Four Frames For The Foley Affair

Crossposted from Patterns That Connect.

In a short diary at Dkos and elsewhere, Frameshop maestro Jeffrey Feldman has advanced the frame "Hastert Protected A Predator." We could quibble a bit--perhaps "House Republicans Protected a Predator" would be better as a broad indictment of their entire leadership, perhaps not, since it's too impersonal--but there's no question that conceptually Jeffrey's scored a direct hit.  The question is--are there others?

Of course there are.  And I'd like suggest three more in this diary.  They're not all for pushing as equally accessible media frames.  Some are primarily for clarifying our own thinking, and just beginning to introduce them to a wider audience.  Because, you see, frames are not just about how we communicate messages.  They are also about how we think.

The frames discussed are:

       "Hastert Protected A Predator."
        "We Need Eagles, Not Ostriches"
        "Investigate Now: Stop The Public Coverup"
        "Corruption Is The Symptom, Conservatism Is The Disease"

Details on the flip.

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GOP House Leadership Knew About Sexual Predator Foley-- For A YEAR!

The ABC News report"The Sexually Explicit Internet Messages That Led to Fla. Rep. Foley's Resignation" has damning instant messages, says there are more "too graphic to be broadcast," and that Foley could go to jail "under some of the same laws he helped to enact."

But that's not the worst of it.  The worst is this:

One former page tells ABC News that his class was warned about Foley by people involved in the program.
In other words, Foley's behavior was part of a pattern that was known to House authorities.  How high up?

AP is reporting that House leadership knew:

The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.
In short, this is not an individual scandal.  It is an institutional scandal of the GOP-controlled House.  Foley almost certainly violated the law, and Dennis Hastert and his lieutenants covered it up.  This is now the issue fo the 2006 midterm elections--if only the Democrats realize it.

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Barack Obama AWOL On Torture

Talking about the America Loves To Torture Act, Digby nails it:

The vote is going to happen and it's going to pass. But I can't help but wonder if the momentum wouldn't have gone the other way if some of the Democrats who constantly exhort the rank and file to be more friendly to religion and values and morals had stood up and said no. Imagine if Barack Obama had staked out a leading position against this legislation making the explicit argument that it is immoral and unamerican to torture. That would have gone farther to demonstrate our respect for religious values than his frequent process talk and scolding could ever do.
Put simply: Barack Obama is a charlatan.  Just as all the "religious right" leaders are. The full extent of their "religion" is to cloak themselves in the label.  The substance of their purported faith is utterly anathema to them.

As I asked in my last diary, "Who Would Jesus Torture?" Barack's answer? "Don't ask. Don't tell."

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Who Would Jesus Torture???

Here's some framing for you!Crossposted from Patterns That Connect

This is, of course, the $64 billion question for a supposedly faith-based administration, supported by the self-annointed "religious" right:

    WHO
Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    WOULD
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
    JESUS
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    TORTURE?
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Why is it that supposedly religious people, supposed followers of Christ, whose words I just quoted, are those most willing, even eager to torture people?

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The Rightwing Group Slander Of Liberals Refuted--Part 5C

Abortion: Changes Over Three Time-Spans

Introduction

This continues the abortion section of my argument (based primarily on data from the General Social Survey [GSS]) that it's not liberals, but ultra-conservative movement conservatives who are far outside America's mainstream.  In contrast, ordinary conservatives and liberals agree much more often than not. This is the third of 6 sub-parts. [Links at end of post.] Abortion is very important, as it represents the first long-lived social wedge issue supplanting the role of race, which has since slipped into the background.  It is only such issue that has robust GSS polling from the early 1970s to date.  

This post takes a look at the data across three timeframes in order to understand the changes that have taken place. While the anti-choice movement has produced little net change in attitudes, it has re-arranged the structure of such attitudes--particularly in the white South. Polarization has increased, but agreement still outweighs disagreement between parties and between ideological orientations.

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RNC Attacks DKos: More Laughs Than You Can Handle!

How scared shitless is the GOP over the blogosphere?  A new webpage just put up at the RNC's GOP.com gives a good indication:

"WHO IS MARKOS MOULITSAS ZUNIGA?
A Partisan "Nutroot" Who Turned His Hate-Filled Blog Daily Kos Into A Leadership Post In The Democrat Party"

That's the headline. The piece just reeks of amatuerism, on top of the usual mendacity.  Here's a few choice tidbits:

Moulitsas Radical Position On War On Terror:

Moulitsas On Fighting Terrorism: "The French Are Right."

