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Everyone Who Cares About the Future of America Should Read This Political Playbook
March 3, 2005 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Frank Luntz GOP Playbook Now Online: No Downloads, Searchable Text I can't stress enough the importance of reading this document. It is absolutely amazing how politicos co-opted so much of our language and led us down the path to THEIR agenda.

Unfortunately, the monstrous PDF file previously available for download made that a 'challenging' endeavor. Thus, I thought it was very important to bring to everybody's attention the existence of an online, readable, searchable, text version of Frank Luntz’s Playbook. It is a masterpiece of manipulation and an historic political document.
posted by jb_thms (85 comments total)

 
Thank you thank you thank you. Concrete evidence of the vast right-wing conspiracy!
posted by Miko at 9:04 AM on March 3, 2005


I can't stress enough the importance of reading this document.

Didn't stop you from trying.
posted by trharlan at 9:11 AM on March 3, 2005


Where's the "IMMENSELY ENTERTAINING!" part? Am I supposed to keep scrolling down?
posted by koeselitz at 9:14 AM on March 3, 2005


it slipped into the ethers, obviously because IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE SEEN.
posted by moonbird at 9:15 AM on March 3, 2005


Tom Tomorrow on how to argue like a conservative. (via Kos who has been all over the Luntz playbook)
posted by caddis at 9:17 AM on March 3, 2005


Single-link post to copyright infringing, post-election bitterness. Thrilling stuff, indeed.
posted by veedubya at 9:20 AM on March 3, 2005


Isn't this a bit liberalnormative? "Our" and "their" shows no bias at all...

Also, linky no worky.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:20 AM on March 3, 2005


Also, I guess this needs a "less inside" note in the fpp. Never seen one like that before.
posted by koeselitz at 9:22 AM on March 3, 2005


Whoops, it got scaled down. Somebody's on the job-- good call.
posted by koeselitz at 9:25 AM on March 3, 2005


It's MY agenda, thank you very much, and until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans, anything we do to compensate for the outrageous leftist bias of such institutions is fair game.
posted by MattD at 9:32 AM on March 3, 2005


"Our" language? A significant majority of MeFites may be of a certain political persuasion, but it is by no means universal, despite your implication. I can decide for myself whether certain terminology is mine or not without you trying to tell me what "our" language is.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:32 AM on March 3, 2005


Linky is worky for me.
posted by caddis at 9:33 AM on March 3, 2005


I don't want to be too pedantic, thedevildancedlightly, but it's not their, it's THEIR. As in shouting. Hysterically.
posted by veedubya at 9:33 AM on March 3, 2005


Until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters believe the Earth is flat, anything we can do to compensate for the outrageous round-Earth bias of such institutions is fair game.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:41 AM on March 3, 2005


Shame that such good content has been wrapped in such a crappy FPP.

MattD- do we get to stack the faculty of Bob Jones University with Democrats as well? I mean, fair's fair if you want to play that game.

Or, you could simply just accept the fact that education has historically, across the globe, trended toward liberal ideologies and not act so fucking entitled.
posted by mkultra at 9:42 AM on March 3, 2005


Deleted portion of fpp: "Read it and judge for yourself. You will be outraged at the degree to which you have been hoodwinked by the greatest propagandists since ... well… you know who."

Did Jb go Godwin in the fpp, or don't I know who?
posted by caddis at 9:42 AM on March 3, 2005


outrageous round earth bias - ROFL
posted by caddis at 9:43 AM on March 3, 2005


how politicos co-opted so much of our language

I read 'our language' in that phrase to mean 'our common language, American English'.

until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans

Ah, if only there were any Republicans qualified to be Harvard professors or NYT reporters...well, we can dream.

But anyway, /sarcasm. Even if every member of the fourth estate were a card-carrying GOP booster, they would still have a very difficult time reporting on an administration which has held the fewest press conferences of any president since William Howard Taft, and is so unusually secretive that journalists are restricted in the facts they have to work with. For those who actually believe in the fiction of 'left-wing media bias', here's a slightly more nuanced analysis from a recent ish of the New Yorker.
posted by Miko at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2005


Oops. Make that "...the New Yorker."
posted by Miko at 9:46 AM on March 3, 2005



It's MY agenda, thank you very much, and until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans, anything we do to compensate for the outrageous leftist bias of such institutions is fair game.


