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Democrats Starting to Learn Republican Methods of Framing Debate
New York Times Magazine ^ | July 17, 2005 | Matthew Bai

Posted on 07/19/2005 10:07:38 PM PDT by JBGUSA

The Framing Wars

By MATT BAI Published: July 17, 2005 After last November's defeat, Democrats were like aviation investigators sifting through twisted metal in a cornfield, struggling to posit theories about the disaster all around them.

*snip*

*snip*

Democrats thought they knew the answer. Even before the election, a new political word had begun to take hold of the party, beginning on the West Coast and spreading like a virus all the way to the inner offices of the Capitol. That word was ''framing.''

Republicans, of course, were the ones who had always excelled at framing controversial issues, having invented and popularized loaded phrases like ''tax relief'' and ''partial-birth abortion''... But now Democrats said that they had learned to fight back. ''

*snip*

The father of framing is a man named George Lakoff, and his spectacular ascent over the last eight months in many ways tells the story of where Democrats have been since the election.

*snip*

When he, like many liberals, became exasperated over the drift of the Kerry campaign last summer -- ''I went to bed angry every night,'' he told me -- Lakoff decided to bang out a short book about politics and language, based on theories he had already published with academic presses, that could serve as a kind of handbook for Democratic activists.

That book, ''Don't Think of an Elephant!'' is now in its eighth printing, having sold nearly 200,000 copies, first through liberal word of mouth and the blogosphere and then through reviews and the lecture circuit.

*snip*

But they never managed to tie them all into a single, unifying image that voters could associate with the president. As a result, none of them stuck. Bush was attacked. Kerry was framed.

*snip*

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: communistgoals; copperheads; culturalmarxism; democratcopperheads; dncfalseprophets; gramsci; greatdeception; partyofliars; religiousleft; traitors; treason
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The concept of "framing" is beginning to sweep the US as the linguistic base to try to bring the Democrats back from the dead. Hopefully, he won't succeed (though, shhhhh, I'm a Democrat). My second cousin, George Lakoff, just wrote a very important book that's sweeping my country, especially Democrats concerned with self-rescue. This was discussed in this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine which I have excerpted.

We should be concerned, even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

1 posted on 07/19/2005 10:07:39 PM PDT by JBGUSA
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To: JBGUSA
The father of framing is a man named George Lakoff, and his spectacular ascent over the last eight months in many ways tells the story of where Democrats have been since the election.

Delusional thinking to the max. The RATS are self destructing Between Reid, Pelosi, Turbin and Dean I have never seen a group of bigger lightweights in my life. They haven't hit bottom yet, this is going to be fun to watch.
2 posted on 07/19/2005 10:12:15 PM PDT by John Lenin (The RATS struck out but they continue to run the bases)
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To: JBGUSA

Yawn. Every election the Liberals lose on the issues, and every election they blame everything *except* the fact that *they believe things that are wrong*!!

It's like an alcoholic who believes everything is wrong in the world except his relationship with the bottle.

Framing, schmaming ...

Liberalism is wrong, it's just the Liberals don't know it yet.


3 posted on 07/19/2005 10:13:22 PM PDT by WOSG (Liberalism is wrong, it's just the Liberals don't know it yet.)
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To: JBGUSA

Uhh...the democommies are already masters at framing issues. They're masterful propagandists, who learned from stalin and goebbels.

What do you think pro abort crowd uses when they manufacture propaganda like "its a womans RIGHT to choose!"

or homosexual marraige "they're just two people who LOVE each other! they wont destroy marraige, and even if they did heteros have already destroyed it anyway"


4 posted on 07/19/2005 10:14:39 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (Support George Allen in 08!)
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To: JBGUSA

It doesn't matter what "frame" they put it in it is still an ugly picture.


5 posted on 07/19/2005 10:15:02 PM PDT by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: JBGUSA; Alamo-Girl; CyberAnt; ken5050; doug from upland; Liz; Libertina; Vicki; wagglebee; ...

From Proverbs, chapter 6:

12 A scoundrel and villain,
who goes about with a corrupt mouth,

13 who winks with his eye,
signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers,

14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
he always stirs up dissension.

15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=wink&x=10&y=6


6 posted on 07/19/2005 10:15:46 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: JBGUSA

This whole "framing" thing is a joke, already dissected to death on this forum. It is simply another word for a concept that has existed for decades among advertisers & publicists. For our purposes it's just another way of trying to fool enough of the people enough of the time with cutesey newspeak, and contempt for the commonweal is what shines through the most glaringly when these types get together to discuss their strategy. Lakoff is merely riding this worn out gimmick for the fame and fortune it will get him.