"I know it's not the most popular thing to say, but the French are right. You don't win wars against terrorism on the battlefield." (Daily Kos Website, www.dailykos.com/, Accessed 8/15/06)

So, the only sane position, supported by everyone in the world, even, when push comes to shove, Bush's Poodle, Tony Blair, is "radical'?  More amusing tidbits on the flip.

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The Rightwing Group Slander Of Liberals Refuted--Part 5B

Abortion: The Big Picture

Cross-posted From Patterns That Connect

After a long hiatus, I've resumed my argument (based primarily on data from the General Social Survey [GSS]) that it's not liberals, but ultra-conservative movement conservatives who are far outside America's mainstream.  In contrast, ordinary conservatives and liberals agree much more often than not. In the second of 6 parts devoted to abortion, I look squarely at the data on agreement and disagreement, which is not the same as consensus, since it includes how much liberals take the conservative position as well the reverse.  This is, in effect, a measure of how much polarization there is, not where majorities lie.

Some of the data presented comes from 7 questions that were asked repeatedly over the years.  A detailed look at how these numbers have changed over time will be the subject of the next post in this series.   But first, a simple "snapshot" post, to get a feel for the conceptual terrain.

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The Rightwing Group Slander Of Liberals Refuted--Part 5A

The Big Picture--Parties, Abortion and Race Over The Years.

Cross-posted From Patterns That Connect

After a long hiatus, I continue my argument (based primarily on data from the General Social Survey [GSS]) that it's not liberals, but ultra-conservative movement conservatives who are far outside America's mainstream.  In contrast, ordinary conservatives and liberals agree much more often than not. Originally planned as a single post on abortion, it has grown so long that I'm presenting it in 6 sub-parts. Abortion is very important, as it represents the first long-lived social wedge issue supplanting the role of race, which has since slipped into the background.  It is only such issue that has robust GSS polling from the early 1970s to date.

With decades of organizing, the anti-choice movement has managed to produce very little net change in the balance of attitudes, which remain closely divided, depending on how questions are asked.  It has done a great deal to re-arrange the structure of such attitudes, and the ways they play out in the electoral arena.  Polarization has increased since 30 years, but the end result falls far short of the extreme that is commonly supposed.

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Was Timing of Arrests Last Week Politically Motivated To The Detriment of Fighting Terrorism?

Cross-posted From Patterns That Connect.

Was the very terrorist plot used to blunt Ned Lamont's victory and support attacks against revealed prematurely, sacrificing real gains in the war on terrorism for partisan political advantage?

That charge was made on Ian Masters' Background Briefing yesterday (audio file not yet available), and received supporting evidence from NBC News today, in a story headlined, "Source: U.S., U.K. at odds over timing of arrests / British wanted to continue surveillance on terror suspects, official says". [Excerpt below the fold.]

Masters is a BBC-trained journalist, severely critical of conspiracy theories. NBC does not go anywhere near speculating, much less reporting on political motives, focusing instead on US jumpiness and lack of patience since 9/11.  But given the history and SOP of the Bush Administratio, it seems highly probable that once again--as in the outing of Valerie Plame--real security has been cynically sacrificed for short-term partisan political advantage.  And, of course, that advantage consists of building a case that blames Bush opponents for not being serious about fighting terrorism.

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The Rightwing Group Slander Of Liberals Refuted--Part 4

Cross-posted from  Patterns That Connect

This is part of a series devoted to refuting the rightwing narrative slandering liberals as an alien force in American politics, not just out of touch with the American mainstream, but downright hostile to it.  I began [part 1 | MyDD] by laying out the big-picture argument:

  1. It's not liberals, but ultra-conservative movement conservatives who are far outside America's mainstream, based on data from the General Social Survey.
  2. This data shows that liberals and conservatives have significantly more overlap than disagreement across a range of controversial social issues, as well as national spending priorities.
  3. On the other hand, those wanting to downsize the welfare state represent only a small minority--even among self-described conservatives.

In part 2 [MyDD], I examined the data on spending. Part 3 [MyDD] highlighted the impact of race in driving the growth of conservative Republicans, particularly in the South, as a prelude to examining social wedge issues. This part is a previously unplanned look at the role religion played in that shift. It's got some surprises.  And more numbers than a campaign.

There's more...

Diaries

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