Yeah, and since 70% of the population believes in guardian angels, 70% of newly-hired Harvard professors and NYT reporters should too! And if that proportion changes, Harvard and the Times should change their hiring policies to reflect it!

And if only 6% of the population has doctoral degrees, why should Harvard be stuffing itself with all of these spoiled Ph.Ds? It should be representative of America!
posted by Hildago at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2005


Damn it, we need to keep politics out of Academia by forcing colleges to keep track of the political affiliation of their staff! It's an outrage! An outrage!
posted by Hildago at 9:50 AM on March 3, 2005


"In 1949, during the Cold War, the Board of Regents of the University of California imposed a requirement that all University employees sign an oath affirming not only loyalty to the state constitution, but a denial of membership or belief in organizations (including Communist organizations) advocating overthrow of the United States government. Many faculty, students, and employees resisted the oath for violating principles of shared governance, academic freedom, and tenure. In the summer of 1950, thirty-one "non-signer" professors--including internationally distinguished scholars, not one of whom had been charged of professional unfitness or personal disloyalty--and many other UC employees were dismissed. The controversy raised critical questions for American higher education".
posted by matteo at 9:57 AM on March 3, 2005


Academics don't do a very good job of being political, so if they really are a bunch of leftists, some of the blame for their lack of influence rests with them. The efforts to keep politics out of the classroom rests on assumptions about the influence of the classroom environment that are heavily contested, as most evidence seems to indicate that students have been socialized politically years prior to entering college. I imagine that efforts to depoliticize the academy reflect more the authority granted to conservative voices in the culture at large than they do an actual issue with liberal advocacy in the classroom.

As for Luntz, there are a few responses worth noting. There's this response from Think Progress, Tom Ball's work over at Political Strategy, the initial discussion on Daily Kos, and for what it's worth, my response over at Progressive Commons. The initial document and the responses make for some interesting reading, at least for those interested in how political debates play themselves out in the mindspace of would-be partisans.

Any other responses worthy of note, from any corner of the political spectrum?
posted by hank_14 at 10:15 AM on March 3, 2005


And yes, the Tom Ball link I provided gets you to the same place as the searchable Luntz report. Personally, I like his discussions of other issues that I believe relate, like Gannon and Novak, hence the link.
posted by hank_14 at 10:18 AM on March 3, 2005


Hey, as far as I'm concerned, Harvard and the New York Times don't have to anything they don't want to do, hiring conservatives no less than anything else.

But that doesn't mean they can be left opposed in their efforts to convert their intramural role into public influence, especially given the consequences.

I'm grateful to the Sulzbergers for hiring the New York Time reporters who I read quite enjoyably everyday, I'm even more grateful to Karl Rove for keeping those same reporters from imposing a pinko like John Kerry on me.
posted by MattD at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2005


"a pinko like John Kerry"... okay, next.
posted by mek at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2005


Damn pinkos and their Silver and Bronze medals and Purple Hearts... Real men dodge the draft thanks to daddy's connections.
posted by bardic at 10:36 AM on March 3, 2005


Pinko? Really?

Wait ... who switched my MeFi thread over to a talk-radio feed. Kimmer, is that you?
posted by grabbingsand at 10:48 AM on March 3, 2005


It's MY agenda, thank you very much, and until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans, anything we do to compensate for the outrageous leftist bias of such institutions is fair game.

When I was in college, it was my responsibilty to think critically and consider my professors' arguments for myself in all subjects: physics, history, computer science, and economics. With most of these professors, I had to infer these biases and form my own opinions with them in mind. I didn't pay for baby formula, I paid to hear what doctorate-level students of these topics had to say.

When I read the paper or the intarweb, it's my responsibility to consider the bias of what I'm reading. I don't want or need Karl Rove to sound out the big words for me or hold my hand when I peepee.

And what I really don't want or need is my gotdangt tax dollars spent on ensuring that "all sides are heard." I can bloody well think for myself.

The newspaper is already printed at an 8th grade reading level. If you get your way, it'll be indistinguishable from an 8th-graders' civics handouts.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:49 AM on March 3, 2005


But didn't you hear? Critical thinking is now un-American.
posted by bardic at 10:53 AM on March 3, 2005


I followed a few links and downloaded the PDFs.
posted by VulcanMike at 10:56 AM on March 3, 2005


until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans---

and until 50% of corporate executives are Democrats? Yes?

