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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Luntz’

This is refreshing to read in a newspaper:

But as Republicans smelled serious opportunity in the midterm elections, they didn’t let facts get in the way of a great punchline. And few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry.

That paragraph is from today’s St. Petersburg Times, and appears in their article PolitiFact’s Lie Of The Year. I think they deserve a great deal of credit for calling out their own.

The article is the kind of reporting the news media should do a lot more of. Facts are good things, and as the saying goes, knowledge is power. Had these facts come out a long time ago the health care reform law may have turned out quite differently.

The article illustrates how the Republican Party set out to sway the public against health care reform and attack President Obama. To do so they used self-proclaimed “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz, the consultant whose slogan is “It’s Not What You Say That Matters, It’s What They Hear,” which seems fitting as a motto for the Republican Party as well. The Republicans turned to Luntz for a similar “snow job” in an attempt to kill financial reform, and he also played a roll in Newt Gingrich’s “Contract For America.”

To construct the big lie for the GOP Luntz came up with the term “government takeover.”

“Takeovers are like coups,” Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. “They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.”

The line stuck. By the time the health care bill was headed toward passage in early 2010, Obama and congressional Democrats had sanded down their program, dropping the “public option” concept that was derided as too much government intrusion. The law passed in March, with new regulations, but no government-run plan.

We’re still hearing the words “government takeover” and the Republicans like the term so much that it’s become interchangeable with just about every issue out there.

The lie worked, in that it got the health care bill watered down considerably.

But that’s not enough for the GOP. They’re working to kill it altogether. 20 states, with Florida in the lead, have filed a lawsuit claiming the law is unconstitutional. Earlier this week, a judge in Virginia actually did rule part of it unconstitutional, but that judge also owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in a GOP political consulting firm. No conflict THERE of course, right? Did someone say “Government takeover?”

No, the Party that’s willing to hold the poor and unemployed hostage, along with DADT, The DREAM Act and national security with the START Treaty in order to get more tax cuts for their rich friends and contributors (not to mention themselves) have no qualms about robbing you and those very same people of a chance at getting health care. So expect more of the same in the future.

In fact, they’ve already begun:

An influential Tea Party group is urging Congress to hold votes in January to repeal healthcare reform in its entirety, according to a confidential memo to congressional Republicans.

The FreedomWorks memo, obtained by The Hill, outlines a strategy that starts with holding a vote in January to repeal the entire law. The group, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), said Congress should then hold repeal votes on certain provisions of the law, such as the individual mandate.

“Repeal is achievable, possibly sooner than many expect, because the American people clearly want and expect repeal, and because the law is vulnerable to effective repeal,” the memo said.

“Because the American people clearly want and expect repeal.” Do you want and expect repeal of the health care law? Because Dick Armey SAYS you do.

“It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what they hear.”

There’s also more to Congress than meets the eye. You see, you may think you know who you elected to go to Washington to fight for you, but you really elected “wordsmiths” and “blowhards” like Frank Luntz and Dick Armey. Those new Republican “leaders” come January who you see crying like babies who claim they’ve harnessed the American Dream are really just puppets who have sold out. They’ve sold you and the country out as well.

We need more exposure to the GOP’s “big lies” from the media. We can’t afford to let the truth get drowned out, or we’ll only “hear” from these guys.

The puppet-masters.

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The Republicans have made it clear from the start: They want Obama to fail. They were blunt about this fact right from the beginning, when those very words were shouted and spewed forth by Dick Cheney’s friend, his hate-mongering puppet and the “leader” of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh. By doing so, the Grand Obstructionist Party also wants America to fail. To these greedy, power-hungry Congressmen, it’s a small price to pay. In their ignorance they are willing to all but destroy the country in their pursuit of power, and we, the American people are merely getting in the way.

We’ve seen what they did and are still doing to kill health care reform. But before they’ve finished that task, now they’re moving on to the next target: financial reform and the bank problem. Never mind that the U.S. economy was nearly destroyed in the past year dragging the world economy with it. No, they’re not finished with that just yet. Finance reform must be killed as well, and to do that they plan to use the same tools they used in the attempt to obliterate health care reform. One of those tools they’re using, and oh what a tool he is: Frank Luntz. He is the chief tool, and the fool of the “Buzzword” industry. Some may recognize him from GOP-TV FOX “News” where he leads low information voters in focus groups to let the rest of the FOX viewers know that what Obama and the Democrats are doing is wrong, and to exactly what degree of wrong they are.

What some may not know is that Luntz had a large role in the Newt Gingrich “Contract For America,” after which he built up a large “buzzword” business which boasts:

“It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear.”

He used that business, and that motto, to give the GOP its talking points and strategy to oppose health care reform, words they in turn used and repeated like trained parrots before the cameras every time they’ve needed an anti-health care sound byte in the past year or so. Luntz, the self-proclaimed “Word Doctor” writes the words, and they try to sell them to you and me. Along with their own made up claims and scare tactics. Whatever works.

So now “Frank Luntz: Word Doctor” (enter superhero music here if you like) is back to do his best to kill finance reform along with the GOP, a job probably made even easier now thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United. He’s written the talking points that the GOP will use (you can read a copy of the report for yourself here.) dumbed down just for them, written in bold, contained in boxes throughout the report entitled “Words That Work” and apparently he saved the really “big” words and phrases for the last page where you’ll find a big RED box called “Words to Use” for the particularly challenged congressmen who can’t or is too lazy to read the rest. Phrases like “RED TAPE”, “BLOATED BUREAUCRACY”, “HARD WORKING TAXPAYERS” and “NEVER AGAIN.” All phrases that we will, no doubt, have memorized within a month or so if we spend any time watching the news or reading the paper. Yes, thanks to idiots like Luntz and the Grand Obstructionist Party, and The Supreme Court, if the Democrats don’t step in and stop it somehow, we will soon be The Corporate States of America.

Last night on Countdown, Keith Olbermann had a great report on the Luntz memo:

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