for example, talks at what we used to call New York Speed.  He talks at the speed of freaking light sometimes, and I do not think he is even aware of it.  Even though I process words pretty fast, I am aware that when he gets excited about something (especially when he is trying to make a point or get out a question in a panel segment) he starts dashing along like a high speed train, barely stopping to even breathe. Time is short and he wants to get it all in (!) and the facts he is presenting are important, but he talks so fast that it is almost a different dialect of English!  You could not get most Fakes News watchers to listen to him for more than five minutes.

Rachel is doing better in the ratings right now and part of it may be the very overexplaining may people here have criticized.  She makes the point over and over and over again so that if you didn't get it the first time you get it the third time.  If people are watching her to learn about Christiegate, they are capable of following very complicated news stories because of the way she breaks it down.  This is good.  Moar plz.

Our biggest Blue Team framing success is working so well that it has the Rcons scrambling on the defensive to respond (and doing a bad job of it to boot).

Whoever came up with "War on Women" was brilliant.

It is brilliant because 1) it does not need explaining, 2) it touches a raw nerve in lots of women and in some men as well, 3) it drives the other side crazy.

It has the added advantage of being backed up with the facts.

But even if it only met the first three criteria, it would be a successful political frame.

We need similar framing for "give America a raise" and "demand creates jobs", good frames that don't have emotional resonance (yet).

We language composers, we message musicians, must learn to craft simpler melodies that untrained people can sing.  And be happy if they get close to the right tune, even if they are singing a little bit off key.

Use simpler language, including speaking at a slower speed.  Give the listener's mind time to absorb and understand the words you have just said.

Bottom line: it is sad but true that if you are explaining you are losing.  If the message is not immediately clear, you are losing.

A ten word explanation is too long.  They used to have a seven syllable rule.  But now that's too long too.  Three words.  Two words.  That is the mass attention span we are dealing with.

We must use political language that does not require ANY explanation.  

We must use words to which common people bring their own meaning.  (If I really have to list examples, that proves we aren't practiced enough at knowing what those kinds of words are.)

We must use frames that push emotional buttons in people.  It's easiest to take advantage of people's existing emotional frames and attach our message to them.  But this requires knowing people well enough to know how simply their emotional universe is constructed.  Pleasure is better than pain.  Mine is better than not-mine.  Simple is better than complicated.

Note that this does not mean we have to lie! We just need to find ways to present the truth in easily digestible ways to people who do not think for a living, do not enjoy problem solving, and never learned (or do not enjoy using) analytical reasoning skills.

The Blue Team MUST learn how to do more of this.  This year.  Now.

And the Blue Team must stop dismissing the idea that doing this is necessary.

Originally posted to TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (177+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29, DKBurton, Cardinal Fang, mimi, belinda ridgewood, MPociask, NYFM, kalmoth, fumie, Dartagnan, jhecht, Resmuglicrook Investigator, GussieFN, brae70, Stude Dude, annecros, MKinTN, manneckdesign, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, AlaskanAnt, commonmass, FG, kenwards, peptabysmal, DeadHead, Matt Z, Jlukes, palantir, Simian, moviemeister76, kat herder, gzodik, ridemybike, ebohlman, Laurence Lewis, la motocycliste, rubyclaire, deminva, whenwego, citisven, Involuntary Exile, royce, Visceral, GeorgeXVIII, karmsy, fenway49, howabout, xxdr zombiexx, J Ash Bowie, cybersaur, Laurel in CA, ontheleftcoast, HedwigKos, SoCalSal, wader, akmk, lunachickie, Loonesta, Dburn, sidnora, slowbutsure, Randomfactor, MKSinSA, side pocket, regularJoe, high uintas, WakeUpNeo, La Gitane, peacestpete, shaggies2009, enhydra lutris, carolanne, No one gets out alive, maggiejean, Ian Reifowitz, xaxnar, Brian B, Dirtandiron, PapaChach, bryduck, serendipityisabitch, davidkc, Hirodog, unfangus, dotsright, gramofsam1, lu3, workersuntie, oceanview, Hammerhand, Parthenia, Vetwife, Leftcandid, DawnN, Jaboo, Patango, Steven D, Catte Nappe, NearlyNormal, Onomastic, Glen The Plumber, juliesie, Dragon5616, KenBee, ModerateJosh, Jakkalbessie, soarbird, dalemac, NoMoJoe, Radiowalla, Another Grizzle, TracieLynn, SaintC, offgrid, tofumagoo, HarpboyAK, a gilas girl, Wheever, MikePhoenix, countwebb, Unitary Moonbat, Thinking Fella, Lily O Lady, Yasuragi, Qwisp, radical simplicity, mike101, Sarahsaturn, Miggles, George3, zozie, grollen, Brainwrap, YellerDog, AverageJoe42, sgrAstar, pioneer111, dRefractor, roses, joesig, deepeco, Powell, newinfluence, monkeybrainpolitics, Chi, Simplify, riverlover, Denise Oliver Velez, AnnCetera, calmer tiki, soaglow, FrY10cK, Skyye, HeyMikey, kharma, maggid, readerwriter, smokeymonkey, Dave in Northridge, sangemon, Jon Sitzman, pamelabrown, BocaBlue, never forget 2000, WuChier, Turbonerd, teresab, lotlizard, artmartin, Gay CA Democrat, shanikka, EagleOfFreedom, RockyMtnLib, splashy, Sylv, DiesIrae, bigjacbigjacbigjac

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:00:16 PM PST

  •  Absolutely, I've Made Many of These Points (47+ / 0-)

    often in comments.

    But the media are a factor too: they don't give the bandwidth needed for argumentation and explanation for large mainstream audiences. By the time a Democrat has finished establishing the premise of an argument, they're out of time or space.

    We've got a long and proud history of emotional motivation by Democrats and liberals, from Dr. King to FDR --and in the heyday of union organizing, what kinds of things do we think were being said in union halls and picket lines?

    As you say, emotion doesn't require lying. We have the truth, we have the right principles, we have the logic and explanations. Save them for individual people who approach us for them, and for resources like web sites and other reference material.

    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 Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:25:25 PM PST

    •  The exceptional citizen (13+ / 0-)

      I mean the top 10%, expends maybe 30 minutes of their day paying any attention whatsoever to "news". The average one spends far less than that, with a hefty percentage spending a big fat zero on most days. A slogan you can spit out in 20 seconds has a much better shot at having an impact.

      •  it's hard to even consume 30 minutes of news (13+ / 0-)

        without deliberate effort

        and it's easy to go all day every day for weeks and months without consuming ANY news.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:48:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How hard is it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          histOries Marko

          to listen to 'Democracy Now' 2-3 times a week?
          If you're responding to the constant bombardment of infotainment,the noxious mix of consumer propaganda and fear porn that is spewed 24/7 on every conceivable platform,yeah,you're gettin' nothin', but there are decent sources for the real deal,and every citizen has to accept the responsibility to find it.

          'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

          •  The premise of this whole diary is idiotic (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            unfangus, k9disc, histOries Marko

            The New York Times used to target the decision making class, not rednecks. I have no idea who they are targeting now that they don't want to be journalists.

            Every communicator needs to consider how to focus the message to reach the target audience. The idea that we should just dumb stuff down, in general, is dumb.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:25:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Smart! But wrong! (0+ / 0-)

              When they own the information, they can bend it all they want. -- John Mayer

              by S M Tenneshaw on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:37:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Pundit circle jerk (0+ / 0-)

              they're only talking to themselves,trying to out perform each other in writing the perfect lyrics to the 1% tune.

              'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

            •  Yes and no... (17+ / 0-)

              It's not dumbing it down, it's resonating and matching with values.

              I know you know this, but indulge me...

              I do dog training with dog sport enthusiasts and pet people. Our business seems to resonate with people Left of center - or the open minded - but we do get some movement conservative types, and some of them are cool to work with - a few pretty good friends - hard to understand sometimes, but good people, hence the reciprocation.

              So our schtick is all dog’s choice. Like all of it. It’s freeshape and capture for the most part. The dogs learn that their behaviors affect their consequence and we cultivate the behaviors we like. If the conservative hierarchy is: God, Country, Man, Woman, Child, where does dog come in?

              The very idea that the dog should be allowed a choice to sit at the door or not is an outrageous perversion of nature.

              Usually when I talk about this stuff with clients I tend to meander about on what’s going on, narrating the situation and dropping knowledge as it happens, talking about how this choice the dog is going through right now will change your and your dog’s lives. It’s a huge selling point, allowing them to buy in to our philosophy.

              I can’t do that with conservatives. Instead I have to say,”Look man, don’t tell your dog to sit here. It’s his responsibility to sit here. He needs to make the decision to sit in order to earn his cookies and make the door open. You can’t walk around doing your job for him, what kind of message would that send?”

              After that the handler crosses his arms and lets his dog choose to sit or not. But more importantly than that simple behavior there, I’ve radically altered his outlook so all he can see are decisions that his dog is responsible for making.

              That’s what this diary is about, and I don’t think it’s bunk at all.

              In the diary, he trublue mentioned how hard it is to write clearly and concisely with value ladened language. It is, but it’s also hugely effective, and an absolute necessity if we are to reframe our political landscape.

              Peace~

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:04:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  simplifying does not equal dumbing down (11+ / 0-)

              in fact, it takes great intelligence and skill to boil a complex concept down to a few words

              you are right about the first part though--the NYT used to target the decision making class, and the "rednecks" used to care about what the decision making class thought and used to want to be influenced by them.

              i have no idea who the NYT is targeting now either

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:35:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Cut Taxes! Win War! Kill Terrorists!Stop Abortion! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elpacifico66, Jon Sitzman

                End Welfare Fraud!  Big Government Sucks! Fourteen words.  Six sentences.  GOP shorthand, conveniently leaving out all details.  They're good at it.  

                I agree, at some level, with all six points.  As does everyone.  Absent details, absent wanting details, if you respond to those six sentences, the GOP makes sense.  Ask for details, request past performance....not so much.