(Sounds like someone's still bitter about being a C-minus student.)
posted by riviera at 10:57 AM on March 3, 2005


It is important that universities are diverse. Not just in the color of peoples skin but also in political views. This is why we should introduce affirmitive action of Republicans in liberal faculties.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 10:59 AM on March 3, 2005


Is it just me, or is there a 'sore winner' phenomenon among Republicans? People like MattD seem outraged that, their side having won a whopping 51% of the popular vote, Democrats haven't committed mass suicide, or cut out their tongues, or signed up as slaves?
posted by riviera at 11:04 AM on March 3, 2005


riviera: "Is it just me, or is there a 'sore winner' phenomenon among Republicans?"

I think you mean "among Americans." It used to be just on the right, the general meanness. But it's migrated left, too.
posted by koeselitz at 11:20 AM on March 3, 2005


I think you mean "among Americans." It used to be just on the right, the general meanness. But it's migrated left, too.

So the left are being sore winners, too? I don't see it.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:23 AM on March 3, 2005


drscroogemcduck - please tell me you are joking. Affirmative action for Republicans? So it's okay to dislike AA when it's a racial minority but okay when it serves your purpose?

Give me a fucking break.
posted by longbaugh at 11:25 AM on March 3, 2005


The whole David Horowitz/Let's Conservatize the Academy argument is just fucking pathetic. As riviera notes, why isn't there a similar drive for CEO's or bankers to have a 50/50 split in terms of politics? It's stupid, and it's also indicative of the troglodytic thinking that passes for many "Conservative Intellectuals" these days.

I got an MA in English lit at the University of Virginia, probably not the most "librul" of institutions, but having an English department that is, by my own admission, quite politically Democratic, as are most humanities-type institutions (hell, if you fundies really want to blow a gasket, just go hang out with Anthro. and Sociology prof's). The point being, my best professors, regardless of politics, were in the classroom trying to teach their subject--Paul Cantor comes to mind, a brilliant student of Shakespeare, Romanticism, and popular culture, and a huge fan of Dole and Bush. Thing is, and I think sonofsamiam makes this point well, is that one's job as a college/graduate student is to think for yourself. If you're so hopelessly doe-eyed as to become a socialist because your freshman lit. teacher is one, than you deserve to go through life chasing after whatever ideology amuses you the most. Thing is, those types of people don't end up in the higher echelons of the academy, because, quite frankly, it's damn hard to get a tenure-track position in a college or university.

And on another note, why not a call for biology and econ. departments to have more liberals? I don't have numbers in front of me, but I was always amused at the reactionary nature of most science and math professors--not to say they're all conservative, but if drscroogemcduck's Stalinist cry for parity is to be carried out fully, the purge is gonna have to work both ways, no?

As for why humanities departments do tend to have so many profs left of center? Most likely because they love what they do, and are willing to forsake creature comforts during their 20's in order to accomplish intellectual work of the highest possible level. I'm all for MBA's, but let's face it, that's a much easier degree to come by, and a life in business, while requiring hard work, will suffer from too much critical inquiry (pun intended), embrace of ambiguous notions, what Keats called "negative capability," and willingness to change intellectual positions when the evidence suggests it necessary.
posted by bardic at 11:32 AM on March 3, 2005


I'm pretty sure drscroogemcduck meant that as a joke, longbaugh.
Also, I don't think he's a real Doctor, and he may not be a duck.
posted by Floydd at 11:32 AM on March 3, 2005


Floyyd, I think you might want to check out Scrooge's posting history. Hyperbole perhaps, but joke, no.
posted by caddis at 11:38 AM on March 3, 2005


a pinko like John Kerry

Heart that? It's the sound of Marx rolling in his grave.
posted by mkultra at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2005


Oops! Just did, and it looks like you may be right caddis.
Post in haste, repent at leisure.
I'll stand firm on the duck part, though.
posted by Floydd at 11:42 AM on March 3, 2005


It's MY agenda, thank you very much, and until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans, anything we do to compensate for the outrageous leftist bias of such institutions is fair game.

