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View Diary: Through the Looking Glass: Freeperville (324 comments)

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  •  Name-calling (4.00)
    I am as quick as anyone to get mad about Republican lies, crimes, and hypocrisy.  But one thing I mostly stay away from is petty name-calling.  Terms like "Rethuglicans", "Repugs", "Cat-Killer", "Chimpy", etc. frankly do nothing for me.  

    I understand the strong feelings of spontaneous loathing that the GOP's icons sometimes engender, believe me!  But when I see that kind of pettiness here, or on other sites' posts or comments, it gives me that feeling of being in an echo chamber that the diarist talks about above.  Playground taunts do not strengthen our arguments -- in fact, they weaken them.

    I don't see Kos, Eschaton, my blog, or other lefty sites as simply places for us to indulge in our "Two Minutes Hate" of the Other Side.  Rather, I see them as places for us to collectively debunk the opposition's BS, with righteous anger but clear heads -- and to network for constructive political efforts to improve the country.

    •  I disagree (3.94)
      Republicans spent 30 years equating "liberal" with "weakness" and now "terrorist" (mutually contradictory, but there it is).

      Guess what.  It worked.

      There is obviously a right way and a wrong way to go about this (and some of the silly monikers don't carry any weight outside this group), but creating subconscious negative associations with Republicans, in our advertising and our messaging, is absolutely necessary.

      •  But in some ways you make the name caalling point (4.00)
        Liberal = Weakling makes a liberal look like a bad thing.

        Asshole = Republican makes you look like a bad thing.

        •  Downside of Passion is Addiction to Outrage (4.00)
          Yes, focus our passion and commitment and frame it properly for mass consumption.

          Yes, resist opposing efforts to frame our party.

          But, don't ever forget that Republicans are people, not some Neanderthal race of evil-doers.

          And, don't tarnish our mission by so fanning the flames of outrage that we cloud our own thinking.

          We can't get so stuck in our own passion-cage that we lose the power of true persuasion.

          Fuzzy only works for pets.

          by NotFuzzy on Tue May 24, 2005 at 03:58:09 PM PDT

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          •  since we're supposed to be reality-based out here. (none)
            But, don't ever forget that Republicans are people, not some Neanderthal race of evil-doers.

            Odd, "Neanderthal race of evil-doers" seems to be an exact and accurate, if unflattering characterization of the GOP leadership.

            Invasion of a country that did not threaten us, torture, murder, dismantling Social Security, attacking the environment, and attempting to hijacking the government in the service of a minority theocratic agenda are simply not things good and decent people do.

            I think what you're trying to say is that Republicans as a whole are not a "Neanderthal race of evil-doers". While I'm not sure that this is accurate, I do agree that selling the idea to the Republican rank and file that they are a "Neanderthal race of evil-doers" is probably politically impossible.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Tue May 24, 2005 at 04:49:47 PM PDT

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      •  It's apples to oranges (4.00)
        Equating "liberal" to "weakness" is good framing - they took a word that we use to describe ourselves, and made it into a bad thing.  That's just good marketing.

        Calling someone names - Repug, rethuglican, etc...that's just childish and a waste of time and energy.  Nobody...NOBODY takes the Freepers seriously when they call us Rats.  It's just a juvenile little snotty thing they do.  But everyone hears the sneer in "liberal" when a Republican uses the word.  

        We need to grow up, face things as they are, and get on to winning rhetorical battles without a bunch of silliness.  If we successfully frame them as "borrow and spend" Republicans, or whatever finally sticks, then good for us.  But the name calling is really just goofy.

        •  But don't use "Republican" (4.00)
          It is not Democrat = weakling as this would make us have to defend ourselves even if we are Moderate or Conservative Democrats.

          I would also add that we have to nibble at "Conservative" at first. Big bites are hard for most people to swallow.

          So a good line is, "I cannot believe that conservatives would ally themselves with extremist religious factions." In a way you say that you are not anti-conservative, you can respect them, but when they cozy up to zealots...

          The benefit of that track is that it is true. You aren't "selling" anything.

          Of course when I say that the above is "true" you could argue what is meant by "respect" and "conservative."

          And we should never use modifiers with quotation marks. Example from above: "I cannot believe that 'true' conservatives would ally themselves with extremist religious factions."

          Again, when you add that little slam you expose your intent as anti-conservative as opposed to anti-zealot.

          I'll add the disclaimer: I am speaking about when you are discussing your viewpoints with the goal of awakening consciousness. If you wish to rant don't let me stop you.

          •  No argument here (none)
            I use Republican as a catch-all, but we can easily attack conservative in this way.  I have no problem with tying conservatives and/or Republicans to the words extreme, radical, out-of-touch, irrational, immoral, etc.  Examples abound to easily show these to be a fitting description of the right-wing crazies running the Republican Party today.
          •  Use "GOP" instead of Republican (4.00)
            Just as Frank Luntz tells his clients to use "Democrat Party" instead of "Democratic Party", because the former phrase polls about two percent worse, we should be using "GOP" in place of "Republicans".  Many of the people we'd like to see voting for us identify themselves as Republicans... but "GOP" is a label that only sticks to Washington insiders.

            Similarly, we should be using "radical" instead of conservative -- there is nothing "conservative" about destroying Social Security or breaking 217 years of Senate tradition.  We should identify supporters of these unpopular actions with a label that separates and isolates them, instead of lumping them in with fiscal conservatives and other potential allies.

