Frank Luntz is pacing the floor tonight, chewing Tums by the handful and nervously, repetitiously, running his hand over his head and briefly massaging the muscles in his neck that are in knots; asking himself over and over again “Why isn’t it working? Why??”
When President Obama made it clear last spring that healthcare reform was going to happen this year, Frank Luntz got busy assembling focus groups and testing the language that people respond to most strongly so the republicans could frame a message to stop reform.
THE 10 RULES FOR STOPPING THE “WASHINGTON TAKEOVER” OF HEALTHCARE
(1) Humanize your approach.
(2) Acknowledge the “crisis” or suffer the consequences.
(3) “Time” is the government healthcare killer.
(4) The arguments against the Democrats’ healthcare plan must center around “politicians,” “bureaucrats,” and “Washington” … not the free market, tax incentives, or competition.
(5) The healthcare denial horror stories from Canada & Co. do resonate, but you have to humanize them.
(6) Healthcare quality = “getting the treatment you need, when you need it.”
(8) WASTE, FRAUD, and ABUSE are your best targets for how to bring down costs.
(9) Americans will expect the government to look out for those who truly can’t afford healthcare.
(10) It’s not enough to just say what you’re against. You have to tell them what you’re for.
And the disciples of Luntz fell in line and parroted those talking points every time they were in proximity to a television camera or a live mic. They bleated them incessantly, knowing full well that they were blatantly, patently dishonest because as federal employees, members of Congress already have a federally administered health plan, and know first hand that every time they bloviate about ‘Washington bureaucrats standing between you and your doctor’ that it is a damnable lie. The objective, you see, is not to do whatever would benefit their constituencies most. The objective, so far as these craven asshats are concerned, is to stop the President from achieving one of his biggest campaign promises…healthcare reform.
But this time, the American people seem to be on to them. According to a new New York Times/CBS News poll, 72% of the respondents polled are in favor of a public healthcare option.
Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector….
…Across a number of questions, the poll detected substantial support for a greater government role in health care, a position generally identified with the Democratic Party. When asked which party was more likely to improve health care, only 18 percent of respondents said the Republicans, compared with 57 percent who picked the Democrats. Even one of four Republicans said the Democrats would do better. [emphasis mine]
Some things are too big and important to be decided with ‘framing,’ and the broken American healthcare system – and the reform thereof – is one of them.
Now if Congressional Democrats – especially those spineless, useless ‘Blue Dog’ idiots in the Senate – would just show half the intestinal fortitude and bullshit-detecting ability of their constituents, we might actually make some progress – and progress is the thing that scares conservatives the most because progress, in any form or situation, is, by definition, antithetical to the conservative mindset.