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KCTitus
03-18-2005, 08:44 AM
Found this article interesting...

Their Non-Reality Reality
Understanding the Democrats.
By Jonah Goldberg


The most popular political guru among Democrats today is a guy named George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at Berkeley. Marc Cooper, a contributing editor to The Nation, describes Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, as a “feel-good self-help book for a stratum of despairing liberals who just can’t believe how their commonsense message has been misunderstood by the eternally deceived masses.”


Apparently this stratum includes Howard Dean, the new head of the Democratic party, who calls Lakoff “one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement.” His book was distributed to hundreds of Democratic congressmen.

Lakoff’s argument boils down to this: Facts do not matter. “People think in frames,” he writes. “If the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts bounce off.”

By frames, he means ideological blinders or emotional categories or familial roles. Or something. Whatever they are, Lakoff believes that Democrats need to change their language to appeal by exploiting “frames,” not dealing with facts. Much of his analysis stems from his belief that pretty much all conservatives act in bad faith. Conservatives, for example, “are not really pro-life.” No, conservatives see things through the “strict father” frame. Hence, “Pregnant teenagers have violated the commandments of the strict father. Career women challenge the power and authority of the strict father,” and therefore, he writes, “Both should be punished by bearing the child.”

Liberals can succeed not by changing their views, but by changing their words. This should be obvious, since reality doesn’t really matter anyway. All Democrats have to do is successfully change the name for trial lawyers to “public-protection attorneys” and re-label “environmental protection,” as an effort to maintain “poison-free communities.”


FDR, GANNON & LIBERAL MYTHOLOGY
Meanwhile, Democrats have taken the position that Social Security needs no reform whatsoever. Now, before the good-government liberal types scream at me that I’m being unfair, let me add that I understand this is mostly a tactical posture on the Democrats’ part. But in politics, tactics and principles are often confused for each other and for good reason. And that Democrats are acting like they think Social Security is just plain hunky-dory. That’s not my interpretation but James Carville’s, Stanley Greenberg’s, and Harold Ickes’s.

No remotely serious observer of reality believes that Social Security is just fine.

But what concerns liberals more is the supposedly outrageous contention that FDR might have supported private accounts. A quote from FDR offered by Brit Hume and others suggested that this might be the case, and the bloggers as well as Ellen Goodman, Jonathan Alter, and countless others went batty at the very idea.

Now, it’s fair game to object to what you consider misleading quotations read out of context. But the passion of these objections — even after you discount the rabid and irrational Brit Hume hatred — reveals how stuck in the past many liberals are. Conservatives were wrong about the quote, but they were right for thinking respect for FDR’s spirit is what motivates many liberals. But the thing is, who cares if FDR would have supported privatization or not? FDR was a brilliant politician, but very few historians believe he was a particularly brilliant policy maven. He liked to play with his stamp collection in his free time, not master actuarial arcana. The only thing we know for sure that FDR really favored was “bold experimentation,” which is the one thing these same Democrats adamantly oppose.

Meanwhile, Teresa Heinz Kerry thinks the election was “hacked.” Expanding on that theme, Juliet Schor of Boston College wrote in The Nation that Kerry lost the election because of strategic “software breakdowns” and selectively missing voting machines in Democratic precincts. “No amount of cultural repositioning will cure this problem,” she writes and which Cooper, in his excellent Atlantic essay, translates as liberals saying there’s “no need for us to change. The blame is all external.”

Another writer for the same issue of The Nation, a sociologist from NYU argues that liberals can only choose between living “two nightmares.” Nightmare #1: Sixty million Americans “knowingly” ratified Bush’s “right-wing ideology.” Or, nightmare #2: “We have just witnessed a second successive nonviolent coup d’état — a massive voter fraud that produced, among other anomalies, a gap between exit polls and paperless electronic voting tallies.” Oh, and this guy also thinks we shouldn’t discount the possibility we’re in analogous situation to 1930s Germany.

In (slightly) swampier waters, we hear that Jeff Gannon is the second gunman from every painful reality the Left has had a hard time accepting, including the Florida recount and Dan Rather’s downfall. One fellow took the time to pretend he was Gannon in order to send me an e-mail from Annoy.com. When you go to the site, you find a picture of Karl Rove’s head on a buff nude dude’s body with some even more pornographic text about the perfidy of various right-wing “whores.”

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CHAIT
And at organs that pride themselves on their immunity to feverish impulses, we find instead a haughtiness not often seen outside 17th-century Versailles. Jonathan Chait of The New Republic imagines a hypothetical in which God descends to Earth for the purpose of “settling, once and for all, our disputes over economic policy.” If the Almighty declared conservative empirical claims were correct, the liberals, he writes, would respond:

[no] doubt by rethinking and abandoning nearly all their long-held positions. Liberalism, after all, claims to produce certain outcomes: more prosperity and security, especially for the poor and middle classes; a cleaner environment; safer foods and drugs; and so on. If it were proved beyond a doubt that liberal policies fail to produce those outcomes — or even, as conservatives often claim, that such policies hurt their intended beneficiaries — then their rationale would disappear.

But how would conservatives react if God affirmed liberal economic precepts?

Well, most of us would tell the Big Guy Upstairs to butt out, we know what we’re talking about and He doesn’t. Why, because “Economic conservatism, unlike liberalism, would survive having all its empirical underpinnings knocked out from beneath it,” since liberals are — get this — “fact finders.”

