If you aren't angry, you aren't paying attention

Cross posted at TexasKosI have blogged a lot since I went online about "framing." In response to one of those blogs Muriel Stubbs wrote:
Houston Democrats: Progressives as their own worst enemies"All of this talk about "framing" and "reframing," about how to talk about what we want to talk about, reminds me of the TV commercial that shows a bunch of hikers, one of whom has just stepped into a pit of quicksand. As he slowly sinks, they stand around talking about how they, as a committee, can best go about saving him. They have a civilized discussion, raised hands and all, while the poor bastard sinks up to his nose. Finally, just as he's disappearing forever, one of the guys on the edge of the group throws a rope, which the sinker grabs. You see him next standing with wet mud/sand up to his eyebrows with the rest of the group ignoring him while they congratulate each other on their successful rescue--which none of them, save one, had anything to do with. Give me that guy who threw the rope. He and two or three others like him--surely there must be that many--need to get busy saying all over the state what Murvin says in his post: The Repugs are trying to destroy the Texas public school system so they can install vouchers and privately-run Fundamentalist Jesus mills (Murvin didn't say that. I did.)and pay for them with our tax money. We already know to say that. When we've made that point, then we can figure out how to frame the next issue: how to pay for the public schools--if we can save them." http://www.houstondemocrats.com/archives /2006/05/progressives_as.html#more
Forget, the reference to schools, substitute any issue you like and while not agreeing with all her comments, I do agree with her conclusion: we must do stand for something, we must act upon those beliefs. Good frames cannot cover-up cluelessness or cowardice.I can't give anyone the backbone needed to live up to Muriel's righteously angry post, but I can give you the tools to start acting when you find that courage. You do not need to wait for a committee or for a party vote. You can start now.

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Progressives as their own worst enemies - for example, on immigration

Cross posted at TexasKos

"A majority of Americans initially support a controversial National Security Agency program to collect information on telephone calls made in the United States in an effort to identify and investigate potential terrorist threats, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll."

Remember that one?

What does that have to do with talking back to the Right Wing Noise Machine and the immigration issue? Check below the fold.....

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Help me Develop and Frame a Wedge Issue

cross posted at DailyKos

I could use some help in defining a wedge issue (or theme).  I'm going to be giving a speech to a political club I belong to that has Dems (damm few)  and Repubs (all shades).  I use these speeches to see what talking points seem to work. Where do I get their attention and what puts them asleep or in `not listening' mode

I'm not looking for Democratic talking points, I'm in a conservative area, Repubs outnumber Dems.  The tactic I have been working to develop is to make the conservatives doubt their Dear Leader.  

Lately I've come (stumbled is more like it) upon the theme of "this ain't Eisenhower's Republican Party" anymore (or something to that effect).  

Using this as a spring board, I need some examples of what conservative values espoused by Eisenhower Republicans just don't hold water (or directly contradict) today's Neo-con world.  Using some themes like this I seem to be getting a response from the moderate conservatives in the audience.  I'm trying to cobble together a cohesive package that I can shop to candidates to chew over.  I want to create something that will win in November, part of that will be making doubters within their own party.

My long term goal here is to develop a cohesive narrative of the Republican Party change has made Bush supporters cultists, but we need to build to that point, this is the start. I have to build the dissatisfaction first.

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Frameshop: The Party That Asks The Questions

Democrats Unroll New Security 'Plan,' Now They Must Become The Party That Asks The Questions

In political debate, we can never gain the upper hand as long as we allow our opponent to pose all the questions and demand all the answers.

For years, the Republicans have been insisting that Democrats have no right to talk about national security unless they first present a 'plan' for Iraq.  Unfortunately, the Republicans have repeated this demand so often that many elected Democrats believe it to be true.  But it is not true.

To lead this country, Democrats should stop answering questions posed by the Republiccans and start posing questions themselves--questions to the Republicans and answers to the American people.

To lead this country, Democrats must ask the questions.  And the question on Iraq is not 'Do we have a plan?' The question is: 'Have you had enough?'

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What's Behind the Republican Spending Backlash?

In the ongoing race for conservatives to distance themselves from the failed Presidency of George W. Bush, there have been a lot of former Bush cheerleaders saying that Bush's spending is out of control.  Newspapers are reporting that "Big Government" style spending is alienating traditional Republicans and that Bush's spending has the GOP in a deep funk.  

Some progressive organizations have picked up on this rift and repeated the message:  Bush's spending is out of control.

While it is true that Senate Republicans voted to raise the national debt  limit to $9 trillion despite the unanimous opposition of Senate Democrats, the way this story is being talked about often evades the real reasons that Republican fiscal policy is so disastrous.

Conservative commentators are talking about the current fiscal irresponsibility as "Big Government" and "out of control spending" as if the Republican leadership is funding a welfare state.  The truth of the matter is, though, that the Bush is not breaking the bank to increase funding to programs that protect Americans - the impression conservatives try to give.  The current Republican fiscal fiasco is a result of three things:

[1] Irresponsible giveaways for the super-rich

[2] Failure to plan ahead or respond intelligently in Iraq and New Orleans

[3] Republican addiction to pork barrel spending

Republicans are acting fiscally irresponsible, to be sure - and they're doing so at the expense of regular Americans.  The budget Bush sent to Congress contained massive cuts in programs such as Medicare, foodstamps, education, and housing for senior citizens.  Republicans aren't breaking the bank to give Americans opportunities, they're looting the treasury to pay for high priced vacations and multi-million dollar lifestyles.

Expect conservatives to continue to try to spin the Republican fiscal disaster as something other than what it really is - irresponsible people who can't be trusted to use our taxes for our benefit.

Conservatives want you to continue talking about Bush's "irresponsible spending" as if it was a continuation of criticisms that they've made about past liberal administrations.  They want you to equate Bush's disastrous economic policy with someone other than themselves.  But Republicans aren't acting like liberals - remember the economy under Clinton?  Republicans are acting like drunk teenagers who stole their father's credit cards.

Conservatives are bankrupting the nation while trying to make it look like something it isn't.  The cause of the current financial dangers has nothing to do with "big government" or "out of control spending" - it has to do with basic fiscal irresponsibility and ham handed looting by a Republican controlled White House and Congress.

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