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An Action Item: If you've been paying any attention at all these last few weeks you'll know that the GOP, taking immediate advantage of newly expanded majorities in the House and Senate, has launched an all-out legislative war on America's middle class.

We can of course expect the upper-class tax breaks to become permanent; the White House has been organizing nationwide tours to promote the idea that the Social Security program must be cut back and privatized; Greenspan has been carted out to "speak on his own behalf" about the dangers of deficits (hmm, ya think?) and how that means we must follow the specific anti-middle-class proposals of the Bush Administration; and limitations on bankruptcy via the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act" seek to allow the credit and lending industries extra protections for usurious practices, at the expense of middle class Americans targeted by those companies.

Simultaneously, Santorum's (R-PA/VA) minimum wage proposals seek to reduce the number of American companies which are even required to follow minimum wage laws, and to allow companies to force workers to work more than 40 hours per week on a regular basis with no overtime pay. In the very shallow background, tort reform is being pushed in an effort to limit the liabilities of companies manufacturing dangerous products, and the liabilities of the insurance industries in paying out those claims.

All this coming on the heels of curiously stalled investigations into companies such as Enron, which according to now-public taped phone conversations intentionally caused power outages in major west-coast cities -- threatening American lives -- in order to force higher overall utility prices. Add pricefixing charges on the part of Halliburton and other high-profile energy and defense contractors, other ongoing charges against corrupt corporate practices nationwide, and even the investigation into  Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) for soliciting (and even strongarming) illegal campaign contributions, and it's not hard to see where the chips are falling in this new Congress.

If greed is good, we've entered the eighties all over again.

It's no accident that these proposals are all coming up at once; they represent rollbacks in consumer protection, corporate regulation, and criminal culpability that die-hard Republicans have been wanting for a long time, but only now have the confidence and numbers to move forward on. This steady stream of legislative actions seeks to increase the taxes and decrease the legal protections for middle class and other working Americans, while providing loopholes and exemptions protecting wealthy Americans from those same laws.

But how do we describe this new class warfare to the general public? What overall name can we give this Republican attack, such that less-informed Americans will immediately understand what we're talking about? Corporatism is too stuffy and obscure a word, though it fits the movement goals to a T. Class Warfare is so gauche; we've been trained by Republicans that something only counts as class warfare if the lower classes fight back.

I'm partial to The New Contract On America. But I want to hear other suggestions.

Your mission is to frame this new many-headed Republican attack on working-class America. What framing can Democrats provide that can be repeated ad nausem, on all the news channels, and used in all the op-eds? That average Americans will immediately understand, and respond to?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Middle Class Massacre? (3.88)
    •  I like it. (none)
      It gets attention.

      There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

      by Sandals on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:09:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ownership Society (4.00)
        means rich people OWN YOU

        You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

        by x on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:12:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  second the NO to class warfare (4.00)
        I second the NO to "class warfare"; way too many Americans think that they're in the "upper class."
        •  "Screw the Consumer"? (3.50)
          Everyone thinks they're a consumer and hate being taken advantage of.
        •  Middle-Class Mirage (4.00)
          Wow ... what a terrific point! Some REALLY middle-class people, especially lower-middle-class ones desperately trying to stay out of the lower class that they see as the "handout" class, avoid the mere mention of social class out of fear that it will knock them down a peg.

          But they "pretend" that they are in the upper class by killing themselves to pay off that SUV.

          If these middle-class folks admit that they need help, then they are worried others will think they are asking for a handout, and they'll be no better than the "welfare mother" monster.

          Class consciousness is back in style at

          by pepper on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:56:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  otoh (4.00)
          since the repub CROOKS like to toss in the class warfare meme, we should pre-emp them with it.

          They are waging class warfare against the majority of Americans.

          Republican Crooks are waging a Class War against  honest Americans.

          You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

          by x on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:49:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Republican Peonage Plan (3.00)

      The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

      by semiot on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:33:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Destruction of Middle America (4.00)
      Middle America, that vague and diffuse swath of America where people should be voting for Democrats but aren't, is where we need to defeat the Republicans.  It's not geographic, it's more a "state of mind" or a type of community.  The Republicans talk all the time about "Middle America," saying in in unison so much that it's clear that it's got its own page in Frank Luntz'  focus-group tested hymnal of Republican catch-phrases.  It's Fresno and Cincinnati, it's Witchita and St. Paul, it's Harrisburg PA and Columbia SC and Watertown NY and Springfield MO and Farmington NM and Fort Wayne and Orlando and Helena.  It's where people know they're getting dumped on by somebody, but the Republicans have convinced to many of them--including a lot of folks who either headed up or at least grew up in households full of Democratic voters--that it's the Democrats who've been dumping on them.  They think it's the immoral Hollywood executives and the sharpies on Wall Street and the intellectuals in the universities that don't care about them and the Chinese who are taking their jobs and the Mexicans in the car in front of them and the terrorists who killed all those people in New York and Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon and those Arabs who are blowing up our troops who had to go to Iraq to get rid of the terrorists but who should have already come and and left that country to the Iraqis to screw it up if they want to and quit blaming us for their problems.  

      And if we don't get more of their votes, we're not going to win back Congress and we're going to have a tough time winning back the White House 4 years from now.

      These people are scared, and a lot of them are angry.  They're scared about some things they shouldn't be scared about, and they harbor some thoughts and beliefs that we would rather not see them indulge, but they also are largely correct that their lives are affected by "forces beyond their control" who are tilting the deck against them.  They've increasingly thought it was us in recent years, in part because the national leadership of the Democrats has seemed less "real" to them than the more plain-spoken types like Reagan, both Bushes, even Dole.  But they also turned quite violently against Gingrich, who they thought was just as much of a "big shot" as Clinton, but he didn't seem to understand them as much as some admitted that Clinton actually did.  

      These are the people who voted for Republican presidents but also voted for and in some cases continue to vote for Paul Wellstone and Harry Reid and Byron Dorgan and David Bonior and David Obey and Barack Obama and John Edwards and Mary Landrieu and Fritz Hollings and Dick Durbin and Brian Schweitzer and Marcy Kaptur and Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin.  They like it when somebody practices the politics of "us vs. them," and the candidate doesn't say she's "one of them," she shows it by her actions and the way she interacts with people and her plain-spokeness and her willingness to stand up and fight for the little guy in Middle America.  

      And we need to convince those folks that the Republicans are trying to destroy Middle America.    The Republicans are encouraging the plants to close up and go to Mexico and China and they're encouraging the large agribusiness to wipe out what's left of the family farm and they're trying to clear cut the public forests where they take their kids to hunt and fish and camp.  They need to know the Republicans are making it harder for their kids to go to college, and they're making it harder for their kids, after they graduate from college, to get a job near home and their family and not have to move to Chicago or Nashville or Houston or Los Angeles or Atlanta.  They want us to be safe from terrorists but they need to know the Democrats are actually the ones who are trying to get the government to do what's best to fight terrorism, and it's because of the Republicans that their brothers and sons and parents and spouses in the Reserve or the Guard are being sent to Iraq for a year at a time.  They need to know that it's because of the Republicans that their local taxes are skyrocketing and they can't afford to buy all the pills their doctor says they need to take to stay healthy.  

