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Lakerstan Donating Member (599 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 03:42 PM
Original message
We were promised The West Wing and we got Entourage
The thing I've been most concerned with in our election cycle this year is the lack of a positive message. Instead of being the party of "Yes We Can", we have gone to the party of "Yes We Can, if the conditions are such that political survivability is feasible".

We are allowing the Republicans to control the message, the same way we did in the 8 years of Bush. Fear - Doom - Gloom.

And what do we have to show for it? A blue "D" with a circle around it.

The President has a unique ability to use the bully pulpit for things we know are right - the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell - a restoration of Habeas Corpus for ALL people - and the right to worship...or not to worship. You know - those things we heard about during the campaign.

It's not too late, but it is getting there.

Let's take back the narrative of right and good and honorable before we end up with more of what we voted against in 2008. Yes We Can....period.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. At least it's not "That's My Bush." n/t
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. 40 Days till the election, and the positive message is......
we can do this; retain our majorities,
if we want to.......

As for the bully pulpit....
I was watching the President on MSNBC this morning
touting the health care legislation, and 5 minutes into it,
MSNBC broke away to tell me what I had just watched,
and then moved on to another story. I turned the station
to find another 24/7 airing this, and no other station was.

President's bully pulpit = if a tree falls in the forest, will someone far away in the city hear it?
Only if it is broacast and written about....otherwise, for the majority of Americans, it didn't happen.

The President can try, but he cannot guarantee that his words will
get to where they need to go in the way that he wants them to get there.

The national media decides the volume and the context of the President's bully pulpit....
not he nor us.
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Lakerstan Donating Member (599 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. So what's the answer? We can't just play the victim.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Obama is currently talking at the UN.
Edited on Wed Sep-22-10 03:55 PM by FrenchieCat
Is any of the 24/7 channels airing it?

If not, it ain't about "playing" victim....
it is about understanding the realities and
working around them, but making our voices louder
in dealing with our conglamorate media.......
and letting them know, we ain't taking this shit anymore!

Also, I'm doing what I can do....
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. Where's OUR FAX News? You know, the 24/7 network with the FACTS!!!!! nt
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
Edited on Wed Sep-22-10 04:17 PM by BrklynLiberal /2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml


Framing the issues: UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics

Conservatives have spent decades defining their ideas, carefully choosing the language with which to present them, and building an infrastructure to communicate them, says Lakoff.

The work has paid off: by dictating the terms of national debate, conservatives have put progressives firmly on the defensive.


Linguistics professor George Lakoff dissects the "war on terror" and other conservative catchphrases

Disaster Messaging

Democrats are constantly resorting to disaster messaging. Here's a description the typical situation.

* The Republicans outmessage the Democrats. The Democrats, having no effective response, face disaster: They lose politically, either in electoral support or failure on crucial legislation.
* The Democrats then take polls and do focus groups. The pollsters discover that extremist Republicans control the most common ("mainstream") way of thinking and talking about the given issue.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. It's easy to outmessage the Democrats if you are Republicans.....
Edited on Wed Sep-22-10 04:34 PM by FrenchieCat
since you have an entire Republican owned national media
spouting the GOP talking points each and every day.

I'm not sure if Lakoff has the answers,
considering the tilt of the playing field
on how the messages are dissiminated to the voting public,
and how much of the "progressive" professional media available isn't helping
as much as some thinks it could. :shrug:

I wrote an OP-Ed a couple of years ago, and it is still true today...

Political Distraction by way of Personal Destruction - How the Left was Won
March 17, 2008

In 1996, Bill Clinton, signed the Telecommunications Act.

This was a dream bill conjured up by a special interest group made up of large media entities who wanted to get larger. The Internet and broadband media had been born a decade before, and were waiting to explode onto the scene. The argument for this Act, according to its proponents, was that viewers had a lot of choices now, and that a little consolidation wouldnt hurt, and in fact, would help independent media get its foot into the door via cable broadband stations. The media lobbyists pushing for the act pointed to CNN, founded in 1980 by a brazen enterprising Ted Turner, and made their case based on his success and CNNs fierce independence, that this act would better encourage superior news reporting, by giving the old Network some real competition.

There was a lot of opposition to this bill, by those who understood that competition usually ends up with the larger ones eating up the smaller ones, but so it was enacted. What Bill Clinton didnt figure, on that fateful day in 1996, while penning his John Hancock to the Act, was that he was also signing away his own legacy, as well as the health of the Democratic Party to the media giants for years to come.

Just two short years and one O.J. Trial later, Bill Clinton would be relentlessly attacked and pursued by the same mega media who had gotten larger through acquisition. Cable rating shares had increased to an unprecedented level over expectation. Business was good, people were buying dish and subscribing to Cable, and Political Distraction by way of Personal Destruction was to become par for the course in the world of politics.

Political contests have always been rough, but never had they been so antagonized by way of 3rd parties who represented neither the people nor the candidates; but by rich corporations. In Democratic circles, this type of politics was assigned to the opposing party as its schtick. Democrats and their politicians blamed the distraction and faulted the well oiled and funded GOP Noise Machine (which got its start during the Reagan years via think tanks creating their own media).