Forgetting all of the profound theological and psychological insults packed into this bizarre hypothetical, what on earth is Chait talking about? He goes on and on about how conservative economists are lacking in respect for empirical data and fact-finding while liberals are the Joe Fridays of economics. I worked in and around the American Enterprise Institute for quite a while. AEI remains the central hive of the sorts of economists Chait despises. I can tell you here and now that most of these guys spent their time talking endlessly about data, “random walks” in the data, the need for more data, the problems with data, and the reliability of that data. You’d think in the comfort of AEI, a few would have dropped the act and I would have heard a few of them say, “Who cares what the data says?” You’d think fewer free-market economists would receive Nobel Prizes since they don’t hand such things out for ideological polemic writing.

Chait’s theory boils down to a very shabby accusation of bad faith. When conservatives are right about reality, it’s by accident. It’s not that “conservatives don't believe their own empirical arguments,” Chait concedes. And it’s not “that ideologically driven thinking can't lead to empirically sound outcomes. In many cases — conservative opposition to tariffs, price controls, and farm subsidies — it does.” But the simple fact is that when it comes to conservatives, “empirical reasoning simply does not drive their thinking. What appears to be conservative economic reasoning is actually a kind of backward reasoning. It begins with the conclusion and marches back through the premises.”

“Liberalism,” Chait lectures, “is a more deeply pragmatic governing philosophy — more open to change, more receptive to empiricism, and ultimately better at producing policies that improve the human condition — than conservatism.”

And this is true not just of economics but everything. For example, Clinton was a great Pragmatist who “recognized the failure of welfare, previously a cherished liberal goal, to accomplish its stated purpose, and he enacted a sweeping overhaul.”

And here we can see the great flaw in Chait’s wishful thinking about liberal realism. Clinton agreed to welfare reform — over the objections of most liberals, including his own wife — because the Republicans forced him to and he’d have lost the 1996 election if he didn’t. That was the beginning and the ending of Bill Clinton’s fact-finding. The New York Times's editorial page — a better representative of elite liberalism’s worldview than The New Republic, alas — called welfare reform “atrocious” and an outrage. “This is not reform, it is punishment” they declared.

Last summer, the Times reported that welfare reform was one of the “acclaimed successes of the past decade” and its renewal is a “no-brainer.” Chait would no doubt salute the newspaper for its empiricism. But how would we have known they were empiricists in 1996? Real empiricists express skepticism toward their own predictions, not moral outrage and — often — charges of racism at those who doubt them.

Indeed, that’s the story writ small of liberalism’s alleged acceptance of “new realities.” It’s not that liberals have maturely adapted to new data, it’s that they’ve been proven wrong so often — either empirically or at the polls — that they’ve had to change, and each time they do it, it’s not with the empiricist’s joy of learning new things, it’s with grumbling through gnashed teeth and amidst much caterwauling about liberal “sellouts” and political opportunism. For more than three decades, liberals swore there was no evidence that there was anything wrong with welfare reform until even the public knew they were lying.

Chait’s version of liberals cheerfully accepting that they were wrong after decades of white-knuckled denial reminds me of that scene from Fletch where Chevy Chase is chatting up the doctor about an alleged mutual friend who died:

Doctor: You know, it's a shame about Ed.

Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.

Doctor: He was dying for years.

Fletch: Sure, but... the end was very…very sudden.

Doctor: He was in intensive care for eight weeks.

Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he died. That was extremely sudden.



Lastly there’s Chait’s solipsism. His version of reality cannot explain liberals who disagree with him. Are liberals who oppose free trade simply morons who can’t do the math? Was Hillary Clinton less of a liberal because she opposed welfare reform? What about Marian Wright Edelman? Are the Europeans who’ve refused to recognize that the economic rot of their welfare states really conservatives because they can’t face facts? Are liberals in America who envy Europe’s economic model incapable of recognizing its flaws? How does Chait explain anybody to his left — either ideologically or simply in the next office over from him — who disagrees with him? If liberals always go where the facts take them — you in the back, stop laughing — how is it that liberals ever disagree? He might say that only conservatives operate in ideologically blinkered bad faith and God-defying false-consciousness. But I think the real answer is that in Chait’s formulation the facts can only be what he finds them to be. And one senses that he really thinks God should come down and tell everyone that’s the case.

Now, I like Chait and I think he’s a smart guy. But I can only read all of this as the sort of defensive crouch one finds among the smarter campus activists who decide to hide underneath the cafeteria table while the sophomoric would-be revolutionaries tear the place apart. One can almost see Chait, Rain Man-like in a fetal position muttering, “The facts are on my side, the facts are on my side.”

On almost every significant area of public policy the Democrats are atrophied, rusty, and calcified. They're dependent upon old (condescending) notions about blacks, the patronage of teacher’s unions which care very little for the facts, and feminists who define liberation almost exclusively as the freedom to abort pregnancies despite all of the new, inconvenient facts science is bringing to bear. Liberals are not the “reality-based community,” they are the status-quo based community. They wish to stand athwart history yelling "Stop" — in some rare cases, even when history is advancing liberalism in tyrannical lands. The Buckleyite formulation of standing athwart history yelling "Stop" was aimed at a world where the rise of Communism abroad and soft-liberalism at home were seen as linked trends. Today, liberals yell "Stop" almost entirely because they don’t enjoy being in the backseat. If they cannot drive, no one can.