7 posted on 07/19/2005 10:16:28 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: JBGUSA
The father of framing is a man named George Lakoff, and his spectacular ascent over the last eight months in many ways tells the story of where Democrats have been since the election.
Lakoff is harldy the "father of framing."

Lakoff is linguist, not a rhetorician.

Does anyone really believe that the Democrats lacked a superbly talented team of message managers?--what they lacked was a message.
8 posted on 07/19/2005 10:19:47 PM PDT by Asclepius (protectionists would outsource our dignity and prosperity in return for illusory job security)
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To: JBGUSA
"pro-choice," "gay," "gay marriage," "welfare," "social security," "reproductive rights,"... Yeah, it's conservatives framing the debates. (/sarcasm) What is really happening is that the Republicans are learning how to do it a teensy bit, too.

This is just a perfect example of how out of touch with reality the Democrats are: They don't even see that they have framed the debate when they do so.

9 posted on 07/19/2005 10:20:03 PM PDT by dangus
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To: JBGUSA

How long is the course and what is the attrition rate? So far, the 'RATS aren't framing anything and are screwing up by the numbers with their big mouths.


10 posted on 07/19/2005 10:20:43 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: JBGUSA

It seems to be that after the last election being religious or at least spiritual was the big rage. Remember Hilary describing herself as an "evangelical"? The Dems were squirming all over the place saying they were religious, too. I think that went on for a least two whole weeks. This was a very similar phenomenon to their patriotism and discovery of "manly men" after 9/11.

You can't believe anything these people say. "Framing" is just another word for artful lying.


11 posted on 07/19/2005 10:24:43 PM PDT by claudiustg (Go Sharon! Go Bush!)
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To: Stellar Dendrite

Propaganda is only effective to those in power. Attempts to use propaganda from the minority side results in being spotted as a liar and/or whiner. Don't tell the democrats.


12 posted on 07/19/2005 10:24:46 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Blurblogger

cool.


13 posted on 07/19/2005 10:26:55 PM PDT by bitt ('We will all soon reap what the ignorant are now sowing.' Victor Davis Hanson)
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To: JBGUSA
Ya can't polish a turd!
Frame that!
14 posted on 07/19/2005 10:28:06 PM PDT by Echo Talon (http://echotalon.blogspot.com)
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To: JBGUSA

Matt Bai is a national correspondent for Newsweek magazine. His political work includes coverage of the 2000 presidential campaign.

Mr. Bai has also written extensively about the gun-control debate, the firearms industry and the Columbine High School shootings. In writing stories from every part of the country, he has focused on America's urban-rural divide and in maverick politicians like Jesse Ventura and John McCain. Before coming to Newsweek, Mr. Bai was a metro reporter for the Boston Globe.

******

Matt Bai article in the New York Times Magazine on John Podesta's new Center for American Progress think tank.

Emulating those conservative institutions, he said, a message-oriented war room will send out a daily briefing to refute the positions and arguments of the right. An aggressive media department will book liberal thinkers on cable TV.

******

Notion Building

Written By: Matt Bai
Publication Date: October 12, 2003
Publisher: New York Times Magazine

The ideology of Republican revolution was cooked up decades ago in right-wing think tanks. By copying that model, John Podesta aims to find an idea big enough to save the Democratic Party

******

Bai spent several months in 1998 reporting and writing Newsweek’s cover story on septuagenarian astronaut John Glenn, titled “Back Into Space.” Earlier that year, he spent a month in Iraq covering the standoff with the United States.

15 posted on 07/19/2005 10:30:33 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: sinanju

I thought framing was replaced by wedge issues.
Man, I gotta get the rule book.


16 posted on 07/19/2005 10:32:58 PM PDT by stylin19a (In golf, some are long, I'm "Lama Long")
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To: JBGUSA

My first reaction is that the Rats need to stop lawyering and start selling their agenda, instead of lying about it. And the MSM 'frames' for them all the time. They only missed by a few points in the last election due to it. If they actually were able to make inroads into some of the target groups they believe would benefit from their politics and are natural recipients of their programs, they'd hurt the GOP.

My second reaction is that all they can do is lie about their agenda, since the vast majority of the American people don't like it when they hear it. And they'll never make those inroads because the fruits of their agenda have been nothing but failure, and Americans know that.