                To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                by joesig on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:46:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  so why can't we be good at it (0+ / 0-)

                  to put factual messages across?

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                  DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                  Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:37:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I want us to be, but probably don't think it's.... (0+ / 0-)

                    possible to turn complicated subjects into two work sentences.  

                    I want to End Welfare! for those who don't really deserve it, especially corporate welfare and farm welfare.   End it for the poor: not so much.

                    I want to Win Wars! but some wars (Iraq/AFG/VN) are unwinnable and sometimes we have to acknowledge that and act on it.

                    I want to Kill Terrorists! but not in a way that creates more.

                    I want to Stop Abortion! mostly by safe, effective, cheap, readily available contraception.  

                    Cut Taxes! sure, but not at the expense of having no money for things that are more valuable (infrastructure, health care, research) that are more valuable to society.

                    Someone said "For every complicated problem there is a simple answer, that's probably wrong."  Or something like that.

                    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                    by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:05:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  i'm fairly well informed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leftleaner, Chi, artmartin

            and I have no idea where to listen to Democracy Now on my radio.

            I do have the internet, and I know I can hear it there.

            I listen to the radio on my smartphone, and I know how to hear it there.

            But it is not on the radio as far as I know anywhere in my city, and I live in presumably one of the most liberal cities in the country.

            Most of the voters we need to reach have never even heard Democracy Now.  Most of the voters we need to reach have never even heard OF Democracy Now.  They don;t even know it exists.  They have hate radio around the clock on the radio stations in their cars and homes and retail establishments.  That's how hard it is to listen to Democracy Now even once, much less 2-3 times a week.

            you sound like a store owner who says I have such a good product, customers will eventually seek out my store and find me.  in fact, it's their responsibility to find me, not my responsibility to show them my product is better

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:29:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're in Boston (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              histOries Marko

              and you have trouble finding Democracy Now?That's really hard to believe.I live in the middle of nowhere in western Colorado and it airs on 3 NPR stations as well as PBS,it is on both LINK and FREE SPEECH TV several times a day,as well as (as you noted) being on the intertubes.When I drove to Arizona last week,I even caught a broadcast in Monument Valley,courtesy of NAU in Flagstaff.Independent journalism obviously is not the ubiquitous pervasive clamor of hate radio and MSM pablum but it exists and those who would be citizens have a duty to find the information to make informed decisions.To not do so is simply lazy,it's not like you're pledging your lives,your fortunes,your honor to bring forth a nation conceived in ...No,it's a few keystrokes or dealing with the remote or changing the dial.Tough stuff this 21st century citizenship thing !

              'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

              •  yes, it is hard to believe, but also true (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                artmartin, RockyMtnLib

                as I said in my own post, I know I can find it on the internet.

                but there is NO progressive radio station in Boston.  Not one.

                1510 AM tried to be a progressive station but it could not sustain itself.  and it can't be because there is no audience here!

                with some digging I found that Democracy Now is on the Boston College radio station (love those Jesuits) 90.3 FM every day from noon to 1pm.

                Free Speech TV is not on my cable system, although I am listening to it right now on the net (love Stephanie Miller).

                This is part of the privileged progressive problem. We think everyone knows about these resources, but they don't.

                It is not easy for the average person to find this stuff.  And why would s/he look for it if s/he doesn't even know it exists?  I guarantee you that if I go down to the coffee shop on the corner and ask everyone there what "Democracy Now" is, only one or two of them would know it is a radio show.

                We have to reach those people some other way.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:21:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            like Democracy Now is so accessible. Oooh, it's on the radio, nice for hearing people, but who the hell has radio these days? And what about Deaf folks? When we can find the show on television, assuming it IS on television (it's not in my area) the captions were generally two minutes behind the speaker, creating interesting conjunctions. They may have fixed that problem now, but they don't add captions to their online stuff, like CNN, so frankly, bugger the lot of them.

            •  Presumably you use the internet (0+ / 0-)

              you're here after all.Democracy Now has a web site,you can get the daily feed which includes transcripts.It's independent not a billion dollar corporate tool,so the production standards probably aren't as good,but the information is much better.Don't use your disability as an excuse for not finding the information necessary for you to be an informed citizen.

              'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

      •  What it all comes down to is that (11+ / 0-)

        when we talk abut "paying" attention, we're not just using a quirky idiom. Attention really is a scarce resource in the mental economy. We can't multitask at things that actually require attention. Devoting more attention to one thing requires devoting less attention to others.

        This means, among other things, that if you're trying to persuade someone of something you'll be more likely to succeed the less attention you require of that someone. It has absolutely nothing to do with how smart that someone is. It's just the way the human brain works.

        Suggested reading: Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow (which I'm reading now).

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:14:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll go with republicans governors are criminals (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic, Chi

        pointing at the obvious culprits

    •  Precisely (24+ / 0-)

      There is a responsibility for professional journalists to do their fucking job.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:10:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be refreshing. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radiowalla, allergywoman

        There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

        by Onomastic on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:11:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They're not paid to be journalists. (0+ / 0-)

        News reader x, the moment he/she actually tries journalism, becomes ex news reader x.

        Just ask the folk who were fired after they wouldn't lie about Monsanto the way their bosses told them to. They were the ones who won a lawsuit which was overturned - thus establishing in law that your media boss can force you to lie and fire you for refusing to.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:11:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No one ever gave their heart to a number (6+ / 0-)

      In politics, it's what the heart feels that matters when it comes to bringing voters out to the polls. You're just not going to get them there with "facts." You're going to get them there with effective framing.

      Spin is spraying perfume on a skunk. Framing is the effective use of language to get people to internalize your message. There's a difference.

  •  The best defense ... (13+ / 0-)

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:27:47 PM PST

  •  An excellent analysis, TBM. (23+ / 0-)

    Turn the table on the conservatives. Some good examples have come up on this site, for example "earned entitlements". You're not running away from the word "entitlement" but you're saying that they've been earned.

    One that I use is "crybaby capitalism". This can be used when the right claims that every little thing will be a disaster for business.

    "If you love your Uncle Sam bring them home, bring them home." - Pete Seeger.

    by brae70 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:47:52 PM PST

    •  I'm with you on this 100%. (7+ / 0-)

      I like to use "defenseless multinationals" because how will they ever be able to react to even the most miniscule of changes? They're certainly not able to change direction or think on the fly. It's just something a major company has never been able to do. We shouldn't hold them to any standard beyond 'do the exact same thing you're currently doing'.

      Another one I like, kind of stemming from this is "change is impossible".

      My family is fairly religious, so any time an environmental or earth damaging topic comes up I refer to it as destroying "God's gift". On occasion it will be challenged as 'well, God gave us the ability to invent new things, such as how to go after tar sands' to which I respond 'you mean like birth control, or solar panels?'. Fun times!

  •  Good luck. (3+ / 0-)

    Armed with conservative echo chambers, tons of money, and a willingness to tell lies, the Republicans can easily attack an already-unpopular law.

    Give us a better line to use and we'll use it.

    I like Marsha Blackburn on Facebook. Don't hate.

    by Benintn on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:56:00 PM PST

  •  correct as far as it goes (5+ / 0-)

    but we also need to own a major media outlet that will broadcast our simplistic emotional messages 24/7.  

    As long as most major media outlets prefer not to deal in facts but act as scriveners for the lies of the right wing, as it is in the financial interests of their owners and advertisers to do so,  we aren't going to win regardless of message.  Because messages no one hears, are kind the proverbial tree in the forest.

    •  We don't necessarily need (11+ / 0-)

      to own a major media, but we do need to keep putting pressure on members of the existing major media to do their jobs and own up when they get something wrong.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:12:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly what the GOP has been doing for decades (11+ / 0-)

        One of the reasons the media is afraid of their shadows is that any time they take an factual position that the right does not like, the right comes down on them with a ton of bricks about their "liberal" or "bias" or "unbalanced" reporting.  No one calls BS.

        Look at how the MSNBC tweet about the Cheerios ad went.  I mean someone on Fox says something at least once a day that makes the MSNBC tweet look like a compliment. How many times do they apologize for their transgressions?

        The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

        by Do Something on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:25:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Media bias (0+ / 0-)

          can only be left-leaning in their world. Just look at my sig line. It's why Rush Limbaugh always says "I don't need to be balanced with equal time I am equal time".

          That said, we should start "working the refs" the way they do. I can almost hear some on the right saying "You're a liberal so you're the last person who should be whining about media treatment". But we should do it anyway.

          liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

          by RockyMtnLib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:20:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  They are doing their jobs. They service their (6+ / 0-)

        corporate sponsors.

        The idea that we are going to pressure members of the media to comply with transparency and ethical information of the body politic is an anachronism at best.

        We need to leverage media outside the large corporate realm, and that's really easy to do because you can't do anything whatsoever with their intellectual property.

        It's also getting easier to do because they no longer have a monopoly on the truth, and there are so many cracks in the big lie, but there is no progress for humanity that runs through a corporate media.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:17:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well done. (14+ / 0-)

    You are so right. It feels dirty and "beneath" me to have to resort to dumbing down the message. But it works. When I have back & forths with the #tcot on Twitter, or in comment boards, I explain things in the most basic terms. Sometimes people actually admit that they didn't know something. Little victories. (Or they slink away without answering and I know their argument has been defeated.)
    We need the equivalent of that guy who give the GOP all their talking points. His name escapes me right now. (Frank Lutz?)

    America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

    by manneckdesign on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:03:55 PM PST

    •  Yep! (16+ / 0-)

      The comeback to this lie about lost jobs is, I think, something like this:

      Do you know any people who are still working only because they can't afford to retire?  Or who stay in a job they hate because it's the only way they can keep health insurance?
      Well all they're saying now is that millions of people will be free to go ahead and retire!  They'll be able to get insurance, and they won't have to pay through the nose for it!  That's totally awesome, isn't it!