And — where was I going with this again? Oh yeah — I think this petulance explains the liberal obsession with the phrase “reality-based community.” It’s a form of transference or projection or whatever they call it. We can’t stand the new reality, so we’re going to insist that those who recognize it are the ones in denial.

http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200503170751.asp

HC_Chief
03-18-2005, 09:30 AM
hehe, what a shocker... most of the prominent libbies suffer from delusional psychosis. Wow. Never saw it. :D

Garcia Bronco
03-18-2005, 09:59 AM
as a “feel-good self-help book for a stratum of despairing liberals who just can’t believe how their commonsense message has been misunderstood by the eternally deceived masses.”


LOL..."commonsense".....

Your own perception can kill you.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 10:43 AM
Lakoff & the Democrats are late to the framing-over-facts game. The Republicans have quite a head start in this game.

His analysis is totally accurate, however.

No matter which side of the aisle you are on, you can find numerous examples within the other party proving exactly what Lakoff is saying.

Hell, it happens here constantly.

Though, I'm sure no one is willing to own up to members of their own party/ideology being guilty of this kind of thing.... regardless of the facts.


.... oh, wait.

KCTitus
03-18-2005, 10:48 AM
Lakoff & the Democrats are late to the framing-over-facts game. The Republicans have quite a head start in this game.

His analysis is totally accurate, however.

No matter which side of the aisle you are on, you can find numerous examples within the other party proving exactly what Lakoff is saying.

Hell, it happens here constantly.

Though, I'm sure no one is willing to own up to members of their own party/ideology being guilty of this kind of thing.... regardless of the facts.


.... oh, wait.

It helps if you read the piece...oh well.

NewChief
03-18-2005, 10:48 AM
Not a bad read. I think it's laughable that he acts like the liberals are the only ones playing the framing the argument game. It is a conscious, documented strategy of conservatives. This segues nicely into an article I read yesterday about how scarily on-message young conservatives are. Here's an excerpt.


We’d just returned from the first College Republicans meeting of the semester. The Northwestern group is a branch of the College Republican National Committee, whose membership has more than tripled in the past six years. On the surface, it had looked like any other gathering of college kids: about a dozen students sitting around a classroom, sipping Diet Coke and munching on Papa John’s pizza. But as the group started discussing its agenda, I realized I was witnessing something extraordinary. If you’ve ever wondered where the legions of conservative pundits are trained and schooled, where the talk-radio hosts and cable news guests and best-selling authors of jeremiads with inflammatory titles come from, it all starts here, in little classrooms like this one. These humble gatherings, full of kids in Greek-lettered T-shirts and sweats, are the incubator for the future of the right wing.

What the entire meeting would boil down to was message discipline. College Republican President Henry Bowles III, a junior whose vintage T-shirt and carefully tousled hair made him look like the lead singer of an indie-rock band, got things started. He told the group that for the duration of the semester, each session would start with a presentation on some important issue. This week Ben Snyder, a member of Students for Life, would give a PowerPoint presentation about the upcoming Supreme Court battles titled “Us vs. Them.” And next week, said Henry, someone would be talking about the flat tax.

“Fair tax. It’s fair tax now,” said a guy in the front row wearing a Zeppelin T-shirt.

“Right,” said Henry. “Fair tax. That’s the euphemism.”

A little later, as Ben discussed the impending battle over Supreme Court nominees, he mentioned the possibility that Senate Republicans would rewrite filibuster rules so Democrats couldn’t filibuster judicial nominees. This strategy is often called the “nuclear option” because it could provoke a war between the two parties, but has, Ben told the group, “now been renamed the constitutional option.”

Guy was the most vocal person in the room, gently correcting his comrades’ facts and terminology, offering up tidbits and arguments that others might want to employ when arguing with liberals. It was clear that he’d done his homework. When Ben talked about renaming the nuclear/constitutional option, Guy raised his hand and provided some background. While liberals express outrage at the thought of amending Senate rules, he said, the practice of filibustering nominees “is at the very least extraconstitutional, perhaps unconstitutional.” Everyone in the room listened intently. In fact, he went on, during the Constitutional Convention no less a figure than James Madison had taken the president’s power to appoint his cabinet to be so strong he proposed that a two-thirds majority be required to vote down a nominee. “So,” he concluded, “I think that’s an interesting tool to use when you’re debating this issue with people.” The other kids nodded, looking serious.

I graduated from college four years ago, and I happen to have spent a good percentage of my time as an undergraduate talking about politics – in my case, sweatshop labor and other lefty causes – with my activist friends. With the possible exception of a few mild admonitions for language that wasn’t sufficiently PC, I never saw anyone interrupt anyone for slipping off message. I was also surprised to see the Republican kids collectively generating arguments to use when fighting with liberals, sharpening their talking points, and preparing for battle. My fellow liberals and I didn’t see ourselves as engaged in a war of ideas. We probably didn’t even realize there were any conservatives around to fight with.


Entire article is here. (http://campusprogress.org/features/161/guy-benson-the-message-machine)

It's a pretty entertaining read.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 10:56 AM
It helps if you read the piece...oh well.
I read the first 1/3 of the article. And posted my post.

I've since skimmed the rest of the article and see nothing anywhere to prompt your post. What did I miss exactly?

