Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Daily Kos had a most interesting blog last Thursday:
In the past year, like so many other Democrats and progressives, I latched onto George Lakoff's advice about "framing" with the ferociously desperate optimism of a drowning man spotting a passing tree trunk.
Unfortunately, according to the writer, Hudson, our newfound enthusiasm for framing is often headed off at the pass by what Hudson terms "fencing":
As we Democrats play catch-up on the framing of specific issues, the Republicans (having largely mastered framing already) have refocused and redoubled their efforts to fence voters off from ever contemplating Democratic and progressive frames.
While still holding up their end when necessary to frame a debate, the Republicans are spending more and more of their time browbeating the public into blocking out our arguments altogether.
In the Bush-Kerry campaign, "fencing" mostly took the form of playground insults and other humiliations:
Kerry looks French. Kerry spends a fortune on haircuts. Kerry is vain and pompous. Kerry has funny hair. Kerry's voice is funny. Kerry reminds people of Lurch on The Addams family. Kerry wears Lycra--fluorescent-striped Lycra. Kerry rides a fancy European bike. Kerry looks fruity when he windsurfs. Kerry wears expensive suits, ties, sunglasses, shoes and belts. Kerry asks for French mustard when he orders a hot dog. Kerry falls when he skis, then blames it on the Secret Service. Kerry hung out with Hanoi Jane. Kerry threw his medals over a fence. Kerry faked his war wounds. Kerry only marries rich women. Kerry's latest wife is a rich, loudmouthed foreigner whom he can't control. Kerry is a phony. And of course, Kerry flip-flops.
Almost all of these jibes--which most sixth graders would be embarrassed to say--were also accompanied by photographs or video.
The goals of these juvenile but relentless attacks was obvious: To make Kerry into a ridiculous figure.

If you read the rest of the blog, you'll hear his analysis of how fencing can backfire and whether Dems should be doing unto Republicans as they've been doing unto us.
P.S. I won't be blogging until next week. Gotta take my machine to the shop.


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