17 posted on 07/19/2005 10:36:20 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Kelo, Grutter, Roe...they all have to go.)
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To: JBGUSA

What is "loaded" about the term 'partial-birth abortion?' Does anyone who can understand the words not understand what a PBA is?


18 posted on 07/19/2005 10:45:58 PM PDT by MitchellC (Foolishness isn't a mental disorder.)
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To: JBGUSA
Republicans, of course, were the ones who had always excelled at framing controversial issues, having invented and popularized loaded phrases like ''tax relief'' and ''partial-birth abortion''... But now Democrats said that they had learned to fight back.

So how does George Lakoff (rhymes with...) come up with phrases which will energize voters to embrace tax hikes and killing babies that are all born except for the tops of their heads? Them Democrats are an odd bunch. This should be interesting....

19 posted on 07/19/2005 10:46:07 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: kcvl

---The ideology of Republican revolution was cooked up decades ago in right-wing think tanks. By copying that model, John Podesta aims to find an idea big enough to save the Democratic Party---

Gay marriage, more gun control, higher taxes, benefits for illegal aliens, an anti-American foreign policy, the erasure of Christianity from public life, legislation from the bench, forest and wildlife management from the bench, and more petty regulations than you can possibly imagine. The Dims have plenty of "ideas".


20 posted on 07/19/2005 10:47:57 PM PDT by claudiustg (Go Sharon! Go Bush!)
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To: kcvl

---The ideology of Republican revolution was cooked up decades ago in right-wing think tanks. By copying that model, John Podesta aims to find an idea big enough to save the Democratic Party---

Gay marriage, more gun control, higher taxes, benefits for illegal aliens, an anti-American foreign policy, the erasure of Christianity from public life, legislation from the bench, forest and wildlife management from the bench, and more petty regulations than you can possibly imagine. The Dims have plenty of "ideas".


21 posted on 07/19/2005 10:50:01 PM PDT by claudiustg (Go Sharon! Go Bush!)
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To: Asclepius; GVgirl; stylin19a; FlingWingFlyer; Stellar Dendrite; Blurblogger; CzarNicky; ...
Yes, because nothing says "populist, mass appeal" more than a pretentious, elitist blowhard-who specializes in the field that's of no conceivable interest to anyone outside of the cloistered world of academe-that teaches at a college that's a repository of every discredited "new left" and crypto-Marxist concept known to man.

WATCH OUT REPUBLICANS!

NOAM CHOMSKY'S EQUALLY TENDENTIOUS, BUT SLIGHTLY LESS DELUSIONAL, CLONE IS CALLING YOU OUT!

(Prolonged eye roll.)

22 posted on 07/19/2005 10:50:29 PM PDT by Do not dub me shapka broham
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To: Do not dub me shapka broham


George Lakoff version.


We are going to kill the economy and raise your taxes to boot. The worse the economy gets the more we will raise taxes.
23 posted on 07/19/2005 10:56:15 PM PDT by John Lenin (The RATS struck out but they continue to run the bases)
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To: JBGUSA
The concept of "framing" is beginning to sweep the US as the linguistic base to try to bring the Democrats back from the dead.

Don't think so.

It sounds similar to that infamous French creation, Deconstructionism, which informed us that there's no such thing as right or wrong, only power relationships. Similarly, "framing" tells us that there's no such thing as "truth" or "lies"--the only thing that matters is how an argument is framed.

But the Left has been attempting this--disastrously--for a long time, with MSM help. Certainly the whole National Guard story was framed perfectly: Rich wastrel unfairly gets into cushy unit while poor boys die in Vietnam. Similarly, the Rove story frames nicely too: In his zeal to attack the brave critics of the evil Iraq War, Rove exposed a dedicated CIA agent and broke the law. There you go.

Both are simple, easy-to-understand narratives that frame good against evil perfectly. The only problem is...they weren't true. Frame or no frame, the MSM had to give up on the National Guard story when their relentless belief in an obvious forgery made them look increasingly absurd. The Rove story will follow the same pattern.

You can be the best polisher in the world but, as Mom used to say, you can't shine s**t.

24 posted on 07/19/2005 11:06:39 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: JBGUSA
Yeah, framing the debate as in "Anti Choice," "Affirmative Action," "Quotas," "Diversity," "old news," "Extremist," "moderate," etc.

Gee, I wonder where all the above, and scads more, frames came from...
25 posted on 07/19/2005 11:07:36 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: dangus
"pro-choice," "gay," "gay marriage," "welfare," "social security," "reproductive rights,"... Yeah, it's conservatives framing the debates. (/sarcasm) What is really happening is that the Republicans are learning how to do it a teensy bit, too.