      Those are the concerns of the people in "Middle America" to whom Democrats can successfully appeal, and who can help us reverse the current balance of power in Washington.  But we have to acknowledge that they know they're getting screwed, and we have to convince them that it's the Republicans.  A lot of those folks are already suspicious, and they can be convinced to come our way if we take a populist approach.  But we have to make it clear that there are two sides, and it's the other side who's screwing them, and if they vote for us we'll screw the fat cats who right now are screwing them before they succeed in destroying Middle America.  But we have to make it crystal clear, they are trying to destroy Middle America.  

      •  Ditto (none)
        I like this one. Because that's what it is.


        Widening the Gap Between Haves and Have-Nots

        "The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians." - H.L Mencken

        by herooftheday on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:19:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

          Republican Destruction Of Middle Class-----GOP Middle Class Attack-------GOP Attacks Middle Class---Republican Destruction------Republican Attack On America-----Republicans For The Wealthy---and so on............
      •  Destruction of Middle America--Exactly so! (none)
        It is clear, concise. It grabs one's attention. No one will wonder what it means.

        The comments are dead on target, also. I like that you stick to the main points. Absolutely clear, concise writing is what is needed.

    • (none)
      Im still waiting for that to run on the NASDAQ ticker on CNN.
    •  Who's going to buy your stuff? (none)
      Not me.  I'm broke.

      I'm about to buy into thirty three co-ops.

      I'll get one cup of milk per week, two eggs, a CD with local music on it, an oil change now and then, a bushel basket full of strange vegetables, and you know what?!  I can make a life from that.

    •  ouf! (none)
      Harsh.  Hmm..

      Well, one thing I'd been thinking of is not a negative, but the notion that security begins at home.  I just Googled it, and I found this speech by Martin O'Malley to the DLC.  He's still talking in context of the GWoT but I think it's bigger than that.  Also in favor of this approach is that it doesn't pitch the issue in terms of social class, because let's be honest, everyone is affected by the problems in our health care and education systems and so forth, it's just that some are fortunate enough to buy their way into better circumstances and some aren't.

      To me, the heart of the effects of the dismantling of the safety net in this country are all about security.  Don't think for a minute BushCo would have such success scaring the living daylights out of Americans over terrorism if everyone weren't already stressed and insecure about such things as health care, retirement, jobs, the economy in general, child care, education, debt, you name it.

      •  Regressive Republicans (4.00)
        As in...The Regressive Republicans want to do away with Social Security and go back to the way things were during the Depression.

        The Regressive Republicans don't want to move forward with raising the minimum wage even after almost 8 years, because they don't care about helping working class people.

        The Regressive Republicans took the HUGE budget surplus left by President Clinton and moved backward to the Reagan years by spending all of it! On top of that, the Regressive Republicans have gone into the biggest debt in U.S. history by spending our money like drunken sailors on shore leave.

        The Regressive Republicans think that the answer to the unemployment problem is for Wal-Mart to offer more low-paying jobs.

        The Regressive Republicans don't give a damn about you or your children. They know that all they have to do is bash gay people and promise to end abortion and 51% of you will line up and vote to keep moving the country backward.

        "I mean it, man, is there an emergency-level outbreak of flag desecration no one's kept me posted on?" -President Bartlet

        by Greg in TN on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:27:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Middle Class Bamboozlepalooza! /NT (none)
  •  The Crooked Deal (3.95)
    Unfortunately, the GOP won the framing debate over the Contract With America (1992).  Democrats tried calling it the "Contract ON America"....not many people listened.  "The New Contract on America" is thus evocative of a not-particularly successful earlier reframing. It might actually remind people of the phrase "Contract WITH America, " a phrase that worked for the GOP.

    So I propose "The Crooked Deal." It's more clearly negative. It evokes the New Deal, which, along with the Great Society, is the target of these attacks.  And Dems have done well with "Deal" phrases in the past (in addition to "New" there was "Square").  

    Besides, all these "deal" phrases are card-playing metaphors, and we're living in a period of absolute poker mania.

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

    by GreenSooner on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:05:51 PM PST

    •  Oops... (none)
      When I wrote "Square," I was actually thinking "Fair" (as in Truman).

      FWIW, "Square Deal" wasn't a Democratic was Teddy Roosevelt's.

      Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

      by GreenSooner on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:09:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like this (3.75)
      And it got me to thinking. Maybe The New Deal has become

      The Screw Deal

    •  How about "The Raw Deal" (n/t) (4.00)
    •  Love this one (none)
      for all the reasons Greensooner mentions.

      What color are my pajamas? BLUE of course!

      by Jesus was a Liberal on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:11:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Crooked Deal!!! (none)
      I think we should play up the card game frames. 'Maybe try to cast the GOP has a bunch of card sharks, running a crooked game.

      How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

      by Goldfish on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:20:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very Good (none)
      Another one that is somewhat less inflammatory, and thus more likely to be listened to and picked up, could be the "Old Deal" and variations on that: "Tried It Deal," "Moldy Deal," "Rotten Deal," "Regressive Deal," and "Robber Baron Deal." Other fun ways to frame it: "Snake Oil," "19th century solutions to 21st century problems," "Playing monopoly with the laws," etc.


      •  It's good if you're a history major (none)
        But most people don't know history well enough to pick up on all it entails.

        And Crooked Deal carries the implict frame that Republicans are crooked, which is something we want to be saying.

        How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

        by Goldfish on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:24:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You Have a Point (none)
          People don't need to be history majors, though, to understand that "been there, done that" is not a positive characterization - especially with the infatuation with technology and progress.

          It also fits in with the common idea of conservatism as being a backward looking ideology, which makes it easier for it to take root in peoples' minds.

          Perhaps calling them the "tried and failed" policies of 19th century America or third world countries would get the point across.


      •  Robber Baron Republicans (3.66)
        How about just not saying "Republican" anymore? God knows we are always "liberal democrats" at best and "traitorous liberals" at worst.

        They are Robber Baron Republicans. Their fiscal irresponsibility is Enron Accounting.

        We also might score points with the middle class as well as gaining credibility on national security by casting defense spending issues always in terms of caring for our working low and middle income soldiers - healthcare, pay raises, and body armor) versus the Republican billion dollar giveaways to mega-corporations for obsolete weapons systems that don't work.

        •  Red Ink Republicans. (4.00)
          See this post by Pacified.  Best moniker ever.  We must repeat it mercilessly.

          Ignorance is on the march!

          by Alna Dem on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:07:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Found this somewhere...... (4.00)
            Red Ink Republicans -- bankrupt morals, bankrupt ethics, bankrupting America

            "Santorum, that's Latin for asshole."---Sen. Bob Kerry....

            by Hiram615 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:14:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Very snappy... (none)
   sticks and there's no denyin' it.
          •  Banana Republicans (3.50)
            bringing us closer to a Latin American Dictatorship every day.