We Democrats knew how this sort of disgusting politics worked. First, the Republicans would write up their dirt in the GOP newspapers and magazines, then take it to the radio via Rush Limbaugh, and in short order, the cable media (like Fox) would catch hold of it and spread it to its two main competitors (CNN & MSNBC) and finally the Networks (owned by some of the same) would have their breaking news. Soon (by the next issue) the weekly glossy periodicals owned by the same corporations (Newsweek NBC/WaPO and Times CNN/Time Warner) would write about the subject, and the independent Newspaper Chains would soon follow. The Times reporter would appear on CNN alongside a Newsweek reporter vowing for the authenticity of the matter, and then Newsweek would write about what CNN had reported in its interview with the Times writer. Some called it the spin cycle.

Democrats took the high road, and proclaimed themselves different from the Republicans. They used their time with the press to promote the issues that Americans cared about; Social Security, Health Care, Education, defending Womans Choice, protecting the Environment, and conducting a rational foreign policy focused on Diplomacy and not on saber rattling and war. We were for the People and Good Government, and the GOP were the evil ones knee deep alongside big business, working to get rid of as much government as possible.

We got no respect for this, and neither did our politicians.

Instead, Democrats watched in horror as Bill Clinton was impeached by those who owned the pulpit practicing the distraction of personal destruction.

As Democrats, we believe that we were better than this sort of politics that we witnessed, and we mainly agreed that it needed to go. We knew one thing; we hated Political Distraction by way of Personal Destruction of our candidates and our ideals, and any person or thing remotely associated to it.

Democratic activists were the most incensed, and due to a deep feeling of anger and helplessness, was founded by the most disgusted of us. What started as a small group of left leaning liberals via the way of the Internet started to catch on. Those Democrats understood clearly that the newly consolidated media was a deadly culprit interested only in keeping certain elements in power, and getting their tax breaks and favorable regulation, or better yet, no regulation. Huge ratings were a plus.

As this form of politics matured to ripeness, we were nevertheless shocked when the Republican Noise Machine and George Bush attacked Sen. McCain, his opponent, via a whisper campaign in where McCain was rumored and trashed for having a Black child. We were more-so appalled when our Democratic nominee, Al Gore, a brilliant man, was portrayed as an exaggerating pompous wooden politician in what we believed to be a despicable maneuver. We fought valiantly for our votes to be counted in 2000, but to no avail; the media was not on our side.

Then 9/11 happened, which they said changed everything; changed how a country could now go to war with the wrong nation. Boy, were we totally pissed at that! Indeed we prayed and despaired. This was impossible! Couldnt happen here, we though......but it did.

Via the Internet, marches were organized, petitions and letters were generated and sent to congress and the media. On-line organization bloomed everywhere with the goal of fighting the bad guys who so revolted us. At some point, progressives rejoiced in realizing that they had the upper hand in Internet organization compared to the freepers, and although we were still weak, we were getting stronger, and certainly, we were kept busy.

Three years later, we held our breaths and lashed out in scorn without result as John Kerry received similar treatment. Democrats couldnt believe that a genuine War Hero could be taken down so effortlessly, and that enough stupid dumbass American voters would buy into it. But yes, the same dumbass Americans that had bought into the war, bought the same ol' political warfare unloaded again by the Right onto the Left.

And so, we continued to organize ourselves on the Internet vowing to fight against these media conglamorates and the ultra crazy and dangerous GOP and their media fronts. We were encouraged when Air America was born, and felt a bit stronger in fighting those who would wage scorch earth politics. We considered the Internet ours, and the battle line was drawn in the sand.

We held on to our beliefs that this kind of personal and political gamesmanship was shameful, and we never once doubted that we were better than that. We rejected the whole notion out of hand, and failed to believe that a politics that would drive a wedges between Americans could be anything but a sin; we found it hateful and unpatriotic.

Most importantly, we believed strongly that we upheld a certain code of conduct, and that there were certain things that we wouldnt do, and certain things that we wouldn't say although we believed in Freedom of speech. We understood and respected the strategy of truth (tell them the truth and they will think its hell) versus the twisting of truths, the spin of inuendoes and just plain boldface lies. There were certain places we wouldnt go, not because we couldn't, but because we knew better.

And as of a couple of years or so, our strategy started winning out. The truth of the lies started coming to the fore. We utilized the Internet (Media Matters and CrookandLiars and the now defunct MediaWhores) to deconstruct media ploys. As more gifted bloggers came onto the Internet scene, our voices grew louder. Some of these writers were hired by progressive publications and then graduated to infiltrate the mainstream corporate media. We used the Internet to raise funds for our politicos and our causes. It became overwhelming, in fact; so much to choose with so little effort.

Then we won the 2006 election. The battle had been hard fought, which made the victory that much sweeter. The Macaca Youtube moment was the turning point. We realized that we could get this done, and we had the tools to work it our way. We were battered and torn, but we were now the masters of organizing techniques that clearly appeared to be working. Through our sheer determination while holding on to our integrity, we had managed to win the war against Political Distraction and Personal Destruction.

Or had we?

Well......Weve been able to raise record breaking millions for campaign funding of our candidates.
Weve been able to affect the Corporate media via our voices spoken by hundreds of Blogs and forums that can not be ignored. We break the news, and they harvest it from us..

So whats to be made of our current Democratic state of being during these primaries? Why are we at each others throats, with many of us practicing the same evil forces that we fought against for so very long?

(Note - I struck out the one phrase that doesn't apply at this time)
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Must run..but am marking this for later perusal..
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. Martin Sheen and company! I didn't even know they were on the ballet!
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. If only the real world was like TV..
that would solve everything!
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