That's funny. I don't remember where in the Constitution it gives Harvard or the New York Times the power to tax me, arrest me, or draft me.
posted by jonp72 at 11:43 AM on March 3, 2005


I'm all for MBA's, but let's face it, that's a much easier degree to come by,

I'm sure that the majority of 99th percentile males in Southeast Asia would disagree pretty strongly with this.
posted by trharlan at 11:53 AM on March 3, 2005



It is important that universities are diverse. Not just in the color of peoples skin but also in political views. This is why we should introduce affirmitive action of Republicans in liberal faculties.


That's hilarious.

But see, the thing is, people's political opinions change when they get an education. Ever see studies where the relationship between education level and, say, believing in the tooth fairy (or god, or bush, or whoever) is inversely correlated?

sure, they may start out republican. but with all the pins of fact that are lying about in universities, balloons of cognitive dissonance tend to get popped.

but hey, let's get some more repubs on faculty. then that countrywide belief that the earth is about 10,000 years old and some sort of sky ghost created it all in 7 days can become even more entrenched.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:00 PM on March 3, 2005


a pinko like John Kerry

not to mention, when he went to Vietnam instead of asking daddy for a nice National Guard post, he didn't bleed enough
posted by matteo at 12:25 PM on March 3, 2005


luwig_van: "So the left are being sore winners, too? I don't see it."

No. See, here. Let me say it right.

AMERICANS ARE JERKS. Almost all of them. Mention politics and they spasm with anger, rage, frustration, and bile. For evidence, I can list a few MeFi threads, if you'd like. This isn't a partisan phenomenon. We're equal opportunity assholes.

Liberals will whine about how mean conservatives are just until they get another Jeff Gannon to skewer. And Conservatives will bitch about how put-upon they are and about how they can't put any good John Birch types on their course list at whatever college they go to and how the liberals are so mean to them until their copy of the latest Ann Coulter book comes in the mail.

Don't pretend it doesn't happen on both sides. These people are assholes. It's not just the people in office who are scumbags anymore; it's everybody.
posted by koeselitz at 12:40 PM on March 3, 2005


oh, yeah, poor little jeff gannon. we've been so HARD on him. but in what world does the outing of a repub operative who was abusing the white house press privilege equate with john birch or ann coulter?

you conservative-leaners are absolute masters of false equivocation.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:48 PM on March 3, 2005


Look, I don't give a fuck about Jeff Gannon. The point is that the only reason anyone still does is out of mean-spiritedness. But if you don't like that example, there are dozens more. Hell, focus on Bush, for example, "Dubya." Look around at what people call him, look at just one of the dozens of books published about his grammar. If people spent a hundredth of the time they've spent lampooning Bush on actual political discussion, we would have the best president in the world right now. But they didn't. Because they're satisfied with a poop joke and "dissidence." This didn't used to be the way it was; in the Nixon era, conservatives were crochety old jerks, and liberals were usually young people who cared about the world and acted out of a kind of compassion.

The tide is still turning. A lot of the people in the United States who think of themselves as "liberal" are on the side they're on because they're kind people. But if the Michael Moores and Ted Kennedys of the world have their way, liberals will soon be as nasty, as brutish, and as evil as conservatives always have been. What I wouldn't give to trade Ted to have John F. back. Damn.
posted by koeselitz at 1:03 PM on March 3, 2005


No. See, here. Let me say it right.

AMERICANS ARE JERKS.


Maybe. But that isn't what you originally said and it doesn't respond to the question you quoted before posting it.

Besides that, your argument is entirely anecdotal and overgeneralized, and so I don't find it very compelling.
posted by ludwig_van at 1:12 PM on March 3, 2005


koeselitz--I don't have any ill-will towards GuckertGannon personally. I have some very deep reservations, however, about not only how he got into WH press briefings, but why he got exclusive treatment, i.e., he was called on at almost every briefing he attended.

Feel free to call yourself an asshole, however, just don't smear the rest of us. Your's is a pretty weak attempt at evading some hard facts. And yes, Clinton had a network of operatives and hit-men, as have all presidents since Nixon (hell, probably even back to Andrew Jackson), but I would argue that while in kind things are the same as usual, in degree there has been one hell of a shift away from any attempt at being fair with the press. To put it another way, at least Clinton tried to keep up appearances, while Bush II simply creates his own media-bubble, replete with fake journalists, fake "town-hall" style meetings, and fake "commercials" now being investigated by the GAO.
posted by bardic at 1:16 PM on March 3, 2005


Why do Republicans always rag on Michael Moore and Ted Kennedy ?