            -------- This space intentionally left blank --------

            by puppet10 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:11:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Make sure you go to Pacified's diary (none)
            and read the piece in full.  It didn't get enough attention first time around and it's simply devastating:


            It is our obligation to leave this country to our posterity in a better condition then we found it--it is the American dream to make a better life for our children.  But the reckless, wrong-headed, red-ink Republicans continue to run up our credit card tab, leaving a mountain of debt to our children, and our national financial security in the hands of China and the Saudi royal family.  Putting our financial security in the hands of the Saudis might night bother any of the red-ink Republicans, but it sure as hell bothers me.  And it should bother every patriotic citizen who loves America.

            Whatever frame you're voting for here (and I support Raw Deal myself...), the "Red Ink Republican" meme stands on its own and can be repeated far and wide.

            Ignorance is on the march!

            by Alna Dem on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:59:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  enron accounting is great (3.60)
          so is your idea of the way to cast defense spending issues.

          don't like Robber Baron Republicans, though. There's something slightly attractive about it, in a combo of Butch Cassidy + Rockefellerish way.

          OTOH, why not work off the implications of "neo-con" & call it

          "The New Con"

          "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

          by Tulip on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:10:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ps (none)
            I am also all for referring to the SS scam as Bushit.  I know it's old slang for blogs, but it hasn't really penetrated the public arena (pun unintentional, & maybe unfortunate.. but you get what I mean)

            "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

            by Tulip on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:12:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Crooked Deal is good (4.00)
        It plays on that latest fad, poker, and has a catchy sound.  The crooked deal includes:

        Giving YOUR MONEY to the Robber Barons (It may be on old-timey expression, but I wager it still carriers resonance.  Try it on your friends and neighbors and see if Robber Barons gets any warm fuzzies)

        Letting Corporate leeches get rich off YOUR WORK

        Taxing work, not wealth

        Keeping YOU from getting ahead

        Now we need some action items, just like that Contract On America.

        We pledge to:

        1.  Provide our soldiers with special protection from bankruptcy, from being fired while they serve, and losing health care benefits while away from their day job

        2.  Reward hard work by protecting overtime

        3.  Use the government's power to ensure EVERYBODY plays by the rules, including corporations

        4.  Guarantee a safety net for those too old or infirm to work

        5.  Lower the infant mortality rate

        6.  Provide increased access to preventative care

        7.  Increase governmental transparency

        8.  NON-PARTISAN REDISTRICTING  (this is the single most important plank, IMHO.  With this, the extremists will not be able to hijack congress and we can get back to reasonable, substantive debates.  Without this, I have little hope of a major change)

        9.  Voting reform, let EVERY LEGAL VOTE be counted  (This includes:  no campaign official may be in a position to rule on election procedures, national standards for ballots and counting processes, an auditable trail...)

        10.  protection for ALL religions, without special preference
    •  Gambling with America's Future? (none)
      I agree with your critique of "Contract on America". It won't work as well as your brilliant suggestion of The Crooked Deal.
    •  GWB: Tin-horn gambler (3.75)
      Stackin' the deck against the middle class.

      The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

      by semiot on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:36:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stacking the deck (4.00)
        Resonates with me. Especially since a craftily stacked deck gives the illusion of a fair game.  

        Another metaphor frequently used is the level playing field.  I hear that often with American businesses competing against multi-nationals. I agree that the positive side should be used instead of just the negative because no one wants to believe that they are hopelessly screwed.

        We should appeal to fairness.  Most Americans have a strong sense of fairness, which most of the recent Republican legislation obliterates.

    •  The War On The American Dream (4.00)
      People tend to take notice when we declare war on concepts.

      What did we do to deserve George W. Bush?

      by republicans are idiots on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:34:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  close but better would be (none)
      the "raw" deal.
    •  The Crooked Deal - Perfect frame (none)
      I had several other suggestions, but THE CROOKED DEAL is perfect     short     to the point---and has the basic idea that this is a gang of crooks.  Anybody remember  "I AM NOT A CROOK"?
      It could get to the point where Republicans would wince----waiting for it.   Consider these:

      Medicare Prescription Plan: The Crooked Deal
      Santorum's wage and labor plan:  The Crooked Deal
      New Bankruptcy Law:   The Crooked Deal
      Cheney's Energy Committee:  The Crooked Deal
      Bush's Iraq Justifications:  The Crooked Deal
      Bush's Media plans:  The Crooked Deal
      War on the Middle Class:  The Crooked Deal
      Social Security Piratization:  The Crooked Deal

      Short, sweet, catchy----frame these crooks as the crooks they are.   Thanks GreenSooner

      First post ever on a blog     NOT the last

  •  Creative juices aren't flowing (none)
    but what the Republicans are becoming is hit men for the corporations, with the targets being the middle class.

    So in a sense it is a contract on Middle America.

    Obviously the key word is "on" as opposed to "for" or "with."

    But if the Democrats only phrase things in an attack the Republcians way, they will lose.

    We need to create a phrase that points out we are the defenders and protectors of approximately 90% of the American people.  It has to be succinct and to the point.

    If my juices start flowing later, I see what I can come up with.  This was a classic "Honey Do" day.

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:06:23 PM PST

    •  I definately think it needs to be something (none)
      ... related to corporate cronyism. That's something that Americans hate in their government, and something that the Republicans already have strong "brand identification" with.

      I always liked "Contract On America" because it created images of corporatism, of corruption, etc., in a simple phrase.  It's still debatable whether that branding effort was indeed successful, however.

      I disagree on one point; the phrase needs to be negative. In essence, we need two frames: a positive one for the Democratic agenda, and a negative one for the Republican agenda. At present, the negative one is probably more important. We can no longer allow them the unchallenged luxury of attaching absurd, Orwellian names like "Consumer Protection Act" to their efforts to attack the middle class, etc; we need to frame those efforts ourselves in the media, and in a punchier way.

      Hmm. Something about Orwell might work too, but maybe that's way too highbrow. (sigh)

      •  Gauche (4.00)
          Is class war gauche in the left sense or is it so gauche in the sense of clumsy?  You are probably right in either case but those bastards have never hesitated to use it on us.  I do think it's time to start using the cartoons with those big moneybags with the dollar signs on them.  That's pretty ingrained in people Scrooge McDuck etc.

        "My will is easy to decide, for I have nothing to divide" Joe Hill

        by slick riddles on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:34:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why is "class" such a dirty word? (none)
          Really, when it gets used, it is like the F-Bomb, the ultimate insult. Sessions used it regarding opposition to the bankruptcy bill (quote: "We have class warfare rhetoric going on ..."). CLASS WARFARE you!

          The concept of class warfare has the whiff of the communist or the socialist, and middle America is terrified of that ... not that saying social class exists in America will lead to teeming hordes of communists on the streets ...

          We're voting for Robber Baron Republicans, by the way. Instead of returning to the 1980s, it seems that we're heading back to the Gilded Age. The gap between rich and poor was large in the 1980s, but it seems that the Court of King George II is intent on making that gap even wider.

