From It Affects You

I've read many great defenses of prosecutor Ronnie Earle here at dKos and elsewhere.  As they point out, he's got a decidely nonpartisan record, having prosecuted four times as many Democrats as Republicans.  But as good and as accurate as these defenses are, many play into DeLay's frame.

The evidence is clear enough and presented well enough that we will convince any reasonable person that Earle's motivations are not partisan. But the mere mention of the argument in these terms forces people to answer the question "Is Earle (Are Democrats) targeting DeLay for partisan reasons?"  The frame is of angry Democrats out on a witch hunt for Republican blood, and so it allows DeLay to change the subject.  When responding, we need to reframe it so people are instead asking themselves, "Are DeLay and his supporters smearing an honest public servant so they can avoid accountability?"  The frame now is of unethical Conservatives looking to get away with bad behavior by blaming others.  The focus stays on conservative corruption, and we become the aggressors rather than the defenders.  

It should not be difficult to do.  After all, wouldn't you expect someone with a history of unethical behavior to defend himself using unethical methods?  It plays right into our frame.  So when we're facing accusations of Earle being on a partisan witch hunt, we should not respond with, "Earle is not playing politics because..."  Instead we should respond with, "As he's always done, Tom DeLay is using dishonest and unethical methods to achieve his goals.  Now that he's been indicted for some of those tactics, rather than face the consequences, he and his supporters are attempting to smear those who stand against his unethical behavior..."

And then, thanks to the great work of Think Progress and others, we have plenty of evidence to go on the attack to show that DeLay and his apologists are sliming a dedicated and honest public servant.

This is not a time to be on the defensive, it's a time to attack.  

From It Affects You

Originally posted to up2date on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 05:12 PM PDT.

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