            •  Radicals is good where appropriate (none)
              Reactionaries is too.

              GOP has possibilities, perhaps the "GOP insiders" when referring to those who really don't give a lick about Christ, faith, morality, responsibility.

              I cannot believe how those GOP insiders sold out to the Democrats. They were all, "Give us your vote," and, "We love Jesus," but they're just Democrats with big, fat, red ties.

              GOP Insiders: The Only Thing Conservative Is The Haircut.

              •  Radical Republicans (none)
                Consider "Radical Republicans."  It has a ring to it.  It distinguishes between the "radicals" and the sane ones (and yes, they do exist).

                Plus, everybody has heard the term, albeit in a totally different context.  

            •  No-Absolutely Not (none)
              I try to avoid using GOP as much as possible, even though it's a very convienent acronym.

              The problem is what it stands for: Grand Old Party.  Grand is a good word-too good for these assholes.

        •  Meme: Conservatives don't pay their bills (4.00)
          Tom DeLay, George Bush and Hilary Clinton go out for lunch one day.  After they've eaten, the waiter brings the bill.  DeLay hands him an American Express and says  "Just put it on my lobbyist's card."

          The waiter replies that he's sorry, but that credit line has been maxed out.  So George Bush says, "That's all right.  Just charge it to Social Security."  But the waiter shakes his head and says, no, he's sorry, the restaurant doesn't take worthless IOUs.

          So Hilary Clinton pulls out her purse and says, "Look this is ridiculous.  There's no such thing as a free lunch.  Let's just pay cash."

          The two men glare at her and say, "What do you think we are?  Liberals?"

          Conservatives don't pay their bills.

        •  I largely agree with Switzerblog's comment (none)
          ...but consider this: we spend all of our time criticizing Republican policies and they spend all of their time demonizing us.  Which strategy has been more effective in winning elections?
          •  Yes. They attack us but... (none)
            I would counter that they didn't start with the entire party. They tried to peel away the farthest left with subtle attacks and shifted over the years.

            To move the connection in the mainstream we have to associate them with the Zealots in a way that makes it clear that zealots are the bad guy. Eventually One would wish that the mainstream would begin to see the connection and begin to associate the Republicans with the Zealots because they keep defending them, supporting them, serving them, being them.

            Liberal didn't become a mainstream smear till the Reagen years (though Republicans used it all the time as a smear amongst themselves) By then people were back peddling, "I'm a social liberal and a fiscal conservative."

            In other words, "I accept their definition of liberal = spender."

            We need to flip that around.
            Liberal = Investor

            Conservative = Horder, Greedy, Selfish

            And on other fronts work toward a subtle change that will bring us to:

            Liberal = Forward Looking

            Conservative = Backward Looking

            Liberal = Modern Army (based on Well-trained, Well-paid, Well-equipped Soldiers)

            Conservative = Mercenary Army and Big-money Contracts for their Buddies and not enough armor for the human on the ground.

      •  I disgree too. (4.00)
        The Right-Wing has won lately because they have defined the left as a bunch of latte-drinking, gay-loving, baby-killers. Whether you like it or not, the labels STICK. Our job is not to avoid the labels, but to recognize their power and use them.

        When people see Frist, our job is to make them think of the KKK.

        When people see DeLay, our job is to make them think of his dead father that was removed from life support about 10 years ago (a la Shiavo).

        When people see Giuliani, our job is to make them think of his mistress.

    •  Repug (none)
      It's just blogging shorthand. We don't really think of them as REPUGnant.

      A democracy can die of too many lies. - Bill Moyers

      by easong on Tue May 24, 2005 at 09:56:51 AM PDT

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    •  Mostly Agree ..... (none)
      ... but please, can't we keep "Chimpy"?
    •  not at all: (none)
      they just engage in "gotcha" name calling - how juvenile!  we have science on our side: after all, bush, cheney and rumsfeld really are slime-mold


      he that hath no stomach to this fight let him depart

      by 2nd balcony on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:32:15 AM PDT

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    •  name calling (none)
      Seems to have developed into a high-art form in blogs both left and right. It can be fun, it can be bewildering when you don't know the lingo but it seems to unite the community in some way. Often there are light-hearted diaries where it is appropriate, when we get really angry about something it rages for days; and can be theraputic for some.

      Personally, don't think it belongs in a diary and certainly not in a front page diary - comments are different. But I'd certainly like to see less of it. Especially name-calling of our own people, or cheap charater shots. And I've been guilty here. It helps when people call you on it. Makes you more careful and thoughtful.

      The rating system could help. I'm not suggesting that people give bad ratings - just stop giving 4's to comments that pander to prejudice. But not in posts meant to be rowdy!

    •  Exactly (none)
      Name-calling belongs in the nursery.  
      But we DO need to learn to effectively defend ourselves against more subtle forms of verbal attack--and we also need to learn how to attack Republicans effectively in the political arena.

      That's why I have started a series based on the work of Suzette Haden Elgin. (Links 1,2,2a,3,)

      Please take a look, and try out the ideas.  Suggestions for how to get future diaries on the recommended list will be appreciated.

      Hijack their frames! Cheap, easy, effective.

      by chriscol on Tue May 24, 2005 at 03:03:18 PM PDT

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