          Class consciousness is back in style at

          by pepper on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:05:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Class is a dirty word (none)
              because it has the potential to break through a lot of bullshit that people are handed about who is on their side.  Or rather "which Side They Are On"

            "My will is easy to decide, for I have nothing to divide" Joe Hill

            by slick riddles on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:37:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  what about using buffet's term: (4.00)
        george bush's war and deficit already ensure that every child born in american will arrive $36,000 in debt. now the republicans are working to ensure that you and your children have no bankruptcy protection or reliable social security insurance as well. welcome to the republican vision of america: the sharecropper society.

        We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

        by yankeedoodler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:53:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's it (none)
          The Republicans' New Contract on America: The Sharecropper Society.

          Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Ad inifinitum.

        •  YES!! Thats PERFECT!! (none)
          The Republicans' New Contract on America: The Sharecropper Society.

          THAT is perfect. Describes what they want to a T.

        •  You can't go wrong (none)
          using Buffet's term. He's a recognized capitalist and a self-made man. This will hurt the Republicans everytime they hear it.

          "Doing the world a favor since 1963."

          by Petruk on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:08:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sharecropper (4.00)
            Call Bush's policies "Sharecropper economics" as well. Stay away from "Plantation economics" because that probably has a GOOD connotation with southern whites. But "Sharecropper?" That hits em hard and low because they know it is true - most of america is a medical emergency away from bankrupcy and sharecropper status.

            "Doing the world a favor since 1963."

            by Petruk on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:11:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Slave Labor (none)
              No, "Plantation economics" is an excellent phrase. The only people that have good connotations with it are hardcore Republican supporters. You do not need and never will get their vote.

              "Slave Labor" is the big negative word that you have to use, just as Bush is using "terrorism". Fear is a powerful emotion, and people fear poverty.
              This kind of rhetoric can't fail when you can quote both from Lincoln and Roosevelt ( "Freedom from want".  "Freedom from fear". ).
              The task here is to find short words that average people will immediately understand, and respond to and repeat in daily conversations:

              Joe: If things go further this way, I will become a "debt slave".

              Jane: It's because of Bush's Plantation Economics that we are poor. They have put us in the debt labor force.

              Joe: Yeah, when you can't pay off your debts and the usury, they will put you back on the plantation.

              Jane: The debt holders will show no compassion.

      •  Mugging? (3.50)
        Robber Baron Republicans are mugging America's middle class?

        I think so much of the framing of middle class plight has benefited the Republicans. "Squeeze" sounds impersonal - something with many unclear causes.

        Whatever our metaphor is, it needs to highlight that tougher times for middle class families are not a side effect of Republican policies but the direct purpose of those policies. And it needs to highlight that in an intensely personal sort of way.

      •  We can twist every one (4.00)
        they come up with, as in: The Consumer Predation Act. My favorite being The Piratization of Social Security, arrrg. brilliant.

        A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

        by Little Red Hen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:55:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Consistent with another post above (none)
      "War on Middle America"
    •  Trying to get (none)
      my creative juices flowing too.

      "Middle America" -- the problem I have with that phrase is that it might tune out the folks on the edges; a "not my problem" approach. Sure, the Dems pretty much have those voters, but we need to keep them from becoming complacent in non-election years.

      I was thinking "the middle class squeeze", except these proposals affect the poor just as much, if not more.

      Thinking of Reagan's "trickle down economics", I was thinking of something like "Trickled On Economics", with the image of a 2-story outhouse; top story labeled "Rich Only", bottom story labeled "Everyone Else". Hey, think we can get Tom Toles or someone to do an editorial cartoon with that? (I barely made it out of 8th grade Art class, so don't look at me...)

      "It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously." -- Bill Bryson

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:18:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really? (none)
    How about "The new contract on Americans"?
    "The Working Poor"?  "Feed the Rich: Kill the Middle Class"?
    •  The War On The Middle Class (3.75)
      The Dawn Of The New DARK AGES

      The Enslavement Of America

      The Great Con Job

      You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

      by x on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:16:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Like the "War on the Middle Class" (4.00)
        The others are probably too over the top to be picked up, though. At least at first, we want to keep it subtle enough that people don't just shut down their listening and refuse to use our frames.


        •  Isn't everything a war these days? (4.00)
          War on Terror, War on Drugs...

          It is also too impersonal. Modern Americans too much  detached from the horrifics of war, and revel too much in the glories of it, for that to be a negative frame.

          We should always use the term 'middle class families', rather than 'the middle class,' because it makes the metaphor much more personal. People easily conceptualize and identify with families, but not so much with classes (at least in this country).

          One possibility that came to mind, although certainly not the best, is that Republicans are mugging middle class America. I like how personal is - people don't get mugged from across the country. It's personal.

  •  In case you missed this (none)
    This is at least partially related to this discussion...

    Basie! Interview with CAP President John Podesta

    Friday morning I had the chance to speak with John Podesta from his office in Washington, DC. Podesta is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress and previously served as Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001.

    Jonathan Singer: Thank you for joining me this morning. I very much appreciate it. You're speaking to me today from the Center for American Progress, which of course is your creation of a think tank to represent the left. When you go up against Heritage and Cato and just a handful -- more than a handful, even -- of right wing think tanks, how can you compete in this world where there's just not a balance?

    John Podesta: I think there's no question that, to start with the other guys, that the right has put a tremendous amount of resources into building up big institutions that have both generated ideas for the radically conservative brand of politics we see in Washington these days and also been pretty effective at selling it to the American public.

    I think we started the Center because we saw a need for a counterpoint to that, both from the prospective of doing analysis and critique, as well being able to communicate publicly about what was really going on in the country and put forward a set of better ideas to take the country in a better direction.

    continued here
    •  It's easy to (none)
      come up with 'new' ideas when you just recycle ideas from a 100 (or 1000) years ago - low upper class taxes and highly concentrated wealth able to be passed on to heirs for many generations, small merchant/middle class, unprotected lower class serfs.

      Finding a way to sell that to the people is new though - though too many have forgotten the high price paid to get the society to where it is (soon to be was).

      -------- This space intentionally left blank --------

      by puppet10 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:18:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  War on Workers? n/t (4.00)

    What color are my pajamas? BLUE of course!

    by Jesus was a Liberal on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:07:08 PM PST

  •  Wealth vs. Workers? (none)
    Yeah, I know.  Class warfare, yada yada yada.  But if nobody knows there is a war, how are you going to get them to fight?  And we are in a class war.  Don't even bother to deny it.  I'll listen to arguments to the contrary, but I'm going to be mighty damn hard to convince, especially after the bankruptcy/overtime pincer manouver we've seen in the past few days.

    Remember, folks, Roxtar pays $9.70 for the best news tip of the week!

    by roxtar on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:08:08 PM PST

  •  I think this presents opportunities for us (4.00)
    This is classic over reaching. I'd like to see over and over every blog and every Dem in office start refering to the GOP as the party of Big Business. Using "The new contract on America" plays into this, as it leads to the use of explanations that tie Repubicans to Big Business.