I would really like someone to explain to me exactly what evil things they've done, and making mildly sharp comments about Republicans doesn't count.
posted by rfs at 1:17 PM on March 3, 2005


Is it just me, or is there a 'sore winner' phenomenon among Republicans? People like MattD seem outraged that, their side having won a whopping 51% of the popular vote, Democrats haven't committed mass suicide, or cut out their tongues, or signed up as slaves?

A goodly proportion of current Republican politics is the politics of envy. They believe that many of us unRepublicans are enjoying the USA in its current shape far more than they are, and after all their election victories, this ought to stop.
posted by liam at 1:22 PM on March 3, 2005


Look, I don't give a fuck about Jeff Gannon. The point is that the only reason anyone still does is out of mean-spiritedness.

Slightly to the side like, that is absolutely false. Someone in the WH enabled a HUGE security breach by letting Gannon in. I, for one, would like to know who. It's a That's my right as an American and has nothing to do with attitude. It's a matter of focus, see? You want to focus on the mean-spirited, then go right ahead because that helps the Republicans. If you'd read what Luntz wrote, you'd know that.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:22 PM on March 3, 2005


ludwig_van: okay. Sorry. Here's what happened, as I percieved it: Somebody said that it seemed funny to him that right wingers are sore winners; I said that I thought that left wingers were mean as well, and that this was a change; and my clarification was, admittedly, way over the top. But I stand by my assertion that there's a lot more meanness in American political discourse nowadays.

And, bardic, I didn't say anything about public officials besides that they've always been scumbags. I only spoke of public discourse, which I think has gotten a lot worse. Maybe people in the US have always been this way, and my perception is just off. But if that's true, they still should shut up.

Finally, on preview: rfs, Ted Kennedy is a jerk, in my opinion. Not as bad as Jesse Helms, maybe, or most Republican senators, but certainly a huge leap down for the democrats. And it makes me sad to see that.

posted by koeselitz at 1:25 PM on March 3, 2005



Look, I don't give a fuck about Jeff Gannon. The point is that the only reason anyone still does is out of mean-spiritedness.


ayuh. the same mean-spititedness that cages constitutionally guaranteed expression into "free speech zones" blocks from the nearest public official while allowing unscreened phony journalists using fake names within a few feet of the president of the united states...
posted by quonsar at 1:26 PM on March 3, 2005


The point is that the only reason anyone still does is out of mean-spiritedness.

Wrong. Either our national security is a joke, or highly-placed members of the white house are planting stooges in the press corp, or both. This is a real issue.

Quit making assumptions about my motives. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

I'm not a liberal (whatever that term means these days.) I'm a free-market loving, 1st, 2nd, etc. amendment loving, anti-corruption lover of freedom. The so-called "conservatives" in this country have left me behind with their radical (and murderous, imo) projects.

Their vision of America is my nightmare. I literally cannot understand how any conservative-leaning person can continue to buy into their lies, after all we've seen over the last four years. It's disgusting. I feel like all these people around me have gone completely insane.

on preview: what Wulfgar! said.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:27 PM on March 3, 2005


in the Nixon era, conservatives were crochety old jerks, and liberals were usually young people who cared about the world and acted out of a kind of compassion.

like silas trim bissell, and the weather underground. you should write fairy tales. er, i mean, you should stop writing fairy tales.
posted by quonsar at 1:30 PM on March 3, 2005


Ted Kennedy is a jerk, in my opinion. Not as bad as Jesse Helms, maybe, or most Republican senators, but certainly a huge leap down for the democrats. And it makes me sad to see that.

Excuse me, but that doesn't answer the question, now does it? On what is your opinion based? Why do you opine in such a reckless manner?

But if the Michael Moores and Ted Kennedys of the world have their way, liberals will soon be as nasty, as brutish, and as evil as conservatives always have been.

If you bemoan this fate, then stop helping it happen.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:31 PM on March 3, 2005


Thus spake the Elfman, and it was so:

Do you feel the power
From the man whose voice sounds reassuring
Completely firm and so alluring, Like's he's lived a thousand times before
And seen the world from shore to shore
With the calmness and tranquility that oozes credibility
With the wisdom and the confidence that seem to scream out common sense
And it makes you feel just like a babe
Daddy holding you tight and safe
Hush babe everything's all right, Daddy's gonna stay with you tonight
Now he's got you by the balls, he can sell you anything at all
From morality to diamond rings to genocide to magazines
From religion to cosmology to the end of a democracy.
posted by team lowkey at 1:35 PM on March 3, 2005


AMERICANS ARE JERKS. Almost all of them. Mention politics and they spasm with anger, rage, frustration, and bile.

