Ann Coulter to Headline "Values Voter Summit"

Oh yeah, nothing says "values voter" like Ann friggin Coulter. According to a release from the Family Research Council:

"Conservative talk show host and FOX News co-anchor Sean Hannity has just confirmed as a headliner for our September 22-24 Washington Briefing. This Values Voters Summit will include such noted speakers as Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, Dr. James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Don Wildmon, Dr. Herbert Lusk II, Brent Bozell, Bishop Wellington Boone, Dr. Richard Land, Bishop Harry Jackson and many more."

That's right Ann Coulter will join this who's who of the American Taliban to celebrate "values voters." Here's hoping they stick her right beside Bill Casino Bennett - wouldn't that make a great photo?

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D.C. Consultants: Voters Don't Care About Politics

People don't remember political specifics, but they do evaluate them, building a lasting impression of the candidate in question. Later, they might not remember why they do or don't like the candidate, but they might still have a very strong favorable or unfavorable opinion of him.

It's pretty simple. It's pretty obvious. It's also the major finding of the following study: Lodge, Milton, Marco R. Steenbergen, and Shawn Brau. 1995. "The Responsive Voter: Campaign Information and the Dynamics of Candidate Evaluation." American Political Science Review 89:309-326. This explains why process politics is a waste of air-time, and why the politics of contrast is an absolute must for reaching voters who do not actively seek out political knowledge.

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CT: the VALUES voters of the Democratic Party

It's about values. Not the "values" of anti-gay, anti-abortion, or anti-evolution (when did that become a family value?). But true Democratic values, the values we as Democrats hold dear. The values we haven't articulated enough, haven't focused on enough, while check-list issues politics have dominated our party.

The pundits have tried to figure out what "issues" are really driving the opposition to Joe Lieberman, while the blogosphere and activists try to make it clear that it's about "issues" other than just Iraq. But values are what today's Connecticut Senate election is really all about. Finally, at long last, Democratic activists are standing up to a politician and saying, "We hold these values dear, and you, Senator, have been working against them for too long." The war in Iraq is an issue that highlights where those values diverge, but make no mistake, it's values that are at the heart of what's happening.

The values that I follow in my campaign for Congress, the values I believe make the Democratic Party the party that can bring this country into the future, that can get it back on its moral compass.

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L.A. Times Poll: Dems have "values" edge by 8 points

Here's a worthwhile poll for once.  It's from the L.A. Times, from June 24-27, 2006. N=1,321 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).

I'd specifically call your attention to the first and third questions.  As you can see by following the link, on the question, "Which party -- the Democrats or the Republicans -- comes closer to representing the values that you, yourself, hold important?", Democrats lead Republicans 44 to 36.  That's something we haven't seen in a while.  On the third question, "Which of these two parties you feel is better at handling the following issues? Which party do you think can do a better job handling the major problems facing the country?", they have a 43 to 27% lead.  

Cheers all around.

BTW, the Indigo Girls rocked last night.

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A Framework for Progressive Values

For years now, progressives have lamented the apparent monopoly that the Right has on framing the public debate.  There have been a variety of attempts to remedy this situation, from books like George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant, to blogs like Jeffrey Feldman's Frame Shop.  This is an important discussion, and vital to the future success of progressive ideas.  At The Opportunity Agenda we'd like to offer our own contribution to this effort.

We have outlined a frame that we believe can promote progressive ideas and recapture our national values discussion from the Right.  We call it the Opportunity Frame.  In collaboration with The SPIN Project, we have produced a communications toolkit that outlines this frame and provides concrete tools and case studies to help implement it.  Click here to read American Opportunity: A Communications Toolkit, or continue reading about this frame and take our poll after the jump.

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