      Christie is toast.

      by deminva on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:16:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, it doesn't require a LOT of explanation (6+ / 0-)

        Those are good questions to ask in response. Another way to go is when the lie is told that the CBO report says Obamacare is going to take away 2 million jobs, simply respond, "No, that's not what the report says." Put the onus for the explanation back on the person trying to pass of the lie as truth.

        There's a risk that the person gets to talk (and lie) more, but my experience has been that folks who argue in sound bites get lost when they have to go a little deeper than their standard-issue talking point. Denying their point (Obamacare will cost America jobs) gets the conversation stopped and focuses attention on the point, at which time you can introduce some facts into the discussion. Otherwise, they just blow through their arsenal of talking points, shut down the rest of the conversation, and the inattentive reporters think the lies have won the day.

        •  Face to face discussion makes a difference (0+ / 0-)

          But it's labor intensive. I said to my conservative neighbor, let's look at that CBO report and brought up Figure 2-8 on p 38 which shows that participation in the labor Force has been steadily dropping since 2000, and that they predict the slope of decline to continue exactly as it was before the ACA was passed. In other words the number of jobs will continue to drop, average wages will drop. The ACA is a flawed policy (what else would you get from Liz Fowler and max Baucus) but it increases access to care and it reduces future medical bankruptcies. It's helpful but it can't solve the problems of inequality and jobs lost to offshoring and automation.  

          When I discuss something in a blog, I get soundbites and the person drops out if they have no answer to my point. My neighbor may not be converted but I can temporarily jog him out of the soundbite, automatic response mode. If we stay on our phones and computers, we are easily ignored, and the .1% will push us down further and further.

      •  How about (11+ / 0-)

        "it just means people aren't tied to their jobs for insurance any more"?

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:24:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Simpler: Quit that shitty job! (8+ / 0-)

        "Wouldn't it be great to be able to quit that shitty job?"

        That's a simpler, more emotional way to say it.


        The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

        by No one gets out alive on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:44:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  free up those jobs for someone who wants them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No one gets out alive

          Jobs are Good things, you wont resonate if you make them sound bad.

          •  I hear you - but I'm going for short and sweet. (0+ / 0-)

            I like the technique of 'setting the hook'.

            Your observation is excellent for follow on conversation - which you may not get to have unless you hook them first.


            The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

            by No one gets out alive on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:45:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I claim your lure isn't shiny (0+ / 0-)

              With "quit your shitty job", you're pushing in the opposite direction of all the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" and "work is where your dignity is" mantra that the right is used to.  It won't resonate.

              Just like "you didn't build that" doesn't resonate with the left because we don't view entrepeneurship as the only way to live a fulfilling life.

      •  I don't know, those numbers and costs that so (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, lotlizard

        many here seem to just kind of "that's what it costs for health insurance in America these days..." - $1000/month with a $6000 deductible?

        Are you kidding? I think that alone requires explaining to a lot of people. The tax breaks I'll get? They require explaining too.

        But we're talking about something that, I think, most of us find morally wrong - the valuation of your health vs whatever the market will bear - and we have little trust with the major of the institutions involved. Things have totally changed, but they're just like they were before, but you have more options and they are no longer trying to kill you or deny you care...

        lol...

        You know what I'm saying here?

        I mean, I hear you on the argument, but I think that the reason Obamacare/Big Government/Liberals is such a real scare is because things are really, really messed up and we all feel it.

        The ACA is a really hard sell because it's mandated shopping for healthcare and market based medicine. It's wrong and we know it.

        The Republicans peddle Institutional blame amidst a situation fraught with fear and unease. Democrats stay the course - sense and sensibility in a senseless, skewed, and destructive system.

        Saying the ACA is muffins and cotton candy like that belies the reality, or perceived reality, of many people. Myself included.

        I have long thought this was a catastrophic error by Democrats in the vein of Bill Clinton's trading of corporate political sponsorship with deregulation and privatization of government.

        Touting this as a triumph and as good public policy will only serve to do damage to the institution of public policy. Which will reinforce the Republican's institutional blame.

        Best thing I can do is to grimace and say,"Yup, I wanted single payer. But, eh, least they can't deny you for pre-existing conditions right?"

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:41:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Try not to think of it as "dumbing down" (21+ / 0-)

      The amount of detail that someone wants when dealing with a particular subject isn't generally determined by how smart they are; it's determined by how important it is to them. It's best to assume that the people you're talking to are probably just as smart as you are, but probably care less about poltical matters than you do.

      If you've ever been "detail-flooded" by an obsessive-compulsive type going on and on about something that deeply matters to him but not to you, you know how off-putting that can be. It's not that you're incapable of understanding what he's saying, it's that you're being asked to devote a lot of mental effort to something that's meaningless to you.

      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

      by ebohlman on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:28:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank god someone said it (20+ / 0-)

        The whole "the other side doesn't get our points because they're dumb" thing has got to die.  Even if it weren't wrong it would need to die, because it's pretty damn offensive to anyone from "that side" who hears it, and the fastest way to get someone to tune you out is to call them stupid.

        But it is wrong.  For every pig-ignorant conservative out there there's another pig-ignorant liberal whose flaws of thinking are not seen by us simply because the conclusions are so accepted.  And try arguing with any honestly that the average conservative intellectual is not pretty damn smart.  The differences between us are largely emotional and moral, not intellectual.

        I appreciate this diary despite what I consider a major flaw because the prescription for change still fits.  Hit on emotional and moral grounds where possible because that's where most of us, including you and me, really live.  And when it comes to factual arguments -- and those are needed, after all, or we're all just pissing in the wind -- then be as simple and direct and clear-spoken as possible not because the other side is too dumb to get it if you don't, but because that's the best way to persuade no matter who your audience is.  

        •  THe diary is very (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, VetGrl

          condescending.  And the liberals have been called out repeatedly about their superior attitude.  Voters don't like the attitude.

          There are many very intelligent conservatives, just like liberals!! But they simply view things differently.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:57:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Problem is that Liberals are not smart enough to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          riverlover, readerwriter, maracucho

          realize that they need to communicate more than they need to say what they want to say or what they believe.

          That communication is not just about the sender, but there's a receiver there too. In fact, communication doesn't happen until the input is received. Different people receive different messages.

          Funny how taking into account the receiver's interest, ideology or aptitude is some kind of cheat or something.

          There's a similar thing that happens with positive dog trainers who think that using a lure or obvious reward placement is somehow cheating. Or that using metaphors is anthropomorphizing.

          The message is about the receiver. They have to process it before they can understand it.

          If there's something in the way of the behavior, it makes sense to lure them to the answer or use clever reward placement to get them there. Repetition also is a pretty good idea.

          Learning and teaching are about communication and fostering understanding, and understanding happens in the listener's head.

          It matters not what you say, it's what they hear.

          I think it's super interesting.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:58:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  communication is not just about the sender (3+ / 0-)

            it's also about the receiver.

            They have to process it before they can understand it.

            It matters not what you say, it's what they hear.

            all good points, k9disc

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:40:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We must talk to where people live (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TrueBlueMajority

              Most people working or looking for work, pay the bills, hope for good traffic and get to bed. Their lives are consumed, for the most part, by 'mundane' but necessary things. Listening to 'Democracy Now' radio won't help them pay the bills or give them respite.

              The majority of Americans vote the way they feel.

              They are relatively comfortable with cognitive dissonance. In a way, they have to be.
              '
              I think the media has swallowed the meme that on any given issue, that it is 'too complicated' for folks to understand and hence the media itself is not invested in using their time to get out the facts: hence Chuck Todd.

              The right wing has invested a lot of money, not only in Frank Luntz framing, but in training tons of media attractive persons to speak glibly on the RW talking points. Too often, I cringe when I see left leaning pols, pundits because they stumble over facts and are unwilling to get into the fight.

              To this particular episode, as someone said above, ACA means that people are now freer to pursue their dreams after being unchained from working for benefits.

              Thanks, TBM.

              "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

              by never forget 2000 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:24:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are crazy if your cognitive dissonance breaks. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                unfangus

                I'm crazy to a lot of people, believing the way that I do.

                The GWoT is about market muscle and corporate hegemony much more so that it is about terrorism. Same goes with Intelligence - that shit is meant to assassinate reputations of people who don't get with the corporate pogrom. Leaders who protect their people from corporate intrusions and abuse will be terrorists and will be spied upon.

                The FDA protects and serves Con Agra, Monsanto, ADM. It protects them from the people and serves the people to their markets - that's it's function these days. Same goes with the SEC and banksters - it's not corruption, it's just business.

                It's everywhere to, cognitive dissonance is required for existing in our society.

                The good news is that the Big Lie is cracking - the corporate media has been trying to glue it together with confusion - a smattering of disparate viewpoints - legitimization of the illegitimate and all that - but the Big Lie has broken down and become the Big Muddy - where all information is muddled, unclear, and not to be trusted.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:19:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  REAL important point here (2+ / 0-)

                When you're trying to persuade someone of something, your message is competing with lots of other messages and the time you expect them spend dealing with your message is competing with lots of other time demands. That means that the first thing you have to persuade them to do is to give you their time.

                And you simply cannot do that by means that require your audience to spend time and effort up-front determining whether or not they want to spend time on your message! The fact that you're already personally convinced that your message is important is of no relevance whatsoever here. The fact that you (might) prefer lots of details and find the "big picture" to be too simple or meaningless is irrelevant. The person you're trying to persuade is a completely different person than you are.

                All too often we tend to lack "theory of mind" when trying to persuade people. Among other things, this leads us to assume that other people take for granted the things that we do. And this leads us to "communicate" in ways that seem like we expect our audience to be able to read our minds. This is an incredibly effective way of turning people off.

                And as I've said before many times, we  have to stop thinking of our persuasive efforts as being in any way similar to formal education. An educator can reasonably expect his/her students to work and to do lots of it. A persuasive communicator simply cannot expect that of his/her audience. Period. A teacher doesn't need to sell. We do.