    For example:
    Why would the GOP pass a backruptcy law and refuse to allow an amendment that exempts National Guard members from bankruptcy restrictions? Because the Republican party is the party of Big Business, and they think it is more important to back the Credit Card industry, lobying hard for this bill, rather than helping National Guard members in financial crisis.

    You could easily get that out in an elevator or in a soundbyte.

    •  I was thinking the same thing (none)
      I was thinking that with the votes the repubs are making these days they are creating quite a record for themselves that opposition candidates can use to really run them into the ground.  I don't think dems have been good about going after the incumbents, but I think we now have enough ammunition to blast their little bunkers open.
  •  Corporatism (4.00)
    Is also inaccurate, as it refers to the quasi-socialist policies of some European nations over the years (Mussilini's Italy is an example), in choosing a semi-official private company to take on functions that would normally fall to regulatory agencies.

    Why not tack all this stuff onto a more general "bait and switch" meme?  The rebublicans said that they'd encourage the growth of small business, now they want to make small entrepreneurs forever indebted if their business fails.  They say that they want to protect families, but they want to make it more difficult for poisioned families to find their day in court.  They say they want to "save Social Security", but their proposed solution will excacerbate any "problems" relating to SS's fiscal solvency.

    Why do republicans argue the opposite of what they are doing?  

    If people are forced to ask that question, we win.

    "you're bound to lose if you let the blues make you scared to feel" Joni Mitchell

    by Valatan on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:09:29 PM PST

  •  Too subtle (none)
    I'd heartily recommend War on Ordinary Folks.

    Works well with my recently-coined War on Grandma.

    "Our slogan shall be a rotten candidate for a rotten borough." -Edmund Blackadder, from Blackadder III

    by WussGawd on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:10:48 PM PST

  •  It sounds very much like (none)
    The Shaft to me!

    Corporations get the goodies and workers get the shaft.  It's the Republican mantra.

    "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

    by Radiowalla on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:12:14 PM PST

  •  Destroying the American Dream (4.00)
    Everyone expects and deserves a level playing field for their chance at the American Dream.
  •  On your ownership society ... n/t (none)

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:14:09 PM PST

  •  Republicans are for rich people (none)
    Everything they do hurts working people, and helps the rich.

    We need to go back to the days of Republicans are for rich people. Democrats are for the Working people.

    That, they understand.  All you need is a list of things that prove this.

  •  Slight of hand? (none)
    It strikes me that maybe the GOoPers had no intention of gutting  Social Security as they knew the country was against it.

    I'm thinking they proposed the so-called SS "reform" to force us to spend what little political capital we have. Then, while we are fighting for Social Security, the Republicans pull their real stunts of killing overtime, eliminating judicial protection of consumers and keeping us under predator-induced debt. Then if by some stretch the Democratic representatives do flinch and the SS gutting goes through, that would be icing on the cake.

    Is this legislative slight of hand?

    •  DIsagree (none)
      Winning the social security battle will increase our political capital in the long run.  There may be a window of opportunity for Republicans before our capital replenishes, so we need to focus on delay.  
    •  so, if the dems and aarp don't fight back, (none)
      we don't have to worry about social security? the repubs won't touch it? ya really think so?

      We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

      by yankeedoodler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:56:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What to Call It? (none)
    Take the notion of class warfare as it truly exists and couple it to the Joe Sixpack fear of elitist attacks on their values.  "War on the Middle Class" sums it up.
    •  The War Against Grandma (none)
      The Bring Back The Dustbowl Crusade

      The Enron Inquisition

      You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

      by x on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:22:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bush's War on YOUR Family (4.00)
      1. Unless you're one of the top 1%, it's true: and it's easy to back up with really clear examples.
      2. It makes it personal.  Then you back it up with more examples.  You know, Army reservist forced to declare bankruptcy, now serf for MBNA.
      3. It does what the R's were so successful at in the 04 election: it addresses BushCo's greatest strength head-on and neutralizes it.  Yeah, they can talk about "family" all they want, but they're ripping off your family.
      •  "YOUR Family" powerful (none)
        That's why TV stations use it to hype the local news: Dioxin found in xxxxxx's drinking water - could YOUR FAMILY be at risk? You can't afford to miss Eyewitless/Action News at 11!

        It really grabs the attention of otherwise complacent folks...

        I also like the ones about the American Dream, but would add "GOP - snatching the American Dream from YOUR FAMILY"

    •  Don't Forget America (none)
      The Republican war on Middle America doesn't sound wholly authentic. Middle America is associated with the exurban and rural part of America, and religious people in the Heartland won't really buy it.

      Possibly, the Republican war on the American Middle Class. Does hint at class warfare, which it is, but "middle class" has traditionally had a positive connotation.

      Or the Republican assault on the American Middle Class. Makes 'em sound like thugs or muggers, which they are.

  •  Framing is good, but it's hard (3.87)
    Hello All. For full disclosure, I want to let you know that I work with the Rockridge Institute and George Lakoff. I'm not a framing expert. I've been developing the forums and other aspects of the online community for Rockridge. Even so, based on the conversations we've been having over there I just wanted to give a bit of context to the art/science of framing. And this is not an official Rockridge position, just to be clear. To take off from our illustrious president, Framing is hard. Well, that sounds bit trite. But, lots of people can learn how to analyze a frame or spot them in the media. But, developing effective frames takes a tremendous amount of training. It takes an understanding of linguistics and sociology that most of us don't really have. What usually comes out of framing that, for instance, I would come up with is a set of phrases. I can't really wrap a whole policy position up in a frame. However, I think there's something that we all can do. That's help articulate what our values are. If we can start really talking about our values as progressive folks and begin to articulate those down to very granular levels it's going to help the experts develop adequate frames.

    That's my two cents. Others want to chime in on this?


    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

    by blackmahn on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:16:31 PM PST

    •  a few examples of what you're looking for (none)
      would be helpful

      "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

      by Tulip on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:17:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know if this is what you want, but (none)
      your comment led me to write this:

      I've read 2 of Lakoff's books and a lot of articles on the Rockridge site. Useful stuff, but we sure have a long way to go to catch up to the conservatives.  I understand where you are coming from on articulating underlying values first, but people here feel beseiged by the constant deceit that the republicans get away with. Framing seems so much easier for the conservatives because they appeal to people looking for a simple black and white view of the world, and by being so closely aligned with the  christian right, they already appropriated all the good symbols and values. Yet half of America doesn't even seem to notice their orwellian language and apparently don't pay attention to their provably false assertions and contradictions. It's enough to make you pull your hair out.  

      People want a way to puncture the Republicans' bubble of correctness in the American consciousness right now!, as well as painstakingly developing a progressive message and identity that people will associate with the Democrats (hopefully that will be honest, unlike the Republicans).  It might take a long time to undo the nasty associations that conservatives have worked so hard to pin on liberals before they will be open to positive images.  Speaking for myself, but probably others here too, we are afraid if this corrupt, practically fascist regime continues much longer, there won't be many of us left to implement the painstaking work of the framing experts.