Umm. Americans talking about politics is a positive love-fest complete with Singing Of Kum-Bay-Yah and Nominally Platonic Backrubs That Turn Into Lazy Snogging compared to Brits talking about politics, esp. WRT the Thatcher era.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:52 PM on March 3, 2005


Double standard much, koeselitz? How exactly is Michael Moore-bashing justified while doing the same to Gannon/Guckert is "mean-spirited"? Jeff G/G represents an abuse of public office -- he was granted access under a false name and nonsense credentials in order to lob phony questions in the same room where asking tough ones will get you banned. Moore says what he says under the same name that's on his birth certificate and abuses no public powers in the doing.

Shouting the opinion that Americans are jerks on the basis of such a nakedly unprincipled dichotomy says a good deal about you and not a damn thing about Americans.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:15 PM on March 3, 2005


about Jeff Gannon. The point is that the only reason anyone still does is out of mean-spiritedness.

ayuh. the same mean-spititedness that cages constitutionally guaranteed expression into "free speech zones" blocks from the nearest public official while allowing unscreened phony journalists using fake names within a few feet of the president of the united states...


Best comment I have heard on MeFi all day.
posted by caddis at 2:24 PM on March 3, 2005


To my righty, USian friends (aka; people in charge of everything at the moment):

For your own good, if not for that of the country, read what sonofsamiam said carefully.

You are backing an administration that is swiftly destroying everything we hold dear about this country and the consequences will be dire for you personally. It may take 4 years, or it may take 24 years, but sooner or later the rest us will inherit this steaming pile of dung your fearless leader has left us, and what will we do with it? Well, we'll have to buck up and try to fix things up the best we can but before we start, we'll pass every bit of legislation, take every avenue, and exploit every loophole to screw you in the ass--and not in a way that you'll enjoy it, rest assured. I'm sorry, we must insist that this be the first order of business. A pound of flesh and all that. Not that I'll enjoy it...much, but such is the nature of human events: the nastiness must come to an end of it's own momentum. Hope there is something to work with after that.

What's that you say...can't happen? Well, if you are foolish enough to believe that, go right ahead. Just watch for the pendulum on the backswing cause she is a sharp, nasty motherfucker.

I know how this comes off but I assure you, I am a rather happy, easy-going person--not some shrill, bitter commie that you assume everyone in the opposition to be. So, imagine what is waiting for you from the utterly hard core and embittered, and sleep with one eye open. Oh, and good luck. You're going to need it.
posted by a_day_late at 2:33 PM on March 3, 2005


Wait, wait, how is Ted Kennedy a jerk? Because he disagrees with the President and says so? If that's the case, then this place is Jerktown.
posted by mkultra at 2:37 PM on March 3, 2005


So, imagine what is waiting for you from the utterly hard core and embittered, and sleep with one eye open. Oh, and good luck. You're going to need it.
posted by a_day_late at 2:33 PM PST on March 3


I'm on your "side," but I think this is more than a little over the top. If you want to believe that you're part of "the good guys," you need to dispense with the crypto-sadist stuff.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:37 PM on March 3, 2005


I'm on your "side," but I think this is more than a little over the top. If you want to believe that you're part of "the good guys," you need to dispense with the crypto-sadist stuff.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:37 PM EST on March 3 [!]


Perhaps the imagery was over the top but my point is: the "frustration of the 49%" is building and, being that the righties are in charge, they'd better figure out a way to discharge the tension of the situation in the coming years or face the circumstances (human nature being what it is). I think I am being quite pragmatic about it.
posted by a_day_late at 2:49 PM on March 3, 2005


Wait, wait, how is Ted Kennedy a jerk?

Well, there is the whole drunken manslaughter thing.
posted by unreason at 3:09 PM on March 3, 2005


koeselitz: Finally, on preview: rfs, Ted Kennedy is a jerk, in my opinion.

No, *patience* the original question was:

Why do Republicans always rag on Michael Moore and Ted Kennedy ?

"He's just, I mean, come on...He's totally, like, a jerk and stuff."

I think you've illustrated quite aptly the point rfs was making. What, exactly, is your problem with Moore and Kennedy?