                There's nothing inherently unethical about selling; the fact that some people use unethical techniques in the course of selling doesn't change that. The fact that something is popular doesn't, of course, mean that it's good, but neither does it mean that it's bad (if the first thing you think of when you see "popular" is "adolescent bullies" you need to get over your own issues).

                Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                by ebohlman on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:56:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  the average conservative intellectual is neither (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez, brae70

          but of course i agree with this:

          The whole "the other side doesn't get our points because they're dumb" thing has got to die.  Even if it weren't wrong it would need to die, because it's pretty damn offensive to anyone from "that side" who hears it, and the fastest way to get someone to tune you out is to call them stupid.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:38:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS (3+ / 0-)
        The amount of detail that someone wants when dealing with a particular subject isn't generally determined by how smart they are; it's determined by how important it is to them.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:36:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not dumbing down (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, readerwriter

      We need to use effective language, not dumb language. There's a difference.

      Also, in any exchange with a teabagger, it's not that person you're talking to, it's all the other people who are on the fence about tea party positions. That's your audience, so respond with them in mind.

      And one very effective trick on any thread in which someone claims to have been party to, or witness to welfare fraud: take a screen shot, and report them to the welfare fraud office in their state. Then go back to the thread and tell them that they're accessories to a crime, and you've reported them. Include the link (it's usually on the state's attorney general's site, but occasionally, they're on separate sites).

      I have shut down those threads in seconds with that tactic. Scares the crap out of them to think they might get dragged into court for their lies.

  •  My simple statement: (9+ / 0-)

    I believe in a country which gives all of its citizens equal rights, a social safety net, and freedom from bigotry and racial or sexual orientation hatred.

    Period.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:12:25 PM PST

  •  Yes it's true that the ACA gives people (6+ / 0-)

    the opportunity to retire with some dignity and security without slaving away their golden years in a shit job just so they can avoid medical bankruptcy.

    If the Republicans have a problem with that, they can go fuck themselves.  They've done nothing to create jobs. They've deliberately opposed any attempts to create jobs because they want to see the President fail.  Their record speaks for itself.

    If Americans aren't grownup enough to figure that out then they pretty much deserve what they get in a government.

  •  Emotional pitches have their limits too (7+ / 0-)

    We are inundated with them through ads, TV, documentaries (who play hard on those emotions all the time). They can be excellent, but I don't think they really will change anything much.

    Persons know what their needs are, and if the emotional pitch or the analysis, addresses the urgent needs they have for their own survival, both kind of messages work. So, hopefully we will always have, the emotional and the analytical.

    I do believe that it's not  the artfully processed message, either in print or film, you want your audience to listen that counts, but the very life situation your listeners are in.

    If you want a convince a guy, who has no job, no home, nothing left, that you shouldn't get the job with some gas- and oil industry related corporation, because that company is so awful to cause the destruction of the environment and exploits the workers etc. Won't bother them. They need the money to survive.

    No matter what and how, that person will not be convinced by your arguments, just because your "pitch" is emotional and your "analysis" well expressed and addressed to "the common person".

    But when your drinking water makes you sick, you even can get people to become activists against the companies for whom they used to accept a job from, because if you can't eat and drink, you can't work, and eating and drinking comes before working.

    If your livelihood is at risk, people listen to their own guts feelings of what is most important to them at that very moment, having "frames" being this or that thrown at them is in my opinion not that important.

    BTW. May be because I am foreigner, but to me the frame "War on Women" has its limits as well. I don't think on the long run it had any influence on women's issues. I mean I see all those issues that are important to women NOT getting better. And it remains to be seen, if that frame was really that helpful after all. Just saying.

    I like your analysis it's a great diary. There is much to it, but pitches and frames are not the end of it all. They have their  limits. And somewhat sometimes I think the time is way beyond the situation where you have to invest your activism to worry about the frames. But that's just me. I get annoyed about "emotional pitches", written ones and visual ones.  

    •  Schazilein, you live in Germany. None of these (10+ / 0-)

      issues strike you, because you live in a civilized country. No one, as far as I can see, is trying to take away the things that we, in the "Most Powerful Nation in the World" are struggling to achieve.

      You enjoy, and pay for, things that millions of Americans wish to have, and that hundreds of Americans oppose them having.

      Germany is far more civilized than the United States.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:19:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live since 31 years in the US and I have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        lost all of the "nice" things you attribute to the more "civilized German social security system" and my son was never able to "enjoy" or "profit" from those.

        Just clarifying and correcting your perception as it relates to me personally.

        But I like "Schatzilein" ... no German has called me that, so I guess there is something nicer in that regard to find among American kindness... :)

    •  You're advocating for an emotional pitch. (3+ / 0-)

      You're saying folks will respond more positively to a discussion of preserving drinking water safety than to talk of getting rid of their jobs.

      Which is true. You can either frame fracking as a (short-term) job booster or as a permanent threat to water safety. The choice matters quite a bit when the nightly news will only spend 30 seconds on the topic and most viewers will dig no deeper.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:32:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't understand my comment to (0+ / 0-)

        advocate for an emotional pitch. I thought I made clear that I don't believe it has as much impact as some. I must have expressed myself very badly then.

        I think you are talking about that the TV news coverage is almost completely in the hands of profit oriented corporate media. That's another issue.

    •  "clean water" is working in coal country (14+ / 0-)

      where nothing else has, because people actually experienced the fear of going without clean water

      there's an area of Texas that is anti-fracking now because they've been having earthquakes.

      direct experience is always the most powerful persuader.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frames are starting points, that's all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      riverlover

      The biggest problem Democrats have is that their rhetoric and values don't match up with policy.

      There are a few comments on this thread of mine about this if you're interested...

      I kind of agree with you to some degree because we lack the policy potential to deliver anything remotely akin to Democratic values and ideals given the current state of corporate sponsored public policy, so framing does come off tin eared.

      Changing dominant frames of a culture often sounds a bit off pitch anyway, but given the state of media homogenization and corporate political alliances, it can just fall flat.

      "It's a great idea, but c'mon, get real..."

      That's the main problem I have with the bottom up prescription for political change is that anything that gets uppity with corporate is going to be met with toxic mix of "get real" and a "serious" candidate.

      Without some kind of actual political leadership at the top to make news and be the heroic villain. Champions and martyrs that soldiers and citizens gain strength from.

      Scared and overwhelmed people rarely coalesce into autonomous local collectives. They rally around leaders of import.

      Anyway, just kind of rambling now, but the point is that frames are a starting point and are only as strong as the connection between the rhetoric, values, and actions of the messenger, the group, or the idea that the messenger represents, and that that ideological cohesion is really lacking in the Democratic party and has been for most of my life.

      Peace~

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:26:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree to a point (5+ / 0-)

    the Dems need simple, basic talking points and then need to repeat them until they are ingrained in the minds of most Americans.
    They should have been doing that with the ACA from the beginning - emphasizing its main positives for the average person and the economy - and just kept pounding at them. One of those points could have been "people not trapped in bad jobs just for the insurance", "people will have the freedom to retire early, start a business, etc rather than be chained to a job for the insurance". Then the CBO report would have been more difficult to distort - as the rejoinder could be - "hey this is what we've been telling you all along was one of the benefits"...
    BUT - that doesn't get the press off the hook either. One of the reasons the Dems and WH need to be explaining ACA is because the press has done and continues to do such a lousy job at it.
    The political theater of it they eat up - but explain policy to inform the public - it's too hard and boring - ratings killer!

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:27:50 PM PST

  •  Framing an issue.. (16+ / 0-)

    emotionally, rather than analytically, is indeed clearly more effective. The GOP demonstrates this consistently. That's why we always seem to be playing catch-up.

    The "explaining" that's considered "losing" oftentimes comes as a result of them using this technique first.

    So yeah, when they get the jump on us, forcing us to explain what we should've framed more effectively in the first place, we are losing.

    In the rare instances that we manage to set the narrative to our advantage from the outset, thereby forcing them to be on the "explaining end," the momentum is palpable, and things usually work out well for us, it seems to me.

    In a nutshell, Democratic messaging sucks. For as long as it's sucked, there really isn't any excuse for it.

    Democratic leadership isn't stupid, so I can't help but wonder just how much they really want to be more effective.

    Good cop, bad cop, perhaps?




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

    by DeadHead on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:36:59 PM PST

  •  Unfortunately, you are RIGHT… (3+ / 0-)

    It has to be catchy and self explanatory. GOP understood that long time ago, while Democrats spend all their energy explaining to mostly tone deaf people...

  •  I've got another one (11+ / 0-)

    We have to stop using the term "regulate" to describe "reforms" that we want, and need.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:47:29 PM PST

    •  exactly! (5+ / 0-)

      word choice and phrasing are so so damn important.

      on a slightly different topic, but on point with your comment,
      I've always thought that "marriage equality" was a much better term
      than "same sex marriage"

      surely we could easily compile a list of words that need swapping....
      framing that needs clarifying.

      this is something the conservatives/repukes/teabags do quite well.

      every adult is responsible for every child

      by ridemybike on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:07:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's also a policy problem. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit

      We here at DailyKos may want to reform, but our elected representatives tend to prefer the less precise game of regulation. Much less blame to go around. Significantly more room for political pressure and favors without the light of day.

      Voters would certainly be happy with a bright-line prohibition against mixing commercial and investment banking. But what if 75% of them would be fine with a Volker Rule getting written in a few years by someone else and we could continue to tap Wall Street for donations in the meantime and deflect blame in the end?

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:25:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks Rescue Rangers (9+ / 0-)

    for putting this in the Community Spotlight

    i was afraid it was going to drift off to bit heaven without notice

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:02:31 PM PST

  •  Reducing job lock should've been a huge... (4+ / 0-)

    campaign talking point during the 2010,-12, and now -14 elections. It's crazy too me that it's first entered the public conversation as a hit against the ACA.