      Anyway, honesty would be a prized value, and that the Republicans seem so woefully lacking in.  Can your framing experts do something illustrating "honesty" of Democrats and the "dishonesty" of the Republicans at the same time?  But then again, Honesty might not work, because while the Republicans have managed to convince the public that generic "Washington" is dishonest, apparently the average Joe can't seem to associate "dishonest Washington" with the dishonest political party that completely controls dishonest Washington.

      How about cooperation? Nothing can get done without cooperation. In a family, in a community, in a country, in a government. But even there, the Republicans are doing a masterful job of painting Democrats in Congress as the uncooperative party; judges, appointments, now trying on Social Security, (even though some Democrats have been too cooperative for my taste, ie., Iraq, Patriot Act, corporate welfare). Do you know how strong the frame of Democrats as uncooperative is in the general public mind?

      If not strong, perhaps we could stress cooperation among states and among people, in deciding national goals and in how to finance important national goals, just like a family has discussions to decide important goals (from education to dentistry to vacations), how those goals are operationalized (public v private school, perfect teeth or healthy enough oral hygiene, vacation visiting relatives, or as a nuclear family or with friends) and how they are going to pay for them (save up, borrow, who works for pay and how much work).  

      Although the conservative groups cooperate really well together (and progressive type  groups don't or are just learning that they should), the conservative or strict father frame is not really very cooperative at all; it is rather dictatorial.  I would think that being dictated too would annoy most people, even people who think they are conservatives (except if you are the dicatator, but even that must get wearying).  

      Do you think people are annoyed that their  opinion of what the national goals should be is not even solicited; that the elites, (democrats and republicans alike) long ago decided the  national goals are empire domination and free-market big business capitalism, and the only choice we have is to decide if we are for or against specific instances of more of the same. (religious right christianity being the method of contorting a religious message to justify these inhumane goals)  

      The question is as basic as: What kind of country do people want to live in?

      The people in my local DFA group would like a country where we actually had a democracy, and we are trying to model our group on our principles; new people are warmly welcomed, regular people's ideas are solicited and valued, people are encouraged to carry out their project ideas, and help is pro-offered and provided when asked for; everyone who wants can have a leadership role because the work will also expand to encompass more people; people give as much time as they are able, some more than others, no one is harassed if they need or want to be less active for awhile, natural coalitions with other groups have formed on specific projects; decision-making has been consensus-based so far. It's been really very nice so far, and its been going on for two years and just getting stronger and bigger. While there are one or two looking for more structure, the consensus seems to be that people have had enough of hierarchies and rigid roles at work, and that other than improving our communication tools and methods, (thank god for the internet and email), we don't need much in the way of structure or titles.  People are amazingly cooperative and take very seriously the tasks they have volunteered for. I don't expect that there will be many times that people will let the group down. (I am not utopian, I realize you need more structure for a gov't than a voluntary group like ours, but I think the basic point holds people are more cooperative when they have a real say in what the goals are and believe what they are doing helps achieve those goals.)  

      I have watched Lakoff's DVD twice in different discussion groups so far, (3rd time will be later this week, 4th later this month-I am committed to introducing these concepts to people) and both times someone said, how come Democracy is not in the list of values?  I thought "democracy" was the original progressive and revolutionary idea this country was supposedly founded on. That if the government's authority came from the people (not God, as Justice Scalia keeps saying), that would ensure that humane policies would ensue and relative peace would prevail because the average person is really not interestd in fighting someone else's war. People have to be manipulated into supporting most wars (even our  Revolutionary War was viewed by many common folks as replacing one rich elite with another rich elite, and why should I get killed for my oppressor's benefit?), and lasting authoritarian governments excel at manipulation.  

      Just because real Democracy has never been tried here, doesn't mean we shouldn't have it as the ideal we are striving for.  Really, Democrats for Democracy, what a concept!  

      I think most people know in their bones what a real Democracy would look like; unfortunately a lot of people don't know the difference between an economic system and a political system and have been brainwashed into thinking our perverted form of capitalism = democracy.

      •  Great comments (none)
        Thanks so much for your comments. They are astute and really get at some of the core values that I think we all share. I'll have more on this, hopefully, in a bit.


        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

        by blackmahn on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:19:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Politics and Econmics (none)
        These two are confused in the minds of most people who see economic systems such as communism or socialism as incompatible with demoocracy.  The problem may arise from the notion of free market and free expression of the people.  Capitalism is about nothing more than the creation of wealth for the owners of property/capital.  To do this they have workers toil and sell what is created for MORE than is costs which is the "profit" which goes to the "owners" of the biz.  To make this work better the capitalists want more freedom, less regulation and interference on how they operate their businesses. They want no labor laws, no safety laws, no environmental restraint, no fair trade practices, no restraint of propoganda or false advertising. Anything to increase the bottom line is a freedom for the capitalists.

        The purpose of wealth for a nation is for the COMMON good of the people.  The national purpose should be to ADVANCE the quality of life for ALL the people.  Free market capitalism is about advancing the wealth and comfort for the wealthy.

        What they say disengenuously is that a rising tide raises all ships.  But these are false claims.  They are not interested in raising living standard and wages, providing more benefits to workers and all people, because this must be paid for out of their profits.

        What people need is are their basic human rights and these can only be had with economic justice as well.  The tax system now is an engine for moving wealth to the already wealthy.  Most of our government's spending goes to contracts to large corporations who make enormous profites.. and yes.. they do provide jobs... but the net effect over time has been the transport of wealth from the creators of wealth... the workers... to the owners.

        The whole SS thing is simply another way to take money taken from the people and giving it to corporate interests in the form of purchase of securities and fees for those in the financial sector whose sole purpose in life is to extract their piece of flesh from financial transactions.

        People who don't earn money from work believe their earnings should not be taxed and only those who work should pay taxes.  Bush has been sucessful in selling the idea and so more and more only labor is paying taxes and all other transactions are becoming free from taxation.

        In addition, wealth moves their assets offshore to shelter them when onshore tax shelter schemes are exposed and halted.

        The whole credit card interest, penalty structure and so on is just another way for wealth to transfer more wealth to them from workers.  Their enormous profits from doing very little other than process transactions is effectly charging people usury rates because of the need to live beyond one's means or when credit is needed for an emergency.  It is the company store thing on a national and international level.  Now with the bankruptcy law restructuring, it is now making it impossible for the weak to seek protection, but corprations and their shareholders are always given cover.. even by bankruptcy laws.

        As long as their are "investments".. that is people buying shares, and so on this econmic inequity will continue.  Investors seek return on their investments and require it when there is inflation because money set aside today will be work less and less as inflation consumes its value.

        And inflation is another game the wealth classes play because return on investment is what creates inflation.  The wealth class believes that we can continue to create wealth for ever... at least lots of it for the indefinite future.  Of course not to share with all the people of the world... that would deny them of their comforts and self indulgent lifestyles.  It is the seduction of comfort and power which drives capital.  It is the need for survival which drives workers on and the chance to escape from it to a certain level of comfort which keeps workers in line.