Personally, I think it's because you're a dittohead and you haven't formed an original argument since 9th grade, but I think that of nearly all conservatives so don't let it keep you up.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2005


Well, there is the whole drunken manslaughter thing.

Is that a bit like your whole crack-fuelled ovine bestiality thing, unreason?

(My point being that I don't seem to remember Ted Kennedy being tried and convicted.)
posted by riviera at 3:58 PM on March 3, 2005


Well, there is the whole drunken manslaughter thing.

So Laura Bush isn't a jerk then, because she was presumably sober?
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:04 PM on March 3, 2005


From up here in Canada it seems that Americans and American media have made an art of finding exactly the way to define issues so that people easily fall on one side or the other, and are dismissive of the "other" side. Conservatives and liberals alike are frequently villified by their opposition with the most extreme caricatures possible. You people are not really talking with each other.

A case in point: the recent SpongeBob Squarepants controversy. Rather than focus on what was true -- a conservative writer was upset about cartoon characters being used to spread a message of tolerance of gays -- the conservate PoV was misrepresented as a claim that SpongeBob was gay. The original artical was worthy of liberal indignation, without misrepresentation.

Also from up here in Canada: many of us were amazed that John Kerry was the best you could come up with as an alternative to a President that believes close-mindedness is a virtue, and who has perpetrated If you aren't with us you are against us as both a domestic and foreign policy.
posted by KS at 4:07 PM on March 3, 2005


Also from up here in Canada: many of us were amazed that John Kerry was the best you could come up with as an alternative

Well, that's pretty much where the problem starts: lack of ideas and leadership. As someone on left, I would be more than happy if we had a gigantic memo that helped us frame debates and get more power.
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:15 PM on March 3, 2005


I shouldn't be talking about this. I probably should withdraw the whole stupid point so people can get on with their lives. But, since I dug the grave, I guess it would be even dumber not to use it myself...

mkultra: "Wait, wait, how is Ted Kennedy a jerk?"

I don't refer to murder charges, which I confess to knowing nothing about aside from hearing the right snipe about them for years (I probably ought to be more informed, I know) but to his general use of political currents for his own benefit. He was never the Dean-type liberal, a liberal who does what he does because he believes in something and wants to make the world a better place; until now, when he sees that Howard Dean is outrageously popular with the kiddies, and suddenly finds it necessary to start talking in ways he wouldn't have dreamed of talking years ago. My impression-- I am not an expert, and can be wrong on this, for what it's worth-- is that he's the closest thing the left has to Karl Rove, a scheming, slimy-bellied kind of person who is willing to lie and betray a great deal to win.

Again, maybe I'm wrong. But Moore strikes me the same way. I don't want to go into great detail here, as it would be counter-productive; suffice it to say that his documentary style is highly deceptive, and sort of ridiculous, not really focussing on the real issues. This is not to say that it's bad because it disagrees with Bush; but the way people were screaming and chanting at F 9/11 when I saw it was not political discourse, it was mob anger.

None of this really matters. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are infinitely worse, I should grant, than people like Moore or Kennedy; at least those two sometimes appear civil. I only have a sense, perhaps wholly faulty, that Americans have slowly slipped to the point where they really can't talk about anything, especially politics, without getting pissed off. (I have to play this funny game at work, the "I agree with you" game. I pretend to agree with whoever's talking to me whenever the subject turns to politics. I hate this game, but I like peace and civility.)

Baby_Balrog: "Personally, I think it's because you're a dittohead and you haven't formed an original argument since 9th grade, but I think that of nearly all conservatives so don't let it keep you up."

*sigh...* Yeah, probably. I'm not especially intelligent; that seems to be true of most of us on the right. And I sincerely doubt that I'll make it in school here (I'm a grad student in political science, which is ironic, right?) for very long, mostly because of my inability to form an original argument. Also because I hate talking about politics. And, yes, if you mean "at night," it will keep me up.

posted by koeselitz at 4:38 PM on March 3, 2005


Also from up here in Canada: many of us were amazed that John Kerry was the best you could come up with as an alternative to a President that believes close-mindedness is a virtue, and who has perpetrated If you aren't with us you are against us as both a domestic and foreign policy.