KCTitus
03-18-2005, 11:01 AM
Not a bad read. I think it's laughable that he acts like the liberals are the only ones playing the framing the argument game. It is a conscious, documented strategy of conservatives. This segues nicely into an article I read yesterday about how scarily on-message young conservatives are. Here's an excerpt.



Entire article is here. (http://campusprogress.org/features/161/guy-benson-the-message-machine)

It's a pretty entertaining read.

Actually, Im encouraged the republicans are starting to catch on to the 'game' as it were. Only took them a decade to figure that out. Im reminded of the years I had to listen to the framed argument with regard to 'draconian cuts' in budget X...when in reality they were smaller than budgeted increases.

NewChief
03-18-2005, 11:01 AM
I've now reread the entirety of the piece. It just strikes me as more smug condescension from the right. "Ho ho! Look at us now. We're on a roll and you misguided liberals are so out of touch with reality. Ho ho ho!"

I suppose I agree with the author's rebuttal of Chait, but I don't agree with the author painting all liberals with the same brush.

NewChief
03-18-2005, 11:03 AM
Actually, Im encouraged the republicans are starting to catch on to the 'game' as it were. Only took them a decade to figure that out. Im reminded of the years I had to listen to the framed argument with regard to 'draconian cuts' in budget X...when in reality they were smaller than budgeted increases.

I think that Republicans have down far more than "catch on" to the game. They're dominating the game. The years of think tanking and slowly letting their ideology seep into all facets of American culture has paid off handsomely.

KCTitus
03-18-2005, 11:07 AM
I've now reread the entirety of the piece. It just strikes me as more smug condescension from the right. "Ho ho! Look at us now. We're on a roll and you misguided liberals are so out of touch with reality. Ho ho ho!"

I guess you could call it condenscension, but I see it as nothing more than identifying the liberals are missing the piont. They dont think their message is wrong, just the words they use.

KCTitus
03-18-2005, 11:10 AM
I think that Republicans have down far more than "catch on" to the game. They're dominating the game. The years of think tanking and slowly letting their ideology seep into all facets of American culture has paid off handsomely.

Possibly...that 'ideology seep' you refer to, IMO, is nothing more than putting new ideas into practice and moving away from the status quo.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 11:14 AM
I guess you could call it condenscension, but I see it as nothing more than identifying the liberals are missing the piont. They dont think their message is wrong, just the words they use.
The Democrats "message" isn't anymore "wrong" than the Republicans. To dismiss the value of Framing in the reception of one message and the rejection of another is quite nieve.

Your dismissal of this is evidence that Lakoff is right.

NewChief
03-18-2005, 11:14 AM
I guess you could call it condenscension, but I see it as nothing more than identifying the liberals are missing the piont. They dont think their message is wrong, just the words they use.

Oh, I think it's more about not really having much of a unified message at all. Liberals are so all over the place, it's ridiculous. There's also the problem with rampant hypocrisy and double-dealing among the DNC leadership, so that they claim to stand for the "pure" ideas (that I feel I believe in) while selling out those pure ideas on personal and policy levels on a daily basis.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 11:16 AM
Possibly...that 'ideology seep' you refer to, IMO, is nothing more than putting new ideas into practice and moving away from the status quo.
Both sides try to move away from the status quo when the status quo doesn't conform to their ideology.

Once it does conform, both sides spend all their effort trying to retain the status quo.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 11:19 AM
Oh, I think it's more about not really having much of a unified message at all. Liberals are so all over the place, it's ridiculous. There's also the problem with rampant hypocrisy and double-dealing among the DNC leadership, so that they claim to stand for the "pure" ideas (that I feel I believe in) while selling out those pure ideas on personal and policy levels on a daily basis.
Such is the nature of a party that is united around the notion of diversity. The Democratic Party is mostly a coalition of diverse minority interests. There is as much diversity in their party as their is uniformity.

There is much more uniformity in the Republican Party because they have taken on the mantle of the party of the christian religious conservative.

Donger
03-18-2005, 11:25 AM
The Democratic Party is mostly a coalition of diverse minority interests.

Which is why the Democrats continue to lose national elections.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 11:27 AM
Which is why the Democrats continue to lose national elections.
It's nothing new. They've won in spite of it before. They will win in spite of it again.

Donger
03-18-2005, 11:31 AM
It's nothing new. They've won in spite of it before. They will win in spite of it again.

Indeed they will, especially if they move to a more centrist position, ala Clinton. I see no evidence that this is in the works however.

One thing that Clinton didn't do was demonize the opposition. I do, however, see that as being SOP for Democrats at this time, starting with the head of the DNC.

Baby Lee
03-18-2005, 11:32 AM
Such is the nature of a party that is united around the notion of diversity. The Democratic Party is mostly a coalition of diverse minority interests. There is as much diversity in their party as their is uniformity.

There is much more uniformity in the Republican Party because they have taken on the mantle of the party of the christian religious conservative.
Problem is, your 'diversity' has devolved to the point, taken in the overall, it's nothing more than "we hate those Republicans."

'Anything but Bush' was the worst thing to happen to the Democrats. It set in express language the lingering suspicion that Dems don't care about issues, they care about nothing more than beating Republicans.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 11:37 AM
Indeed they will, especially if they move to a more centrist position, ala Clinton. I see no evidence that this is in the works however.