    I think a lot of the problem comes from a core lack of comfort with the ideas we propose. Tom Perkins isn't the only dude with a ton of money and a very fragile ego. Get a little too snarky with his class and they're liable to ignore your tactful pleas for a quiet position on some board of directors when it's time to transition from public life.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:03:56 PM PST

    •  Which is to say, it's fine to advocate... (0+ / 0-)

      on behalf of individual topics, as long as you don't touch too close to the core issues that impact the entirety of the 1%.

      When you raise these broader issues of fairness, everyone from Wall Street to Silicon Valley pulls their wallet closer.

      Isn't that why the President backed off from a sweepingly anti-inequality State of the Union? Instead we got the MyRA Investment plan. Because who wants to fund the Presidential museum of a meanie who yaps about how much stuff I have and they don't?

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:19:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "reducing job lock" is jargon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, Miggles

      a phrase with no meaning to jow blow or sam schmoe or paula purplevoter

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:27:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Job Lock! (0+ / 0-)

      I can see it now.  A simple  poster with those words and someone in shackles.  A huge pair of metal clippers with the words Obamacare on it!

      "Each One Teach One" - African proverb, author unknown

      by readerwriter on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:17:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  we can't act as if (4+ / 0-)

    the "news" media are impartial. we can't act as if they're in the business of presenting, much less accurately analyzing, objective facts. the criticism of calmes is helpful, because she provided a case study.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:06:50 PM PST

  •  Great diary (9+ / 0-)

    I don't think everyone who works for the Democratic Party is clueless about this. The folks running the presidential campaigns for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama definitely understood it, and I think that's why both won. I still have friends who go around saying "it's the economy stupid" or "that man has Romnesia."

    The problem, I think, is that to be able to create a good bumper sticker slogan without just resorting to fear (which is easier), you actually have to know what will resonate with most people. That's difficult to do if you live in the Washington bubble. That's why people like James Carville used to be really good back in the 80s and early 90s, but are much more out of touch now.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:09:51 PM PST

    •  One problem is that we can't seem to scale this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      from the national level to the congressional district level.  OFA was pretty brilliant in 2008 and 2012, yet they were a disaster in 2010 and are pretty much missing in action for 2014.

      •  OFA had, if I do say so myself (2+ / 0-)

        someone in control of messaging across the board.

        D congressional races do not benefit from the same leadership.  I'm not sure who to blame for that.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:49:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely (4+ / 0-)

          The one thing that freaks me out is hearing Republican candidates running for even the freaking school board across the country saying the same damn thing McConnell and Boehner do. Absolute message discipline. It's creepy, but effective.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:01:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aristotle; Obama '08; Dems 2009-14; Orwell; Twain. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            readerwriter, Miggles

            Aristotle's 3 elements of persuasion were logos (reason), ethos (credibility of the speaker), and pathos (emotion). The strongest was pathos. Obama's 2008 campaign was brilliant because it hit all three.

            The Dems have floundered ever since because they've been all logos, no ethos and no pathos. E.g., we argue about how much money Obamacare saves or costs, and not about how many lives it saves and how much suffering it eases.

            The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions — racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war — which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action...Nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than...sanity.

            George Orwell, Wells, Hitler and the World State (1941)

            What Orwell omitted here, which Obama remembered in 2008 and Dems would do well to remember again, is that noble emotions are even more powerful--hope, and love, and hope, and sharing, and hope, and generosity, and hope.

            When we fail to supply the public debate with the nobler emotions, then the GOP can be counted on to fill the void with the baser ones.

            And finally:

            For your race [the human race], in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,--push it a little--crowd it a little--weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.

            Mark Twain, "The Chronicle of Young Satan," Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:29:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a emotional pitch for you (5+ / 0-)

    The Republicans are lying.  Say it, say they are lying and that they don't want you to be able to leave your job because if you do you can't get insurance.  Say they want to keep the worker pool as large as they can so that you have to take a lower salary because there are 4 people desperate to get a job for every opening.   Say that the plan they have proposed to replace the ACA will kick millions of people off their insurance for real and for the rest premiums will go up.   Here are the talking points:

    GOP wants to force you to work until you die
    GOP wants to hold your wages down
    GOP wants to kick you off your insurance
    GOP wants to raise your premiums so insurance companies can make more profit

    and while we are at it

    Media is too lazy to do their job explaining things

    Let them do some explaining.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:13:43 PM PST

    •  I know it's tempting (5+ / 0-)

      but in my experience talking to so many less-informed, less-interested people, the typical reaction to this approach is "both sides do it".  A total turn off and they shut down.

      I try to frame things in the least partisan perspective possible.  Many times I don't say who's on what side until later in the conversation.  The polls on the individual issues are true - the middle of the road people are definitely on our side.  It's just that these are the folks that fall for the Luntz-speak.  They agree with us, but for whatever reason they don't feel comfortable being in a group with us.  

      But you know, I'm an early Gen-X'er, and we are one of the reddest demo's out there.  I have so many friends that have it ingrained in their psyche that they deserve to keep what they make and it's wrong to take it away.  I've been working on them basically by explaining that unless you're making $500K+/year off of your hedge fund, then we're really not talking about you.

      It's a tough row to hoe, that's for sure...

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:47:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Jackie Calmes was not an alleged journalist... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, MKSinSA, itskevin, CS in AZ

    I'd give her a pass.  But she is, do she doesn't get one from me.  In fact, almost as bad as the lie is her lazy, irresponsible, and unprofessional attempt to justify it.  She deserves the blast she is getting.

    •  what lie did she tell? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:33:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The lie (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        asindc, MKSinSA, itskevin, CS in AZ

        is the GOP interpretation of the report.

        Her laziness, and general abdication of her responsibility is the failure to expose the lie and foster the myth that the Democrats are losing because they have to explain.

        She should have explained!

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:42:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know we all want "journalists" to do that (0+ / 0-)

          but the fact is that the vast majority of them don't, and have not, for a whole generation.

          we have spent enough time sitting around complaining that there are so few real reporters left.  our time is better spent doing what we can to put out an alternative message.

          she does not think it is her job to do Dem messaging.

          even if she did explain, explaining is losing.

          the only people who are going to "get it" from an explanation can already understand it without an explanation

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:52:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Neither does she apparently (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            asindc, itskevin, Leftcandid

            think it her job to read and understand the report.

            she does not think it is her job to do Dem messaging.
            Reporting and explaining facts is what journalists are supposed to do. The report was not "Dem messaging", it was a CBO report that the GOP deliberately falsified.

            Setting the record straight is not "losing", it is informing the public of the facts of the report.

            Something she not only failed to do, but seemed to think that it was not her job.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:59:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That doesn't mean it is not justified to call... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg

            them out for not doing their jobs, any less than it is our job as citizens to call out our elected leaders when they lie.  In fact, they go hand in hand.  You might as well say we've spent enough time calling out conservatives and so-called conservatives for their dirty tricks and subterfuge.  

            By the way, if she is explaining, no one is losing except the people who told the lie in the first place.  That's the whole point of having a free press.

            It's not an either/or proposition.  We can and should call out the Republicans in this case and the so-called journalists who perpetuated their lie.  We can should also respond to the lie and the so-called journalists more effectively.  We don't have to choose between the two.  Let's do both.

            •  In addition to that ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              asindc, bryduck

              If the press actually reported the facts, and called out the lies, you know, did their jobs, then there would be far fewer lies to deal with.

              They lie because they get away with it.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:30:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They lie because (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority, twigg, readerwriter

                they know they're on life support.  

                Readers don't pay for the astronomical costs of producing and sustaining a major news outlet. Advertisers and investors do. And the collapse of news organizations has been going on since long before the internet, or even the classroom computer, existed.

                Big media and big politics are a pair of oxen, driven by anyone rich enough to feed them and mean enough to keep them in line.

                They know it and we know it.  Which is why we need great messaging here, and on bumper stickers, and anywhere else there's a platform not yet occupied by wall street.

          •  If Dems don't "message" in a few hours, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            asindc, snazzzybird

            it's their own fault? Reporters have no obligation to look at the facts closely if one particular party doesn't get them the right spin before said reporters sip their morning coffee?

            That's absurd. And a very sad reflection on the state of journalism in this country.

            As I said below, Paul Ryan did it better today. And that's sad.

          •  Journalists have been trained not to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueMajority

            Or so I've been told by one who was so trained twenty years ago. Responsibility is to report what "he says" and what "she says", and to avoid any interpretation of which position has more merit - or no merit.

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:11:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I agree, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, offgrid, TheOpinionGuy, Miggles

    she wrote her tweet at 12:30 yesterday, after some of the inaccurate R and news reports about the CBO Report.

    As far as I know, no Dems were "splainin'" yet at that time.  She may have been commenting on Dems tendency to explain rather than go for the gut or that the right wing lie is just easier generally to express than the Dem. truth.

    Also -- in this case, the CBO did the Dems no favor by the way they expressed their result.

    In this (and many other cases) the lies were there right out of the gate -- not just from the right, but from the Chuck Todds.  The Dems don't have a comparable instant lie machine.

    Once a lie is out there, you have both tell the truth and rebut the lie.

    So here, I guess, Dems had to say -- "The GOP is lying.  The CBO says Obamacare will increase employment and cut the deficit."  I think a lot of them did.

  •  Excellent points. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority
  •  Other than (0+ / 0-)

    wishing for more Rachel, this diary is spot-on.
     

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:01:21 PM PST

  •  Obama cures cancer... (5+ / 0-)

    ...Foxnews - Obama increases risk of dying from non-cancer related causes.

    Obama invents the world's best chocolate...
    ...Foxnews - Obama creates shit-like substance.

    Obama saves a little girl from a burning building...
    ...Foxnews - Obama stands and watches a building burn.

    Don't no one disturb the peace for riot. Don't no one disrupt nirvana. Don't no one wanna blow the high.

    by Rich N Mdriems on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:07:12 PM PST

  •  You can be analytical AND passionate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hirodog, HeyMikey

    The "first step" towards stopping nonsense like Calmes' comment is to call it nonsense and/or worse.

