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Where's the Movement?
In forming his administration, President Obama abandoned the movement that had begun during his campaign for deal-making and a pragmatism that hasn't worked. That movement is still possible and needed now. Here is look at what is required, and how a version of it is forming in California.
We begin with this week's triple whammy.
Freedom vs. The Public Option
Which would you prefer, consumer choice or freedom? Extended coverage or freedom? Bending the cost curve or freedom?
John Boehner, House Minority Leader, speaking of health care, said recently, "This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the 19 years I have been here in Washington. . . It's going to lead to a government takeover of our health care system, with tens of thousands of new bureaucrats right down the street, making these decisions [choose your doctor, buy your own health insurance] for you."
This is exactly what Frank Luntz advised conservatives to say. They have repeated it and repeated it. Why has it worked to rally conservative populists against their interests? The most effective framing is more than mere language, more than spin or salesmanship. It has worked because conservatives really believe that the issue is freedom. It fits the conservative moral system. It fits how conservatives see the world.
The Democrats have helped the conservatives. Their pathetic attempt to make any deal to get 60 votes convinced even Massachusetts voters that government under the Democrats was corrupt and oppressive, not just inept, but immoral.
All politics is moral Read more.