One thing that Clinton didn't do was demonize the opposition. I do, however, see that as being SOP for Democrats at this time, starting with the head of the DNC.
Politics is a lot dirtier on both sides today than it was in 1992. We can thank Ken Starr for some of that. And the likes of pundit/windbags like Rush Limbaugh for much of the rest.

Democrats are in the difficult position of spending as much energy holding together a hodgepodge of interests together and moving towards the middle at the same time.

It takes strong personality to appeal to both ends of the spectrum. Clinto had that personality in spades, and that's why he needed to be demonized by the Republicans. Hillary has that personality too, and she too is demonized by the Republicans. Same with Dean... and yup... he's demonized by the Republicans.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 11:38 AM
'Anything but Bush' was the worst thing to happen to the Democrats. It set in express language the lingering suspicion that Dems don't care about issues, they care about nothing more than beating Republicans.
Sounds like you are making the case that Lakoff is right.

Donger
03-18-2005, 11:43 AM
Same with Dean... and yup... he's demonized by the Republicans.

What demons were actually possessing him during the "I have a scream!" speech? Rove?

And, considering all the kind things he's said about the Republicans recently, do you not agree that he deserves some disdain in return?

Baby Lee
03-18-2005, 11:47 AM
Clinto had that personality in spades, and that's why he needed to be demonized by the Republicans. Hillary has that personality too, and she too is demonized by the Republicans. Same with Dean... and yup... he's demonized by the Republicans.
Explain how this glittering generality could not be extended to anyone. Hitler had personality, that's why he had to be opposed. Manson had personality, that's why he's in jail.
I'm not saying that Bill, Hill or Deano is a Hitler or a Manson, just that the simplicity of the analogy renders it worthless.

If there was a central personality trait in Bill that led to his opposition's passion, it was his sociopathic need to get credit, and the populace's eagerness to provide it, regardless of merit.

Turn exclusion of gays in the military into a namby-pamby feelgood, but ultimately worthless, doctrine of don't ask, don't tell, and gays applaud their trek to the closet.

Turn Republican welfare reform into Big Bill's welfare salvation, and the poor drool over him for implementing their 'enemy's' policy.

Take the social problems of racism and sexism into Oprah=esque gabfests where much is emoted but nothing is accomplished, and he's hailed for his sensitivity.

"I feel your pain" is his admin in a nutshell. Not "I have a plan" or "I will alleviate" or even "I support you." Just "I feel" and people say "good enough for me."

Baby Lee
03-18-2005, 11:50 AM
Sounds like you are making the case that Lakoff is right.
Sure Lakoff is right, in the general sense that the Dems have to be more eloquent and find a better tone. But the devil is in the details. And if "Republicans oppose abortion because they like to discipline bad girls" is the exemplar, then they are heading in the wrong direction.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 12:13 PM
Sure Lakoff is right, in the general sense that the Dems have to be more eloquent and find a better tone. But the devil is in the details. And if "Republicans oppose abortion because they like to discipline bad girls" is the exemplar, then they are heading in the wrong direction.
That comment isn't directed to Republicans, as part of some voter message. That's the frame for Democrats to be able to understand the lesson Lakoff is teaching.

Baby Lee
03-18-2005, 12:22 PM
That comment isn't directed to Republicans, as part of some voter message. That's the frame for Democrats to be able to understand the lesson Lakoff is teaching.
You really think that is just a throwaway 'ferinstance?'
Much of his analysis stems from his belief that pretty much all conservatives act in bad faith. Conservatives, for example, “are not really pro-life.” No, conservatives see things through the “strict father” frame. Hence, “Pregnant teenagers have violated the commandments of the strict father. Career women challenge the power and authority of the strict father,” and therefore, he writes, “Both should be punished by bearing the child.”
Sounds like a belief, not an exercise. And as a belief, it is wrong-headed.
Agree or disagree, pro-life people are overwhelmingly concerned with protecting the child, not punishing the woman.
Arguing this line is just gonna feed the 'they just don't get it' sensibilities of the masses.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 12:25 PM
What demons were actually possessing him during the "I have a scream!" speech? Rove?

And, considering all the kind things he's said about the Republicans recently, do you not agree that he deserves some disdain in return?
The Demonizing came long before his recent comments. In fact it's might be fair to assume his comments are a result of the demonizing that seems to continue today in your very post.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 12:27 PM
You really think that is just a throwaway 'ferinstance?'

Sounds like a belief, not an exercise. And as a belief, it is wrong-headed.
Agree or disagree, pro-life people are overwhelmingly concerned with protecting the child, not punishing the woman.
Arguing this line is just gonna feed the 'they just don't get it' sensibilities of the masses.
I'm saying that the audience is Democrats, not centrists or Republicans. It's a "how-to" book, not a party platform.

Donger
03-18-2005, 12:31 PM
The Demonizing came long before his recent comments. In fact it's might be fair to assume his comments are a result of the demonizing that seems to continue today in your very post.

"The Demonizing?" Capitalized?

Sounds like Democrats need to focus more on why they keep losing rather than acting like a bunch of crybabies complaining about spilled milk.

Politics is a nasty business and always has been. The Demoncrats are just as nasty as the Republicans. It's the simple fact that the Republicans presently hold the presidency, both houses of Congress and the majority of the governorships that makes it hip to paint the Republicans in the light you attempt.