    It's OK to say she's full of shit. It's OK to point and laugh at her. You SHOULD. Because by passively saying "if you're explainin' you're losin'" she contributes to the problem. She's the freakin' WH reporter for the freakin' NYT. If she doesn't correct BS, then she legitimizes it. If she passively comments on the BS, THEN SHE LEGITIMIZES IT. At the very VERY least, she legitimizes the notion that BS is OK if it works.

    SO yeah, she should be pointed at, and laughed at, and mocked, and cyber-spit upon by the filthy liberal bloggers of the world. Because when SHE tacitly endorses lying as a political strategy, there's even less of an incentive to get things right.

    What we CAN do, if have to make it more palatable, is be incredibly funny and snarky and damned entertaining while we do it. Humor is a form of passion; to expound more on it would make this less passionate and even farther from humorous than it already is. Suffice to say, there's a reason why Jon Stewart are two of the most trusted "reporters" in "news." And it's not their swarthy good looks. But to say "hey, Jackie's got a point guys" is just as ridiculous and insulting as Jackie herself going "Hey, the right's got a point guys." Don't, do not, excuse such behavior, for such behavior will always exist but the more we excuse it the more common it will become.

    You know you're winning a fight against a Republican when they stop mocking your position and start whining about your tone.

    by slappymagoo on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:11:28 PM PST

    •  actually, part of it IS their good looks... (0+ / 0-)

      neither one of them would have that job if they didn't look TVworthy

      that said, I'm not sure what you find insulting.

      I don't recall Jackie saying "the right's got a point."  Is that what she said?

      Blue Team resistance to simplifying our messaging is hurting us bad in major areas.  It has to change.  that is just a fact.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:16:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    n/t

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:13:02 PM PST

  •  Never apologize, never explain (4+ / 0-)

    An MBA student once told me that his professors taught: Never apologize, never explain.

  •  While the concept is generally true, (0+ / 0-)

    it's absurd in the context of this particular news item. In just a few hours of a government release, a reporter suggests that you're losing if you're explaining?

    Makes no sense. If she did her job and looked at the release more closely, she could have explained it to herself.

    Today, even Paul Ryan did a better job.

    •  if she did her job? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Denise Oliver Velez

      we have to stop expecting the press to do our messaging job.  why are we are still expecting that when they stopped doing it more than 20 years ago???

      her definition of "her job" is not what we think it is.  instead of complaining about that we have to counteract that.

      i guarantee you that purplevoters in swing states do not give a damn what Jackie Calmes says or doesn't say.  They don't know who she is and don't care who she is.

      when big news comes out it has to be released in memorable ways that favor us and highlight the facts.  We keep not doing that and getting upset when the press doesn't do it for us.

      the people we need to reach don;t get their news from Jackie Calmes or the NYT.

      on that point kos is absolutely right.  Why does she exist?  the sooner we realize we don;t need her (as Rs did quite a while ago) the better off we will be because then we will craft our messaging in a way that does not depend on the press!  that's what the RMNJs did and it worked for them.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:25:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant! (6+ / 0-)

    Basically, our problem is the exact opposite of the GOP's.

    They have the messaging, but the issues suck.

    We have the issues, but the messaging sucks.

    We may not have our own Luntz, but we do have the preponderance of talented and creative people on our side.  Shows like Law & Order, and of course Stewart/Colbert, have really helped our causes.  It also doesn't hurt that rock stars and movie stars routinely do videos, ads and appearances for us too.

    I totally agree.  It's very important to break things down into bite-size pieces.  I am an anomaly among my friends; I have a small group of politicos that I hang out with once in a while, but other than that all this stuff is over their heads.

    I actually have a decent-sized cadre of local friends that will literally ask me to sit with them and fill out their ballot (!)  This is because they know me and my views, and that I stay informed so they trust me.  But they all say they just don't have the time (voir interest) that I do to dig into all this stuff.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:32:39 PM PST

    •  yes yes yes yes yes (3+ / 0-)

      that is definitely the place where we have the advantage.

      the creative arts are a way to get to people without "explaining"

      Springsteen and Fallon singing that parody of Born to Run and having it watched by four million people is by far the most effective message out there about Christiegate.

      the song used the shorthand of emotional messages people were already familiar with and connected our political message to them.

      Bruce singing I gotta take a leak (twice) was infinitely more effective than explaining at length any number of dry facts about whose chief of staff sent what memo and who was appointed to the Port Authority and who worked for what law firm that recommended what consulting firm and bla bla bla.  From the moment that song went out, it became "Governor Chris Christie's Fort Lee New Jersey Traffic Jam" and Christie was emotionally and permanently linked to responsibility for it.  and there is NOTHING that CC or the Red Team can do to neutralize that message in people's minds.  

      Nothing!

      moar pls!!!

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:35:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A friend gets so upset at Obama because (3+ / 0-)

    "everything he says is a LIE."  When the ruckus started about keeping your insurance policy if you like it, he basically screamed through the email: LIAR!!  The CBO, according to him, is another bunch of LIARS!   This seems to me an elementary school mentality, but my friend is a college graduate and very smart in many ways.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:36:00 PM PST

    •  That's the power of messaging on the emotional (5+ / 0-)

      level; it's more subconscious, pre-empting rational thought processes.  Your friend's intelligence can't enter the equation because his emotional certainty has locked it out.  That emotional certainty of his needs to be attacked, & that can only be done in a confrontation with another person whose situation demonstrates the nature of the lies he chooses to embrace.

      It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

      by Leftcandid on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:54:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I may take some heat for this but.. (3+ / 0-)

    I agree that ‘Pub messaging (over the past 30 or so years) has overall been better and more visceral in comparison to the framing of many Democrats , however , in my opinion, the ‘job’ of the republicans is easier in a certain way.

    Most people are aware of the problems in their lives, but unfortunately it can be easier to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about potential solutions than to argue for them in the positive. That is it can be easier to tear down , than to build up. Many people fear the concept of change(progress) and revert to the “good old days” regardless of the many ways that we have progressed as a society over the years.

    I guess my main point is, I think an honest look at the tasks that face us as progressives (well most of “us” anyway) and an assessment of the scope the problem will be helpful. It’s not as easy as it might seem. I do think,however, that this diary does a good job of examining one slice of the problem.

    •  it is ALWAYS easier to tear down than build up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Denise Oliver Velez

      that's why Rs are more effective as an opposition party than a governing party.  all they know how to do is tear down.  they can't craft a coherent message about being FOR anything because you can't craft a positive message based on fear

      say again:  you can't craft a positive message based on fear

      plus Rs are not in agreement about what constitutes a positive message

      sad part is, neither are we.  the blue team is even more fragmented as to what constitutes a positive message.  

      but winning an election is usually more about don't vote for him than it is about vote for me, and right now we need to highlight the Republicon crazy.

      We have less than ten months.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:41:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Explaining+ (0+ / 0-)

    When explaining that the other side is lying, I think one should also point out that the other side is, in fact, a bunch of soulless, shameless liars.

    There's no need to pretend otherwise if it really is the case that they are lying, and I find that pointing that out tends to put them a bit more on the defensive.

    •  don't EXPLAIN that the other side is lying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      readerwriter

      again screenplay writing 101:  Show, don't tell.

      We're not writing a senior thesis where facts perfectly presented will get an A and a degree with honors.

      We are making a summer movie.

      How can we SHOW they are lying.  Visually, or with very very few words.  Or in a funny way, or with music.  In a right brain way that circumvents people's reluctance to "think things through".

      We are not "pretending otherwise."  We are not pretending they aren't lying.

      we need to use our creative advantage to point out the other side is wrong without EXPLAINING

      PBO is the first one who needs to learn this.  That;s why the "professorial" label sticks to him.  He's good at giving speeches and lectures but we have to reach the people who are really really angry about being forced to take his class.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:48:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  True? Maybe. Reflection of incompetence- OH YEA (0+ / 0-)

    Any truth in Jackie Calmes statement is a direct reflection of her (and other journalists) incompetence in their duty as journalists to inform their audience of the truth.
    If Democrats are "losing" by explaining the truth it's because "journalists" like Calmes have abdicated their responsibility towards journalism and cover Politics like it's a sporting event.

    The purpose of this article is good one - democrats must take responsibility for messaging, but lets have no illusions.
    what is referred to as "journalism" in the US today is at best a shoddy game of "he said, she said" and at worst right-wing propaganda  

  •  This ties right in with what I'm working on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheOpinionGuy, TrueBlueMajority

    I've been using the case of Chris Christie to tease out things like this. (The latest installment is here.)

    Several things intersect here: an ineffective press addicted to soundbites, narratives, false equivalencies, even courtiers, etc.

    A coordinated right wing messaging machine, pumping out the memes they want to reinforce 24/7, spinning like mad, and suppressing all mention of things they want people to remain ignorant of.

    An organized essentially authoritarian collection of high SDO leaders (TheoCons, PlutoCons, NeoCons, etc.) and a base of authoritarian followers. Plus followers who fall into authoritarian behavior patterns out of habit and a society that encourages them to do so.

    Bob Altemeyer has chapter and verse on them. Sara Robinson has a summary of what followers are like; here's a snippet that matches up with the problem you're talking about:

    Right-wing authoritarian followers prefer to see the world in stark black-and-white. They conform closely with the rules defined for them by their authorities, and do not stray far from their own communities. This extreme, unquestioning conformity makes them insular, fearful, hostile to new information, uncritical of received wisdom, and able to accept vast contradictions without perceiving the inherent hypocrisy.

    Conformity also feeds their sense of themselves as more moral and righteous than others -- a perception that's usually buttressed by the use of magical absolution techniques that they use to "evaporate guilt," in Dean's words. Because they confessed, or are saved, or were just following orders, they can commit heinous crimes and still retain a serene conscience and sense that they are "righteous people." On the other hand, when it comes to outsiders, there is no absolution. Their memory for even minor transgressions is nothing short of elephantine (as Bill Clinton knows all too well).

