Friday, December 2, 2011

The Ministry of Propaganda

Frank Luntz, the wordsmith of the GOP, told the Republican Governors conference that he is “scared” of the Occupy Wall Street movement, then put out some sure-fire talking points on how to combat the movement and the Democrats.

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Luntz offered tips on how Republicans could discuss the grievances of the Occupiers, and help the governors better handle all these new questions from constituents about “income inequality” and “paying your fair share.”

Other talking points included such gems as “Don’t say ‘capitalism,'” and “Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.'” Other pearls of wisdom include “Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise,'” and, of course, the one that always works: “Always blame Washington.” You will hear these coming from Fox News ere the cock crows.

David Atkins over at Hullabaloo does a very nice job of dissecting the points one by one, but what I think is interesting is that Mr. Luntz is frightened to death by OWS not because of what it represents as a movement in terms of income disparity and the abandonment of the middle class, but that it is so effective in its messaging. What he’s saying is that he, the very skilled minister of right-wing propaganda, is being challenged at his own game by a group of people who didn’t set out to do that.

That’s the difference. All the GOP cares about is the message, not the governing, because ever since the days of Joe McCarthy and the advent of Speedy Alka-Seltzer on TV, that’s all that ever mattered to them. And it’s worked, more’s the pity.