Baby Lee
03-18-2005, 12:32 PM
I'm saying that the audience is Democrats, not centrists or Republicans. It's a "how-to" book, not a party platform.
And what does that have to do with how incredibly wrong-headed it is?

I mean, you don't teach kids addition by saying "2+2=5, . . . well really, it doesn't. that's just a for intance to show the methodology of addition."

And are you suggesting that he's not expressing his true beliefs?

Amnorix
03-18-2005, 12:39 PM
Democrats have been horrible at framing debates over the last X years (approximately my entire lifetime).

The Republicans have proven to be generally better funded, better organized and better at framing debates and getting out in front on issues. This is, IMHO, partly reflective of being less of a "grass roots" organization, and being better managed at the top. They're just more efficiently run and better organized.

the Talking Can
03-18-2005, 12:43 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that no one here, including Mr. Goldberg, has read any of Lakoff's books.

Worse, no one, again including Mr. Goldberg, knows that this issue of framing is a direct response to over a decade of successful framing of national issues by Republican strategists. They are explicit, and correct, about ways in which the metaphors you use are - at least - as important as the substance of the argument itself.

Frank Lutz's Republican strategy book is available several places online, like here for example:

Luntz' guide to framing the issues (http://www.politicalstrategy.org/archives/001118.php)

You can read every stock phrase used by Bush et al for years as well as every formulation you hear about Social Security etc...this manual is waaay more cynical than Lakoff's book about framing. But people, like Mr. Goldberg, who are ignorant of everything, including their own party's history, aren't going to write dismissive articles about it.


"APPENDIX: THE 14 WORDS NEVER TO USE

Sometimes it is not what you say that matters but what you don’t say. Other times a single word or phrase can undermine or destroy the credibility of a paragraph or entire presentation. This memo was originally prepared exclusively for Congressional spouses because they are your eyes and ears, a one-person reality check and truth squad combined. However, by popular demand, I have included and expanded that document because effectively communicating requires you to STOP saying words and phrases that undermine your ability to educate the American people."

'2. Privatization/Private Accounts - Personalization/Personal Accounts

NEVER SAY: Privatization/Private Accounts
INSTEAD SAY: Personalization/Personal Accounts

Many more Americans would "personalize" Social Security than "privatize" it. In fact, two-thirds of America want to personalize Social Security while only one-third would privatize it. Why? Personalizing Social Security suggests ownership and control over your retirement savings, while privatizing it suggests a profit motive and winners and losers, BANISH PRIVATIZATION FROM YOUR LEXICON."

etc.....and here is the best one from Luntz..again, we won't read any articles about this nonsense from Mr. Goldberg, becuase he is a clueless dumbass:

"Without the context of 9-11, you will be blamed for the deficit. The deficit is a touchy subject for both Republicans and Democrats - your supporters are inherently turned off to the idea of fiscal irresponsibility, and Democrats see nothing but hypocrisy. The trick then is to contextualize the deficit inside of 9-11 and the war in Iraq, which Republicans sometimes do, but not early enough in the answer.


It would be nice if we could read articles by someone who wasn't actually less informed than Mann Coulter.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 12:52 PM
And what does that have to do with how incredibly wrong-headed it is?

I mean, you don't teach kids addition by saying "2+2=5, . . . well really, it doesn't. that's just a for intance to show the methodology of addition."

And are you suggesting that he's not expressing his true beliefs?
The point is that it's not "exmplar" of the party message to the general public. It's a frame (way of thinking) to help define one party as opposed to the other in the mind of the activists, strategists, etc of that party. And it's not entirely wrong headed. But it is very blunt.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 12:53 PM
Democrats have been horrible at framing debates over the last X years (approximately my entire lifetime).

The Republicans have proven to be generally better funded, better organized and better at framing debates and getting out in front on issues. This is, IMHO, partly reflective of being less of a "grass roots" organization, and being better managed at the top. They're just more efficiently run and better organized.
That's a result of the homogeneous nature of the Republican party vs. the heterogenous nature of the Democratic party.

Cochise
03-18-2005, 12:54 PM
Democrats have been horrible at framing debates over the last X years (approximately my entire lifetime).

The Republicans have proven to be generally better funded, better organized and better at framing debates and getting out in front on issues. This is, IMHO, partly reflective of being less of a "grass roots" organization, and being better managed at the top. They're just more efficiently run and better organized.

I think that's right. To borrow a quote from Dips*** Underground, the DNC is playing checkers and the RNC is playing 3-D Vulcan chess.

In reality, I think that most people are only interested in passing in the political process. Those of us who frequent the DC forum are probably 1%ers when it comes to politics.

The average voter only knows what they see on the evening news, if they ever watch it. They may remember the snappiest line of the 20 seconds of a campaign speech shown on the evening news. They know that one person says they want X and the other says Y, but probably doesn't examine either plan at all. It's a war of whoever makes themselves sound the best.

In reality, it's not whether someone's plan for something is a bad idea or if they are too beholden to some outside interest that puts them in or takes them out of office, it's how well the campaign is run. If you had enough TV ads and favorable news coverage you could convince voters that a candidate planned to save the world by feeding everyone dogsh*t sandwiches, and they'd smile and ask for seconds.