        If people were able to have the real choices to vote for their own interests, and were informed about the issues, capitalism would be voted out of existence.

        It is for this reason that capital owns the media, uses disinformation to keep the people uniformed and confused and believing that the society they live in is the best way.  They provide distractions and the hope that anyone can join the wealth class - so called american dream.  They make people believe that they must own a home and take on enourmous debt for a lifetime.

        Debt is the american way... not democracy.  Captialism is all about OWNING the debts of others, having them work for you... using other's wealth to create more for yourself.

        It all economics and politics is there to serve the needs of wealth.  Democracy means nothing is there is no economic justice.


        •  I'd just like to point out that. . . (none)
          . . . Capitalism is not inherently evil. Unregulated capitalism might be fairly painted that way.

          To quote me:
          "Investing is not inherently evil. Giving someone a loan to start up a business, or to go to college, or buy a house, is certainly of value to society. And shared-ownership of businesses (necessary for the formation, or expansion, of many worthwhile enterprises) leads directly to the buying and selling of that ownership, i.e. stock exchanges."

          In the Middle Ages, usury (lending at interest) was strictly forbidden to European christians. This hampered the development of trade, and hence the development of the middle class. It was only with the rise of bankers like the Medici, who "worked around" the usury prohibitions, that large-scale trade and business arose in Europe, shifting power away from big-landowners to commercial interests in now-bustling towns and cities.

          Without the profit motive, people are unwilling to take risks. Without risk-taking, you don't get innovation, entrepreneurship or social mobility.

          The good exercise of government is to regulate commercial operations - enforcing contractual obligations, setting limits on interest rates, regulating labor and environmental standards. That way, the good effects of business (innovation and opportunity) can be encouraged, while the detrimental effects (exploitation of people and resources) can be minimized.

          Government is most sensibly paid for through taxation on commercial profits and personal income (and income from wealth - dividends, interest, capital gains - should be taxed as heavily as income from salary). The reason for this is that, in general, taxation is a de-motivator: if you tax land holdings, people will reduce their land holdings; if you tax consumption, people will reduce their consumption. Profit and income are the only factors absolutely immune to this effect.

          No matter how much money someone is making, as long as the marginal tax rate is below 100%, they have a strong motivation to earn more. Back when the top rates were around 70%, you never heard any millionaires saying, "Oh, I think I won't try to earn any more money, since I'd only get to keep 30% of it!" The profit motive is too strong.

          So, to sum up - democracy and capitalism do not have to be warring concepts. But (here's the rub), a democratic government may fail to regulate capitalism, and then - here we are!

          To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice. Magna Carta 1215

          by Robespierrette on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 09:41:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  lending (none)
            One might also point out that lending/usury is still a no-no
            in many Moslem countries. What banks do there, I am told,
            is not lending but investing directly; they don't give money
            to businesses starting up, expecting to be paid back with
            interest, but rather invest with the expectation that the
            business will become successful, and the bank will get its
            money back that way.
            The business gets the cash directly, and can use it as
            necessary without having to worry about paying it back
            immediately with possibly high interest rates.
            Banks are more cautious, that way. If a business goes
            bankrupt, the bank will be in line with everyone else for
            a percentage of what's left over, rather than be the first in line
            to recoup a loan. . .


          •  high rates (none)
            "No matter how much money someone is making, as long as the marginal tax rate is below 100%, they have a strong motivation to earn more. Back when the top rates were around 70%, you never heard any millionaires saying, "Oh, I think I won't try to earn any more money, since I'd only get to keep 30% of it!" The profit motive is too strong."

            No, what they do is move themselves and their money
            out of the country into a place with better tax rates. That's
            what happened in Britain in the 60's and 70's, where the
            rate for high-earners was (I think) somewhere over 90%.
            A lot of British multi-millionaires wound up being ex-pats
            in Switzerland. . . People with money get very good tax
            It wasn't until Margaret Thatcher came along and massively
            revamped the tax code to make it more capitalist/conservative/
            non-Labor/non-socialist that all that money started coming
            back into Britain, and their economy started taking off again.

            The profit motive is strong - which is why if you tax someone
            too high, they'll either figure a way around it by creative
            readings of the tax code, or move elsewhere where the taxes
            are a lot more reasonable, all because you want to keep as
            much money as you can.


            •  Yeah - I think I just wanted. . . (none)
              . . .to show that there is middle ground.

              The original comment I responded to was about how economically unjust capitalism is, and how it needs to be abolished. On the other side, we have the ultra-conservatives, who think it's only capitalism if it's completely unregulated - the so-called "free market".

              I'm a moderate. I think we are best served by well-regulated markets, and tax rates that are in line with other developed countries - not far below. We do have some leverage with US citizens - few business people are willing to actually go take up residency in a non-developed country, just for a favorable tax-rate.

              To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice. Magna Carta 1215

              by Robespierrette on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 08:22:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  tax rates (none)
                It's not only non-developed countries that can have
                good tax rates; as I mentioned, I believe a lot of
                British too-high-tax-rate expats wound up in
                Switzerland. which hardly qualifies as Third World.

                (And not only low tax rates: good skiing, wonderful
                chocolate, and the wonderful food of France and
                Italy are right next door.)

                Now, if only Congress would come up with a sensible
                tax code, without all those messy loopholes. I've often
                thought the best way to do that would be to make
                it mandatory that all those in charge of the Tax Code
                must fill out their own tax returns: no accountants,
                no H&R Block, no help at all, just them, the return,
                one pencil, and a cheap calculator. Low rates,
                easy instructions, few deductions. . .


    •  All due respect, I can't really buy that framing (none)
      can't be done by untrained people. Not just anyone can do it well, but I doubt that most Republican strategists & speechwriters, or most ad execs for that matter, have a tremendous amount of training in linguistics and sociology. They do certainly know what they want to convey, and who they're talking to and what those people want. Then they probably submit to a lot of focus-group testing. I like your point though that articulating the underlying values, and building your frames on those, would be the most effective strategy.

      We're never going to be limited to parroting a few phrases constructed by experts, and I think that's a good thing. So it would be best to help people learn how to use good framing strategies and, equally important, avoid bad ones.

      •  How hard is framing? (none)
        I used to under the impression that it was something that a lot of us could do if we got the right training. But, I've become convinced otherwise. I totally understand your points, though. But true frames are also ideas that push at some of the subtle things that none of us even think about on a surface level. The are clean. That's why social security privatization was a frame that backfired. It wasn't thought out as clearly as it could have been. privatization evokes so many things that are both positive and negative.

        Anyway, as for how conservatives do framing, it's not done by everyone there. It's controlled out of the think tanks and by Frank Luntz. He gets framing. And the other part where conservatives have it all over progressives is that there has been over 30 years of push to get some common assumptions -- i.e. fundamental frames, out into the mainstream conversation. Personal accounts, which is the new frame for privatization, evokes the fundamental frame that says that we, the people. can generally do everything much better than the government can. The government is ruled by red tape and waste. Plus, it's a big, impersonal behemoth that often just gets in the way of us controlling our own lives. Now, this isn't a sophisticated analysis. And I'm not trying to get into an argument with others about the fundamental frame, but I simply wanted to illustrate that framing is a really sophisticated thing that we're still trying to get our minds around.