This is just a perfect example of how out of touch with reality the Democrats are: They don't even see that they have framed the debate when they do so.

Great observation! Rush long ago pointed out that it was Democrats who were always the masters at framing a debate and consequently winning it as Republicans fell for their bait: hook, line, and sinker. As you say, we're finally learning to do it as well.

26 posted on 07/19/2005 11:11:08 PM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: Asclepius
Ironically, Lakoff got his start by feuding with his former mentor, Numb Chimpsky. And for the other people here, I'm reporting, not advocating, what the article says.

I am concerned that better delivery might hurt us, particularly since Bush can't run again. Look what happened in 1992 with Clinton v. GWHB.

27 posted on 07/19/2005 11:16:04 PM PDT by JBGUSA (If it's us or them, I choose us.)
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To: JBGUSA
Ahem. We don't "frame" debates. We're simply just right (in both senses of the word).
28 posted on 07/19/2005 11:16:36 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Thanks to the Leftists, today's deviants will be tomorrow's oppressed minority.)
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To: claudiustg

Sounds like Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Canada is their laboratory. Heaven forefend!!!


29 posted on 07/19/2005 11:17:13 PM PDT by JBGUSA (If it's us or them, I choose us.)
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To: Blurblogger

Bravo! Excellent scripture.


30 posted on 07/19/2005 11:27:26 PM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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To: JBGUSA

I don't know. This filthy book somehow got assigned in a Media and Identity class(yeah, I know, this garbage is required here under the rubric of 'integrated studies,' which is a nice little framing of the underlying method of 'indoctrination' via weaving together disparate concepts as humanities and some social science leftists are prone to do.)

There were no offerings AT ALL from the right, not even in teh anthologies. I dropped the class, I refused to be indoctrinated(and I'm too busy and involved elsewhere to be the paladin.)

There's a section of the book that discusses people who used his techniques in real life. One woman refers to AOL chats where she told pro-lifers, "If you don't believe in abortion it's your choice not to have one, but you don't HAVE to have one." She claims she won some debates with people, but I can't imagine her opponents were over the age of about..8.

I read some of the rest of the book. It's utter bunk and relies on twisting the language to an extent that the issue is no longer 'framing'(interesting that Chomsky was a mentor of his--what a surprise--it is in fact Chomsky that has corrupted language to further his ends, not his ideological opponents) but manipulation and fabrication.

Words DO mean things. By obscuring the true meaning under layers of emotionally-charged words or constructed phrases, you are merely a masterful deceiver.

Going from tax cut to tax relief is hardly what made tax cuts a winner with the American people.


31 posted on 07/19/2005 11:37:07 PM PDT by Skywalk (Transdimensional Jihad!)
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To: Do not dub me shapka broham; Asclepius

Let them have their academic debate. "Framing" seems to have no substance at all. The PR term is "positioning." Democrats blow it because they aren't believable and they aren't aligned with core values. As long as they are "positioned" with losing concepts...well we can gloat!


32 posted on 07/19/2005 11:41:47 PM PDT by GVnana
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To: JBGUSA

You can put a gold frame on a painting of a pig in mud and you still have a pig in mud.


33 posted on 07/19/2005 11:43:21 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch; JBGUSA; arasina; CyberAnt; John Lenin; denydenydeny; Prime Choice
Subterfuge only gets you so far in American politics.

A painful lesson that Hillary Clinton-quite obviously-has yet to fully grasp.

34 posted on 07/19/2005 11:43:39 PM PDT by Do not dub me shapka broham
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To: John Lenin
The RATS are self destructing Between Reid, Pelosi, Turbin and Dean I have never seen a group of bigger lightweights in my life. They haven't hit bottom yet, this is going to be fun to watch.

Well put FRiend!

35 posted on 07/19/2005 11:45:02 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: GVgirl

And in all honesty, what are their values?

For Burkean conservatives and libertarians there are distinct moral and legal principles and hundreds of years of inquiry and development that led to our laws and our approach to liberty.

Not only does the left hold values that are antithetical to what MADE America, but there really is no guiding vision except more socialism.

Have you ever had delineate inviolable boundaries between public and private sector? Have they ever said "this much taxation is too high?" Is any regulation really the LAST WORD of regulatory intevention in that industry or in the economy? Except when it comes to discrimination, they've decided that certain forms are acceptable and group identity is something they've embraced. As you know, when a group identity and package of rights becomes more highly valued than individual rights, there really is no STOP POINT for the steady erosion of individual rights and sovereignty(despite the pro-choice lobby claims to standing for liberty. Those ads ring hollow when you know most of them do not favor choice in anything except killing unborn.)