    These are not people you can easily reach with mere facts or logic - they are driven by belief, suspicious of 'others', and if you can't connect with them at a level they can feel in their guts, you'll never get their attention or allegiance.

    Conservatives are pre-disposed to authoritarianism by a world view that has more than a little paranoia in it.

    Liberals are more open to new facts, alternate views, and less likely to march in lock step.  These are traits that do not make communication and evangelism easy when reaching out to authoritarians - if anything, it makes them despised.

    I'm going to try to address this when I wrap up the series.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:31:46 PM PST

  •  Do short explanation coupled with a counterattack (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nominalize, TheOpinionGuy, johnj

    Example:

    No, the ACA doesn't cost two million jobs. It will let that many sick people, mostly in their early 60s who are dragging their sick bodies to work just to get health insurance, get a rest, still be covered, and free up their job slots for the unemployed. No jobs will be lost, and even Paul Ryan admitted that. But the Republicans would rather see those folks work themselves into a grave than admit that there's a problem, and their answer is to force everyone to pay more for health care.

    The important part is where you turn the tables.

  •  Didn't even say Lakoff once, I see, but you sure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, TrueBlueMajority

    summarized him well.  I dunno about this Calmes person, but your messaging point is spot-on & critically important.  Very well stated, TBM.  

    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:56:10 PM PST

  •  The attention span of the majority of voters (5+ / 0-)

    is almost gnat life.   It is more than KISS.   Catch prhrases
    that frames the narrative has to be so simplified to almost a soundbite.. This has been the president's misconception all along.. Thinking the republicans knew of what he was speaking so there fore there could be some agreement.  They don't have a F......clue.  He is very smart.

    Being really smart is good but when you as a person is the only one who gets it, well that leads to non starters, no completetion and chaos in some instances.     The Affordable Care Act was so ill explained and misunderstood, it was like it was so complicated anything could have been said about it and it would have been believed.  Throw in a mistake or two and the complication overwhelmed our dumbed down electorate.

    I have never seen memories so short and people so far behind in grown up matters that it is no wonder we are going backwards.  When a vice presidential candidate cannot name one newspaper read, and thousands gobble up her advice.. what does that say?   The ACA was not more complicated than the Patriot Act but the right acted like it was as TBM said, it soothed the fear so it was OK no matter what was in the act.   They framed it around fear.

    Oh yeah...Great Diary and so well delivered.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:59:48 PM PST

    •  You always make great points Vetwife (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, HeyMikey, Vetwife

      What always comes to mind for me on that issue is people who work 10 hours a day and raise kids , I am not suggesting you do not know this either

      When I was more involved in the rat race , I had to rely on people I trusted to inform me of who to vote for or what was even going on , we can all relate to information over load , just from living sometimes  

      And that fact really sends home the point of the diary of course

      Watching Obama get off message while being in reactionary mode has been painful , when the IRS BS scandal broke , he came out condemning it , and I was sitting there thinking this will all be exposed as BS in 2 weeks , dems give that stuff traction by acknowledging it before all the facts are in , I am just a country man and could see that one coming , someone is getting paid a lot to stop such foul balls , lets hope they fix that and get on message

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:40:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I stumbled upon this idea as a medical resident. (5+ / 0-)

    I was fresh out of medical school and full of complicated scientific information that I was interested in and would overwhelm patients in an effort to provide "patient education."

    At the same time I was learning Spanish and my vocabulary in this new language was barely at an elementary school level.

    When I communicated in Spanish, I had to push all my complex med school knowledge through the filter of my limited Spanish vocabulary and what I said was Hemingwayesque - edited down to only what was true. As a result it was better matched to patients' educational needs.

    When I would switch back to English, my "patient education" was significantly simpler and clearer, and yet still true.

    "You don't have to be smart to laugh at fart jokes, but you have to be stupid not to." - Louis CK

    by New Jersey Boy on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:01:15 PM PST

  •  Please excuse the grammer ..you as a person (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, TrueBlueMajority, johnj

    ARE.. not is.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:01:19 PM PST

  •  You know who is partially good at this ? (4+ / 0-)

    IMO Sen. Elizabeth Warren , have her set her " explaining" aside , which she does on her own quite well , and her messaging cuts like a razor sword , I have been advocating that dems should hire her for their messaging , or as a message writer , but if dems can not follow thru with what they speak of , as the Diarist points out , then please to not even bother mr and ms politician

    But I am speaking from a LEFT point of view of course , a focus group may not agree with that

    And while he has a few flaws . which I do not mind ,   Howard Dean is great at making a point quick

    Maybe we can rally and help make something like this happen from here ?

    I think it would be fun to start a " messaging group " here , ( or what have you ) and just send "suggested messaging" out to dems and the party  

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:21:32 PM PST

  •  creating the frame (4+ / 0-)

    thank you for this diary, giving good coverage of an important issue.  Framing is a major part of spreading progressive morals, which is my interest.  Below are a few questions; because, I work in a poor neighborhood, and see these communication problems all the time.

    *  Do political progressives assume that they will alienate their base, if they dumb down the rhetoric?  This is a big mistake in my experience.

    * The GOP War on Education has left educated progressives with little choice but to acknowledge the lowered education levels in the USA.   These less educated people are most often sharp, smart and kind.  They often ask me, "why does this anti-ACA ad feel wrong?  And, how can I answer the freaked out responses?"

    *  Lastly, I am cautious about:

    It's easiest to take advantage of people's existing emotional frames and attach our message to them.
    To use a conservative frame, may not be wise.  Maybe I am just less skilled at this; but using their frame, has not worked for me.

    Thanks a lot!  Good diary.

  •  I was able to explain Obamacare at a stoplight. (5+ / 0-)

    Dude in a truck asked about my "I <3 Obamacare" sticker - in a querying tone rather than belligerent, thank goodness.

    What I said was "It means poor people can't be shut out of health insurance now for a bunch of bad reasons - and they can afford to take their kids to the doctor instead of running up a big Emergency Room bill for everybody else to pay!"

    That did it - he seemed genuinely interested as we drove off.

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:36:22 PM PST

    •  the emergency room argument works really well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, readerwriter

      here's my three word capture:

      "Obamacare saves money"

      the capture is just to jolt people out of their expected place.

      I follow that with

      "Obamacare saves YOU money"

      people always ask--wait, how does it save ME money?

      and then I say--when poor folks get "free care" at emergency rooms we all pay for it--the cost is passed to the rest of us

      but now more poor folks are buying health insurance (I always say ARE BUYING rather than more of them HAVE health insurance because the latter makes it sound like Obama GAVE them government healthcare) so emergency room costs are going down

      Obamacare saves money.  Obamacare saves you money.  Obamacare saves everyone money.

      Saving money is a positive frame that people connect to without explanation.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:09:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant! n/t (2+ / 0-)

    If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

    by nancyjones on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:07:38 PM PST

  •  This should be required reading (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, TrueBlueMajority, Sura 109

    for every Democrat and Democratic action group- and every Liberal and NDP group in Canada as well. Today, if you can't explain it in once sentence, you have lost 80% of your audience.

    “That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything.”
    ― Noam Chomsky

    Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects. Lester B. Pearson

    by TwoSolitudes on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:15:20 PM PST

  •  Right on! (3+ / 0-)

    Time is also of the essence.  We need to be first out of the gate with our story and not second or third in line after the GOP has already set the frame.  

    You did a great job explaining this key point about our messaging.  Jackie Calmes was not mistaken.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:21:40 PM PST

  •  Three Words: Freedom to Quit; Freedom to Retire; (3+ / 0-)

    Insured for Life; You Own It

    More Than Three Words: You Can Take It With You

  •  Free From Bad Jobs -- Current headline at TPM (0+ / 0-)

    That's catchy.

  •  Free the job creators! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    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 Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:09:29 PM PST

  •  I agree with the sentiment, but the context is off (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats can't get blunt and emotional on the ACA because it's a betrayal of our Democratic core values.

    "High quality public healthcare for All Americans!" that's our emotional wheelhouse, and we delivered "mandated shopping for private health insurance."

    It's like Republicans adopting "healthy and rare abortion" per woman's choice. Is it sensible? Is it a compromise? Yup, but it requires explanation because it runs counter to traditional Republican values, rhetoric and policy.

    You don't have to explain things that are in character - Republicans don't ever explain screwing kids out of free lunches because that is their nature.

    If the ACA had even a public option this kind of explaining would not have to happen because we could point directly to an aspect of the program that fit our values and beat the drum:

    "You know, Tweety, the Public Option is what we really wanted to get passed, and we just could not get the other side of the aisle to hop on board with that. So we did the next best thing, we took out the fraud and abuse for the market and made them compete with public health care."

    "Well of course insurance companies don't want public health care. Private health care insurance companies are afraid to compete with public health care."

    Instead we have to answer how $1000 per month with a $6000 deductible is "affordable insurance" and how if we roll the hard 6 in enough states we'll get "single payer".

    The reason that Democrats have lost for 30 years, even while winning elections is because their rhetoric and policy does not fit their values, and that disconnect requires explaining.

    "In 21st century America, healthcare should be a human right, and that's why I'm proud we delivered fought for the Public Option. Healthcare for profit is extortion - they don't call it "Insurance" for nothin'."

    Nice piece, trublue...

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:50:20 PM PST

    •  "public option" needed too much explaining (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, readerwriter

      "Medicare for all" was our chance and we missed it

      but I think it will come around again

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:12:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely agree. (0+ / 0-)

        That was the objective, the Public Option was the rally point.

        ACA was a retreat, IMO, and as a retreat it must be explained, well, unless you're a democrat, and then you champion it as a strategic and well fought victory and wonder why your fancy rhetoric and "facts" isn't working.

        heh, ain't that a bitch...

        Medicare for All was a great line, but Medicare is the problem, don't you know: 20.5m hits (google search link).

