Sunday, July 11, 2004

On reframes

More on reframes available on line. NOW last Friday interviewed Thomas Frank who discussed how the Republicans got people to vote against their economic interests. Simple: reframe this as a culture war and they won't even know it's really about a class war. Brilliant. His book is called What's the Matter with Kansas? How the conservatives won the heart of America.

The week before, NOW interviewed Frank Luntz, cultural warrior extraordinaire. I missed it but Miss Molly has a great response to Luntz.

Having read only the transcript, I can say I can confidently view anything he says through squinty eyes. First off, he describes how great Democrats are in getting their message out (yeah, right, the conservatives are doing a great job because of people like him), then he reveals how he used 'a technique' on Brancaccio called the rhetorical question. Wonderful; let's see how clever he is in manipulating the guy. In the end, he says the voters to focus on are the young working moms in swing states and the number one issue they care most about: getting more time. By this time, I'm thoroughly disgusted; he's slime and while he might be telling the truth, I'm sure he has a hidden agenda behind all this.

Credit Miss Molly: she reminds us how the policies of Dubya are amazingly hostile to the interests of young working moms.
The Labor Department has refused to use tools at its disposal to identify violations of equal pay laws.

Labor repealed regulations that allowed paid family leave to be made available through state unemployment funds. Now it's unpaid leave only.

Labor has proposed new regulations that deprive millions of workers of the right to overtime pay – and even gives tips to employers on how to avoid paying overtime when the law still requires it.

The Department of Justice has weakened the enforcement of laws against job discrimination and abandoned pending sex discrimination cases.

Among the Bush budget cuts affecting the lives of millions of women are cuts in Head Start and other early childhood education programs, after-school programs, K-12 education, housing subsidies, child care, career education, services for victims of domestic violence, the nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC) and Pell grants to help pay for college.

All in all, it's kind of hard to see how Bush could convince "the ladies" that he has helped take stress out of their lives. Unless, of course, the lady is married to a guy who makes $1 million a year – then she'd have $92,000 extra a year to spend from the Bush tax cuts.

Here's my problem. This is the record – this is what's being done to women's lives. But it's so passe, you see, to write about it. No linguistics, no empathy, no putting it in context. Just the record. No one does that kind of journalism anymore. How embarrassing.
Take that, Luntz.

And adding to this, we're treated to another nice essay from Barbara E. Thank you, and can you stay at the NYT, pretty please? She highlights how hypocritical Dubya's values are on marriage: wonderful for young straight women and it'll get you out of poverty but no way for gays. Definitely family values here but the wrong kind, the type belonging to the strict authoritarian family worldview.