That's the problem IMO. there's really no serious discussion or debate of issues and hasn't been for a long time, or at least since I can remember (mid-90s on). A good portion of the country is extremely polarized and the rest don't care enough to get informed.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 12:56 PM
"The Demonizing?" Capitalized?

Sounds like Democrats need to focus more on why they keep losing rather than acting like a bunch of crybabies complaining about spilled milk.

Politics is a nasty business and always has been. The Demoncrats are just as nasty as the Republicans. It's the simple fact that the Republicans presently hold the presidency, both houses of Congress and the majority of the governorships that makes it hip to paint the Republicans in the light you attempt.
You paint the Republicans in that light with each post. Seriously. Crybaby buttons, and "demoncrat" references?

Did you intend to be a walking billboard proving my point?

Cochise
03-18-2005, 12:56 PM
That's a result of the homogeneous nature of the Republican party vs. the heterogenous nature of the Democratic party.

:rolleyes:

For someone that constantly accuses others of swallowing up party talking points without question, it's hard to see how you could be any more brainwashed.

Donger
03-18-2005, 01:01 PM
You paint the Republicans in that light with each post. Seriously. Crybaby buttons, and "demoncrat" references?

Did you intend to be a walking billboard proving my point?

Heh. That was a mistake.

But seriously, jAZ. What the hell do you expect in response to "The Demonizing?" Was that intentional? If so, I think the crybaby title is accurate.

Of course, it was also meant to add a little levity to the discourse; something which you and your party could presently use, IMO. Americans are an optimistic bunch and I'm of the opinion that the constant belly-aching cost you guys the election.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 01:01 PM
I think that's right. To borrow a quote from Dips*** Underground, the DNC is playing checkers and the RNC is playing 3-D Vulcan chess.

In reality, I think that most people are only interested in passing in the political process. Those of us who frequent the DC forum are probably 1%ers when it comes to politics.

The average voter only knows what they see on the evening news, if they ever watch it. They may remember the snappiest line of the 20 seconds of a campaign speech shown on the evening news. They know that one person says they want X and the other says Y, but probably doesn't examine either plan at all. It's a war of whoever makes themselves sound the best.

In reality, it's not whether someone's plan for something is a bad idea or if they are too beholden to some outside interest that puts them in or takes them out of office, it's how well the campaign is run. If you had enough TV ads and favorable news coverage you could convince voters that a candidate planned to save the world by feeding everyone dogsh*t sandwiches, and they'd smile and ask for seconds.

That's the problem IMO. there's really no serious discussion or debate of issues and hasn't been for a long time, or at least since I can remember (mid-90s on). A good portion of the country is extremely polarized and the rest don't care enough to get informed.
One of the best posts you've made in a very long time.

It also illustrates the value of "framing". Democrats suck at it. If they didn't, Lakoff wouldn't have become the icon for liberals that he is today. It would be old news.

Same story goes for why Luntz's nearly identical writings aren't at a similar iconic level. It's old news in the Republican party.

Yet people around here will continue to declare as if a fact, that Democrats are totally out of touch with their politicies, and that they must agree with Republican policies in order to get voters to vote for them.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 01:08 PM
Heh. That was a mistake.

But seriously, jAZ. What the hell do you expect in response to "The Demonizing?" Was that intentional? If so, I think the crybaby title is accurate.
Actually it was a typo on my part. But I find it funny that even if I had intended it to be a title (what you seem to assume), that you chose not to take it as a playful joke, but something to ridicule. And then you go on to chastise Democrats for not having enough of a sense of humor.

I find that kinda funny.

As for a sense of optimism in the message... it's a tough balance that a politician/party must strike. You can't stir people to vote for change by being optimistic about the future. In the context of the election, a message of pure optimism would re-elect Bush in a hearbeat.

Democrats & Republican alike will always be forced to shine a light on the points of failure during any election where they are trying to unseat an incumbent from the other party.

Republicans clamoring about Democratic negativity is little more than at attempt to 1) minimize the impact of the criticsm and 2) get Dems to follow a campaign strategy of optimism which would virtually assure Bush's reelection.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 01:11 PM
Yet people around here will continue to declare as if a fact, that Democrats are totally out of touch with their policies, and that they must agree with Republican policies in order to get voters to vote for them.
Despite the fact that the November election once again came down to a near dead heat in a single state.

Donger
03-18-2005, 01:15 PM
Actually it was a typo on my part. But I find it funny that even if I had intended it to be a title (what you seem to assume), that you chose not to take it as a playful joke, but something to ridicule. And then you go on to chastise Democrats for not having enough of a sense of humor.

That's because you seem to be entirely devoid of humor when it comes to politics, as do many of your fellow liberals.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 01:26 PM
That's because you seem to be entirely devoid of humor when it comes to politics, as do many of your fellow liberals.
Republicans and Democrats don't typically find the same things funny. That we aren't laughing at the same jokes doesn't make either of us devoid of a sense of humor.

Donger
03-18-2005, 01:32 PM
Republicans and Democrats don't typically find the same things funny. That we aren't laughing at the same jokes doesn't make either of us devoid of a sense of humor.

I don't see Democrats laughing or smiling abaout anything recently. Seriously, next time you watch a political show, take note of how many of the Democrats are either smiling or laughing, or displaying anything other "positive" emotion.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 01:41 PM
I don't see Democrats laughing or smiling abaout anything recently. Seriously, next time you watch a political show, take note of how many of the Democrats are either smiling or laughing, or displaying anything other "positive" emotion.
To be honest, I haven't watched almost any TV since I quit my job. Basketball. That's about it. I used to watch Hardball and Olbermann regularly, but not anytime lately.