        I would really have liked to have seen a battle on the public v private lines, like Medicare for All would provoke - I'm down on that one - but would also have liked to hear about the health of Americans in our national debate about health care.

        Medicare for All would have kept the discussion in money terms because of that link above - transactional language - dollars cents, bottom line, co-pays, premiums, out of pocket costs, cost pools, risk pools, ROI, tax incentives, mandates, tax rebates, subsidies, debt, marketplace, shop, insurance - and I'm sure I could pull a few more...

        No discussion of health in our healthcare debate. No discussion of care either. The market, on the other hand, it gets the health and wellbeing treatment. Insurance markets? They're sick. Hemorrhaging. Labor markets? Anemic. Got his pulse on the market... Hard pill to swallow... a bitter pill... vibrant... breathe life into... on life support... markets are upset...

        Markets get sick. They hemorrhage. They are anemic. They have a pulse. Markets swallow pills, both bitter and hard, they take their medicine, they are healthy, vibrant, hungry, they get upset, nervous, they tremble...

        I think Progressives and Liberals should speak about our society in terms of health and well being. I think those are the frames that change our society.

        I think I might have to go read some great historical oratory... love that the Cross of Gold speech didn't talk about money at all.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:03:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think you're kinda missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think the point was about whether what she said was true or not.  I think the point was that the media should be explainin' things.  Instead, the media does far too much "reporting" of who seems to be winning in the arena of public perception (and that tweet is a perfect example!)

    •  Complaining about the media not doing their job (3+ / 0-)

      won't fix this.  Connecting with voters at a more direct, emotional level will.  Look at how disciplined GOP politicians are.  No matter what question they are asked, they respond with the same talking points and don't budge.  The GOP (even the crazies like Bachmann) understand that the point of an interview is to deliver talking points to the audience -- and not answer questions posed by reporters.  Our side needs to wake up and do the same.

    •  we must LET GO of that complaint (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, readerwriter

      i agree with you that the media SHOULD be explaining things.

      but they AREN'T

      and we can't force them to.

      are we going to complain about that for another 20 years, or are we going to get busy crafting creative, funny, musical messages with emotional resonance, as only the Blue team can?

      a message that will spread itself without Jackie Calmes or her ilk

      a better way to look at it is this:

      even if Jackie Calmes WERE on our side and "doing her job" of explaining, that might not help us because the people we need to reach don't listen to her anyway!

      We don't need her.  the other side doesn't need her.  as kos says, why does she even exist?

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:22:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is a false choice. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EagleOfFreedom

        We don't have to abandon criticism of the media in order to sharpen up our messaging.  I'm sure kos is all for "crafting creative, funny, musical messages with emotional resonance."  

        •  i'm sure he is for it also (0+ / 0-)

          never said he wasn't.

          We don't have to abandon criticism of the media in order to sharpen up our messaging.

          we could do both of them.

          but right now we are doing more of one (complaining that the media is not on our side) than the other

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:06:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We can do both... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    readerwriter

    A lot of the skeptics I see replying here seem to think that if we come up with more emotional catch-phrases, we'll turn into a bunch of idiots. This isn't an all-or-none game. We can do both.

    What I'd like to see are more concrete ideas. Here's one:

    YOU are the Government.

    Freedom isn't free. That's why we pay taxes.

    by walk2live on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:18:35 PM PST

  •  Five seconds versus five minutes (0+ / 0-)

    It takes five seconds to throw up a specious argument, and five minutes to refute it.  Creationists, talk radio bloviators and other liars know this and take advantage of it; idiots think that if you have to spend five minutes explaining, you must be full of crap.

    See also:  Gish gallop.

    Bello ne credite, Americani; quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:27:04 PM PST

  •  the 'ol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denise Oliver Velez

    “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” ― Mark Twain

    “There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”-Freya Stark

    by in2mixin on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:00:44 AM PST

  •  Sad that this framing lecture or one like it (0+ / 0-)

    has been repeated every few weeks or months for the last fifteen or more years, and for some reason The Blue Team, as you call it, never learns.

    Why would that be?

    Is The Blue Team really so emotionally ignorant so consistently?

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:22:25 AM PST

  •  These are trial lawyer basics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    readerwriter

    Every rookie trial lawyer learns the hard way that trial isn't about the Truth at all. It's about theater. If the other lawyer has cuter witnesses or (failing that) cool colorful charts and you're writing on a fucking blackboard, it's gonna be Slickers 21, Truth 0.

    People seem offended by this notion, but the fact is that the left has done best when we put on a good show, such as in the Sixties, when we had all the best music and the best costumes and basically had people thinking that Republicans were a bunch of stodgy warmongering old white guys in suits and Democrats wore paint and buckskins and got laid.

  •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    readerwriter

    So much for this diary, I can't express the world this has opened up for me personally. Well No out loud here anyway!

    I passed by this one not knowing the pricelessness of it's content!

    My gratitude, TrueblueMajority!

  •  Vitally important diary! (0+ / 0-)

    Please keep talking about this, urging all of us onward with this.  We need our own think tank to come up with these ideas and hand out marching orders to the rest of us.  I know we hate "talking points", but note how successful it has been for the GOP since they began doing it in the 90's.

    Sometimes it's just a matter of changing a word.  Gun safety rather than gun control.  Safety resonates.  Control raises the hackles.

    They are starting to run the same kinds of ads that defeated Hillary's health care push, with sad individuals who look like "you" and tell their sad tales of woe about Obamacare.  Sure, the facts are baloney.  Doesn't matter.  The emotional message gets there.  We need our own emotional messages on the air NOW!

    Both PBO and Hillary appeal to our rational, intelligent, pragmatic selves. And they are who I want for president. People like Biden and the Big Dog are emotional creatures. Thank heavens.  Let's not decry these emotional appeals, let's jump on board for the good of the country.

    "Each One Teach One" - African proverb, author unknown

    by readerwriter on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:56:03 AM PST

  •  I remember the first time I watched Colbert. (0+ / 0-)

    I got angry at him. I didn't see the sarcasm or the joke and thought he was somehow serious.

    I'm so glad I watched him again!

    And I have to agree 100%. We have to make emotional pleas and we have to share stories that really hit people in the heart. That's the way to get facts out there is via real people.

  •  It doesn't take a rocket scientist (0+ / 0-)

    to figure out the rw spin machine. They drive the narrative, we get in the car and think we can change the direction. Sadly, it hasn't happened yet.

    I believe this latest was simply to change the narrative away from the shrinking of the deficit and we obliged.

  •  We have to accept that sometimes, (0+ / 0-)

    some people will no hear of anything we say, no matter how we frame it, no matter how much emotional sauce we put on it, will not hear us out, even if what we say is backed up by reality.

    Prime example is libertarians who spend gobs of time on message boards. In one that I'm in (and moderate) we constantly see progressive beliefs parodied by them as "because . . . feelings". In their world it's us liberals who have no first principles, thus what we believe isn't grounded in logic, thus it's all about our feelings. And if we liberals honestly thought about certain things, we wouldn't be liberals (yes, that was one guy's exact words).

    Case in point: a couple of months ago when Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill that would ban employers from using credit checks (with some exceptions), the resident libertarians said "A private company's hiring practices are none of your business. Mind your own business!" Then proceeded to say "Credit checks hurt your feelings so you want to make them illegal".

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:20:25 PM PST

  •  Think midwestern (0+ / 0-)

    When I moved here people seemed to talk so slowly, and they had such long pauses in their conversations, that I had to adjust. I was used to New Yorkers, all talking at once, carrying on several conversations and topics at once, and going very fast.

    Can't tell you how many times I heard "slow down!" and was told I interrupted too much. They were insulted because they thought I was being very rude. I was very  bored, and kept thinking they were done talking when they were gathering their thoughts. Also was told to use smaller words, because they had no clue what I was saying.

    In turn, I thought they were rude because they kept bringing up religion, which to me was like bring up your sex life in graphic detail. Well, even worse than that. You just didn't talk about it where I grew up, unless it was someone in the church/temple/whatever with you.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:17:26 AM PST

  •  You called Jackie a "messenger" and therein... (0+ / 0-)

    lies the problem. Jackie, along with media figures such as Chuck Todd, Chris Cillizza and Judith Miller of the NYT, aren't supposed to be "messengers," i.e., hired simply to transmit the message of the partisan organization to which they are talking at the time. They are supposedly reporters or journalists. They are hired supposedly to give us accurate information, root out the truth, ask the tough questions, call out untruths, and not give false equivalence to truth and lies. If they don't do that, what do we need them for? Stenographers can be hired much cheaper, or better yet, we can go directly to the partisan organizations' websites for their messages.

    The rest of what you say about Democratic v. Republican framing is true and largely has been taught by George Lakoff. Hopefully more people will read his materials, such as "Don't Think of an Elephant!" as these writings are very useful. At Messaging Matters, we likewise try to point out good and bad examples of messaging and framing in order for folks hopefully to sharpen their skills: http://messagingmatters.com/

    •  they aren't "supposed" to be messengers... (0+ / 0-)

      but they ARE.  And they have been for quite a while.

      how long are we going to sit around complaining about the fact that journalists don't fact check the news anymore?

      instead we should put that effort into crafting alternative and subversive messages that will go around their filters and reach people directly, especially using comedy and music, the two areas where the Blue Team has the greatest advantage over the Red Team.

      And yes, the other ideas are pretty much straight Lakoff.  Everyone who has not read "Don't Think of an Elephant" should do so.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:17:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We do it on the Turn Up the Night Show (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        The efforts you mention are crucial, and we should be doing that here on Daily Kos and elsewhere. On our Turn Up show, for example, we mix comedy and music with politics to craft messages that are hopefully effective and entertaining. Check it out Tuesdays & Fridays 4-7 pm PT: http://www.spreecast.com/...

        •  hey, perfect timing (0+ / 0-)

          i read this comment on a Tuesday evening at 4:00 pm!

          I've got the TuneIn app so I'm listening on Talk Radio One right now :-D

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 04:06:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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