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Lakoff posting on kos: Where's The Movement?

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:51 AM
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Lakoff posting on kos: Where's The Movement?

by George Lakoff

Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:48:20 PM PST

In forming his administration, President Obama abandoned the movement that had begun during his campaign for deal-making and a pragmatism that hasnt worked. That movement is still possible and needed now. Here is look at what is required, and how a version of it is forming in California.

We begin with this weeks triple whammy.

Freedom vs. The Public Option

Which would you prefer, consumer choice or freedom? Extended coverage or freedom? Bending the cost curve or freedom?

John Boehner, House Minority Leader, speaking of health care, said recently, "This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the 19 years I have been here in Washington....Its going to lead to a government takeover of our health care system, with tens of thousands of new bureaucrats right down the street, making these decisions for you."

<snip>

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/25/829887/-Wheres-...

This is exactly what Frank Luntz advised conservatives to say. They have repeated it and repeated it. Why has it worked to rally conservative populists against their interests? The most effective framing is more than mere language, more than spin or salesmanship. It has worked because conservatives really believe that the issue is freedom. It fits the conservative moral system. It fits how conservatives see the world.

The Democrats have helped the conservatives. Their pathetic attempt to make any deal to get 60 votes convinced even Massachusetts voters that government under the Democrats was corrupt and oppressive, not just inept, but immoral.

All politics is moral

All political leaders argue that they are doing the right thing, not the wrong thing, that their policies are moral, not evil.

Conservatives understand this, liberals tend not to. Conservatives know a morality tale when they see it: Greedy Wall Street bankers, who have cost people their homes, their jobs, and their savings get billion-dollar bailouts from the government, while those honest hard-working people get nothing. Corruption. Oppression. A threat to freedom.

The conservatives are winning the framing wars again by sticking to moral principles as conservatives see them, and communicating their view of morality effectively. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama ran a campaign based on his moral principles and communicated those principles as effectively as any candidate ever has.

But the Obama administration made a 180-degree turn, trading Obamas 2008 moral principles for the deal-making of Rahm Emanuel and Tim Geithner, assuming it would be "pragmatic" to court corporations and move to the right, in the false hope of bipartisan support. A clear unified moral vision was replaced by long laundry lists of policy options that the public could not understand, and that made ordinary folks feel they were being bamboozled. And in many cases, they were.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:52 AM
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1. Obama needs to give Lakoff an office in the WH
:)
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:54 AM
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2. he sure does. this is an excellent piece. lakoff hits it on point after point.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:14 AM
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3. "The k and the r -- because I feel bamboozled." - Teh BamBoozled
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 07:15 AM by SpiralHawk
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:17 PM
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4. K&R - though I think Lakoff overstates the case in key respects
We can rail against Geithner all we want, but the fact is that, during the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama voted for the Bush/Paulson bailout of Wall Street.

In that context, his appointment of Geithner can't fairly be described as "a 180-degree turn". Arguably, the 180-degree turn would've been to appoint Joseph Stiglitz and to announce that failing banks would be nationalized.

Nevertheless, I agree with Lakoff's overall point that Obama would now be in much better shape poltically if he had never brought Geithner and Emanuel and their ilk on board.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:27 PM
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5. well, if we are going to lure people to "the cause" with clever
word trickery I hope there is some follow through with actual action that coincides.
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