I do find it an odd statement to try to defend (Dems have no sense of humor) when you consider nearly all comedians tend to have liberal/democratic leanings. Someone once tried to throw that back in my face while we were debating the "liberal" media.

Jon Stewart and everyone at the daily show, Bill Mahr, David Letterman, Keith Olberman.... etc.

As for activists, and the like. I'm guessing their job is not to be funny, but to be serious.

Cochise
03-18-2005, 01:41 PM
Yet people around here will continue to declare as if a fact, that Democrats are totally out of touch with their politicies

Well, I think that is true as well, but not the issue in American politics.

The issue could metaphorically be stated as, Bill Belichick is probably going to find a way to beat Jerry Glanville just about every time.

KCTitus
03-18-2005, 02:08 PM
The Democrats "message" isn't anymore "wrong" than the Republicans. To dismiss the value of Framing in the reception of one message and the rejection of another is quite nieve.

Your dismissal of this is evidence that Lakoff is right.

First, I dont dismiss the value of framing. It's at this point I realize that my use of the english language differs so greatly from yours as evidenced by your inability to comprehend my posts, that further discussion is futile.

I dont give a damn about whether or not Lakoff is right or wrong...the philosophies of the left have been put in to practice and they have failed miserably. In my world, that makes their message of 'we need to protect these failed institutions' wrong no matter how they word it.

KCTitus
03-18-2005, 02:11 PM
Such is the nature of a party that is united around the notion of diversity. The Democratic Party is mostly a coalition of diverse minority interests.

It's the irony of pointing to 'diversity' while not practicing it. The Democratic party is not interested in diversity of thought by any stretch of the imagination.

Those 'diverse minority interests' you refer to are, in fact, far from diverse, rather they share a common goal of converting the republic into a socialist utopia.

Amnorix
03-18-2005, 02:23 PM
That's a result of the homogeneous nature of the Republican party vs. the heterogenous nature of the Democratic party.

I don't see Republicans as homogeneous. Perhaps they are more so than the Democrats, but it's not like they are all geritol popping white men.

Amnorix
03-18-2005, 02:24 PM
It's the irony of pointing to 'diversity' while not practicing it. The Democratic party is not interested in diversity of thought by any stretch of the imagination.

Those 'diverse minority interests' you refer to are, in fact, far from diverse, rather they share a common goal of converting the republic into a socialist utopia.

The Democrats are not socialists. No matter how many times you say it, it won't make it true.

Amnorix
03-18-2005, 02:28 PM
I dont give a damn about whether or not Lakoff is right or wrong...the philosophies of the left have been put in to practice and they have failed miserably. In my world, that makes their message of 'we need to protect these failed institutions' wrong no matter how they word it.

Social security has failed miserably?

Medicare has failed miserably?

Minimum wages have failed miserably?

The efforts undertaken in 1993 to begin restoring sanity to the budget failed miserably?

The Family Medical Leave Act, which has given millions of workers time off without fear of losing their job during important times in their lives to support newborns or elderly parents, has failed miserably?

Unemployment compensation has failed miserably?

Containment of communism, a policy developed and first implemented under the Truman Administration, failed miserably?

I don't think I need to go on. You're just being obtuse if you think every Democratic policy has "failed miserably", or if there are no redeemed features in liberal platforms.

I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND this "I must be 100% right and you must be 100% wrong" mentality adopted by both sides in debating issues and reviewing the policies/successes/failures of the other party.

It's simply retarded.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 02:36 PM
they are more so than the Democrats
This part was my point. Not the rest.

This homogeneous nature means Republicans by nature are forced to spend fewer resources holding together their party. That allows them to spend their resources, dollars, and attention elsewhere.

jAZ
03-18-2005, 02:40 PM
I dont give a damn about whether or not Lakoff is right or wrong...the philosophies of the left have been put in to practice and they have failed miserably. In my world, that makes their message of 'we need to protect these failed institutions' wrong no matter how they word it.
"You might be right, but I don't want to talk about it!"

jAZ
03-18-2005, 02:42 PM
I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND this "I must be 100% right and you must be 100% wrong" mentality adopted by both sides in debating issues and reviewing the policies/successes/failures of the other party.

It's simply retarded.
:clap:

jAZ
03-18-2005, 03:00 PM
It's the irony of pointing to 'diversity' while not practicing it. The Democratic party is not interested in diversity of thought by any stretch of the imagination.
There is some truth to that. But the truth in it crosses party lines in that both parties try to quell dissent because it weakens the power that comes with being a united party (see the "Medicare Reform" for examples by the Republican party).

It's ironic for the Dems because it is a bi-product of trying to unify people with diverse interests while your opponent is trying to play one group off the other.

The Democratic Party faces the somewhat larger challenge of holding those people with diverse interests together. It's tough for the Democrats to unify a union man who's anti-abortion, but likes his pot and porn with a gay environmentally aware pacifist who also likes his pot and porn.

That - in a nutshell - is the challenge that comes with representing the interests of the "little guy".
Those 'diverse minority interests' you refer to are, in fact, far from diverse, rather they share a common goal of converting the republic into a socialist utopia.
That just ridiculous.