Bullshit. Though I didn't vote for Kerry in the primaries, he was more than an acceptable candidate; he is a good man, who's character was viciously assassinated by a bunch of assholes. A cokehead monkey would be preferable to Bush, as most of you dips freely admit, but all you wankers can do is blame Kerry for not being good enough? Pull your heads out. There was nothing wrong with the candidate; there's something very wrong with the country ... or is it safer to blame that on Kerry's lack of leadership and ideas as well? Face it, Jesus Christ could have run against Bush and it wouldn't have mattered. Quit blaming John Kerry for the failings of America.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:46 PM on March 3, 2005


DEMOCRAT WORDS THAT WORK

"My friends, we are constantly being told that America is deeply divided. But all Americans value freedom and faith and family."

President Bill Clinton

Democrat Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards took an even more direct route and it ended up being one of the top five sound-bites in his speech.

EDWARDS WORDS THAT WORKED

"Where I come from, you don't judge someone's values based on how they use that word in a political ad. You judge their values based upon what they've spent their life doing. So when a man volunteers to serve his country, and puts his life on the line for others – that’s a man who represents real American values."


Funny how Luntz needed to put those in--ironic too. And it would be even funnier (if it wasn't so sad) if any of the recommendations in this playbook were to be put into service backing real policies that would help all Americans, instead of just Americans who work on Wall Street, or corporations that want not to be liable for shoddy/dangerous products, or Americans in service of Halliburton, or Uncle Bucky Bush...
posted by amberglow at 4:56 PM on March 3, 2005


amber .. for the record, I voted Edwards.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:58 PM on March 3, 2005


A cokehead monkey would be preferable to Bush

I principle I agree. However, Kerry just could not connect with the average citizen. Dean would have been much better. Most of the Democratic candidates were no better. It's funny how the party of the people can not seem to put up a candidate that the people can actually relate to. Edwards was a close second to Dean in my mind. John Kerry struck me as about as much fun as Jerry Ford, smarter and more passionate, but about as much fun.
posted by caddis at 5:00 PM on March 3, 2005


i did too, in the primary (Dean had already dropped out), and want him in 08 (with Boxer?). Maybe Luntz is warning Republicans about him?

Related: Americans say President Bush does not share the priorities of most of the country on either domestic or foreign issues, are increasingly resistant to his proposal to revamp Social Security and say they are uneasy with Mr. Bush's ability to make the right decisions about the retirement program, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
posted by amberglow at 5:01 PM on March 3, 2005


Uh, people that think Kerry was a weak choice as a candidate don't blame Kerry for winning the nomination. Yes, he seems a good man, by American politician standards. There are lots of good men and women in America.

To suggest that a Bush victory was inevitable, no matter the opposing candidate, is not supported by the margin of victory, unless you are also suggesting the election was rigged. (Which is plausible.)
posted by KS at 6:22 PM on March 3, 2005


'the ordinary American voter does not object to mediocrity. He has a lower conception of the qualities requisite to make a statesman than those who direct public opinion in Europe have. He likes his candidate to be sensible, vigorous, and, above all, what he calls “magnetic,” and does not value, because he sees no need for, originality or profundity, a fine culture or a wide knowledge.'

--'Why Great Men Are Not Chosen President', from The American Commonwealth by Viscount James Bryce, a political playbook that's over a century old and still apposite when considering why Bush remains in office. Also:

'The result of an election may be doubtful, not from equality of votes, for this is provided against, but from a dispute as to the validity of votes given in or reported from the states.'
posted by riviera at 10:23 PM on March 3, 2005


So koeselitz, you have a "feeling" that Kennedy is the Democratic version of Rove, and you didn't like the audience reaction at one of Moore's films.

That's pretty weak.
posted by rfs at 5:12 AM on March 4, 2005


i... want him in 08 (with Boxer?).

Do that, and Jeb 2008 becomes a reality.
posted by trharlan at 5:36 AM on March 4, 2005


So Jeb's already in? running with Condi, is he?

Edwards will mop up the floor with him--Jeb is the Bush family's own Kerry, with added stiffness.
posted by amberglow at 5:42 AM on March 4, 2005


until 50% of newly hired Harvard professors and New York Times reporters are Republicans, anything we do to compensate for the outrageous leftist bias of such institutions is fair game.

Then I must insist that 50% of newly hired University of Chicago Business school professors and Fox News reporters be Socialists or I shall raise an army and burn your house down.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:56 AM on March 4, 2005


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