Other than being consistently deconstructionist and appeasing the very worst elements in society and in the world, what ideological territory(as a party and in PR) have they staked out and made theirs?


36 posted on 07/19/2005 11:49:16 PM PDT by Skywalk (Transdimensional Jihad!)
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To: GVgirl
Democrats liberals blow it because they aren't believable and they aren't aligned with core values.

Sorry, however Zell Miller's stance compelled me to edit. ; )

37 posted on 07/19/2005 11:50:31 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: MitchellC
Does anyone who can understand the words not understand what a PBA is?

I can.

It's a mental disorder with a symptom that shows itself in this form in early diagnosis: "I don't care how inconsiderate I have been, I just want to be able to think about myself and continue to do so at any cost!"

38 posted on 07/19/2005 11:58:32 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: John Lenin
Between Reid, Pelosi, Turbin and Dean I have never seen a group of bigger lightweights in my life.

It's a hell of a lowball hand to draw one card to.

39 posted on 07/20/2005 12:03:03 AM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington (Washington State--Land of Court-approved Voting Fraud.)
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To: sinanju
It is simply another word for a concept that has existed for decades among advertisers & publicists. For our purposes it's just another way of trying to fool enough of the people enough of the time with cutesey newspeak, and contempt...

Kind of like the Charmin toilet paper campaign, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin." It deflected attention from the decreased roll size and increased air being sold at an increased price.
40 posted on 07/20/2005 12:59:00 AM PDT by carumba
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To: dangus
"pro-choice," "gay," "gay marriage," "welfare," "social security," "reproductive rights,"... Yeah, it's conservatives framing the debates. (/sarcasm)

How about "Multi-cultural" , "diversity", "hate speech"....

41 posted on 07/20/2005 2:14:45 AM PDT by freebilly (Go Manitowoc Bandits!)
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To: John Lenin
We need a HILLARY WARNING before someone just posts her picture.

My eyes are burning and my teeth are clenched.

42 posted on 07/20/2005 2:31:32 AM PDT by still_learning (Will Rogers never met Dick Durbin)
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To: freebilly
All these terms are good for the liberal dictionary.

Hate Speech - any idea put forth that is inconsistent with the world view of socialism.

43 posted on 07/20/2005 2:34:45 AM PDT by still_learning (Will Rogers never met Dick Durbin)
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To: JBGUSA
ROFL! You don't need slick marketing to get people to support you. What you need are good ideas. Any one can explain them. You don't need an Ivory Tower egg-head to do that for you. The Democrats have to explain what they want to about the economy, national security, and cultural values issues. We're waiting to hear something positive from them in those fields. So far the Democrats haven't inspired people to vote for them as opposed to voting against the other party. No amount of "framing" will help them if they're not honest with the American people about who they are and what set of beliefs motivate them to seek public office.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
44 posted on 07/20/2005 2:35:01 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: JBGUSA
This is similar with their reasoning on education! No one has to learn anything, you merely have to FEEL good about yourself and get along with your neighbor.

Since the election of President Bush in 1999, the Democraps FRAMING has been to JUST SAY NO to every proposal, policy and most nominees that satisfy the criteria that President Bush stated when he ran for the presidency. I believe they have had the Dare gene implanted!
45 posted on 07/20/2005 2:44:13 AM PDT by leprechaun9
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To: JBGUSA

That word "FRAMING" has more than one meaning.

Appears we know which meaning these liberals have selected to use, anybody heard of Joe Wilson and his woman?????


46 posted on 07/20/2005 2:48:55 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Blurblogger

Thanks for the ping!


47 posted on 07/20/2005 6:04:16 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: CyberAnt; Do not dub me shapka broham; onyx; JBGUSA; Prime Choice; kristinn; bitt; RonDog; ...

"Liberals lie at the premise, accept their premise and you can only lose the argument" -- unknown


48 posted on 07/20/2005 7:03:14 AM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: A CA Guy

Exactly. The Dems still believe that the public is not rejecting their message, just the way it is presented.


49 posted on 07/20/2005 7:04:56 AM PDT by kabar
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To: dangus

How can you expect people who truly believe that the main stream media is conservative to be able to see anything clearly? They are delusional.


50 posted on 07/20/2005 7:12:54 AM PDT by Ditter
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