        The whole DLC controversy, I think, can be attributed to the success of conservatives at getting their fundamental frames into the national conversation. As most everyone on here knows, the DLC stands for Republican lite. And there's a certain logic to trying to tack to the right a bit in order to capture more of the swing voters. But, that's not necessarily the way that we will take back our country. We have to change the dialogue. By tacking right, in the ways that we have, we continue to let the conservatives define the terms of the debate.

        there are now a lot of people trying to work on understanding and explicating what are progressives' fundamental frames. Without those, unfortunately, we continue to speak into a hall that has been rented out by the conservatives.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

        by blackmahn on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:30:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Framing experts (none)
        I'm another Rockridge Institute person, just so you know.

        You're right that they don't have a cognitive linguistics background. But they have background in a ton of other stuff (politics, marketing, communications) and they have the sort of unity and conviction that leads to strong frames whether you know what a frame is or not.

        There's definitely a certain amount of experience and perspective needed: it's important to know about patterns in public discourse, and how media intersects with psychology and policy, for instance.

        Community discussion is still really valuable. But there are a lot of people who still don't quite grasp the basics of framing. That's something we're working on fixing. For instance, everyone on this thread is looking for catchphrases, which are pretty useless if the ideas they highlight aren't prevalent in public debate.

        •  I thought catchphrases and slogans evoked (none)
          frames--and if we want to implement new frames we need language that evokes them?

          I agree that some of the phrases on this thread, while clever and catchy, are ineffective for the reason that they don't tap into any framework of meaning that would be relevant to the general public. But others I think do exactly that--e.g., "war on the middle class," "red-ink Republicans," and "the war on work."

          Of course there's other work to do as well, to bolster these frames.

    •  Framing vs. Fencing (none)
      I have come to think, recently, that better framing is not enough.

      In particular, there is a serious concern that while we're all just starting to master framing, the Republicans have added a new and more powerful technique to their arsenal, which I call "fencing."

      I've put up a long diary analyzing the distinction , if anyone's interested:

      Click here for FRAMING VS. FENCING essay

      "Animals are my friends--and I don't eat my friends." (G.B. Shaw) Click to read the 'Union'

      by Hudson on Thu Mar 10, 2005 at 08:36:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about ... (4.00)
    The War ON America?
  •  I've gotta very dark sense of humor (none)
    but I laughed out loud at your title.
  •  I'd rather frame the Democratic position... (none)
    ...and nour vision for the future, but I do often comment to friends (and political enemies) that we now live in BushCo's "We Own Your Ass" Society.
  •  Hefley Claims Purge of Aides (none)
    Has anyone seen in this article in today's Denver Post? I quote the article, by Mike Soraghan:  

    "But when his replacement fired the top staffers who ran the DeLay investigation, Hefley's tone changed.

    "That looks very much like a purge," said Hefley, a Republican from Colorado Springs. "It seems to me like it was."

    To Hefley, it was a telling end to a miserably handled chapter in his party's leadership of the House."

  •  I like Buffett's term - GOP Sharecropper Society (4.00)
    The GOP wants their wealty elite to own everybody else from the cradle to the grave by ensuring that each child inherits a mountain of debt.
  •  How about "Working Class Warfare"? (none)
    "Working Class Warfare" has the benefit of reminding folks that it's the working class that has to send their children off to war because of the econimic and foriegn policies of the ruling class.  Plus, I like the idea of spinning it back on them.  We shouldn't be afraid of using their own frames to frame them.  I say take it, spin it and shove it right back at them!
  •  By George, I think I've got it!! (4.00)

    The Neo-Contract on America
  •  How will you pay rent without overtime? (none)

    Or, for homeowners, the mortgage.

    Housing is rapidly moving into the luxury category, and soon the government will outlaw overtime pay for you.

    Will you move in with relatives, rent out part of your home, or live in your car?

    Not sure if this is framing, but it is a very important question that millions of Americans need to begin planning for.

    Once their overtime pay is prohibited by law, they will not be able to afford housing, and this brings us to an important way more affluent people will be impacted.

    Will you use your discretionary resources to provide housing for one of these families, or hire a private security guard for your home?

    blog updated 3-2
    one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan

    by DuctapeFatwa on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:18:47 PM PST

  •  Ok... (none)
    Punish work, reward wealth.

    Alright, so my creative inspiration isn't exactly flowing at the minute...


    No more Mr. Nice Democrat

    by Viktor on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:18:57 PM PST

  •  Predatory Politics and the predatory agenda (none)
    The right is the predator and the middle class is the prey.

    People understand what predatory lending is a scam to take advantage of the weak and vurnerable.

    Predatory politics is when you push for legislation that preys on the most vernerable in our society or help those who wish to prey on the weaker and less well connected like the middle class.

    •  We have a weird relationship with predators. (none)
      On the one hand we try to kill them all off.  Because they kill our sheep.  Not because they kill us.  On the other hand we admire them.  Because they're rugged and tough and top of the heap.

      Could you appeal to people's desire to protect their families and friends from predators?  Maybe.

  •  "Bush's ownership society... (none)
    If you haven't been assigned an owner yet, you soon will be..."

    Someone some other time had a longer version of that before.

    No more Mr. Nice Democrat

    by Viktor on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:20:37 PM PST

  •  Are they trying to make enlisting... (none) the armed forces economically atractive?; an oasis of truth.

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:22:06 PM PST

    •  Republican Plan (none)
      is to see the middle class eat shit and die. They call it "starving the beast". They used the Fundies and the Iggies to gain power and now they are going to screw the working people out of a decent life. They already fucked up the American Dream.

      How's THAT for framing?

      A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

      by Little Red Hen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:33:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it is good to be blunt and clear . (none)
    This is Class Warfare.  It is a direct assault on the rights and interests of average people for the benefit of the ruling class.  And we must not accept it when the Repubs accuse us of class warfare when we call it what it is.  This is their standard technique - accusing their opponents of what they are doing.

    It is also a classic labor/corporate dispute.  Ok, so this is a little technical to be really catchy in middle america, but all of the steps being taken by the legislation the Repubs are introducing strengthen the control of corporations in relation to ordinary citizens.  And this is already way out of balance in the direction of corporations already.

    It really must be the role of government to balance out the natural advantage of wealth and control of giant corporations.  If the govenment is on the same side as the corporations, the little people are doomed.

    We can't let this go farther!  We must speak out loudly and clearly and persistently.  

    America, your government is trying to screw you!

    Apparently I have made the unbelievably naive error of overestimating the intelligence of the American people.

    by Citizen Clark on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:23:32 PM PST

  •  The Bush World Order? (none) conservatives would go nuts over that one.
  •  "Why should we believe them this time"? (none)

    Hypocrisy.  Use their own words against them.  On religion and on tax cuts.  

    Hypocrisy is the tool of the right wing noise machine, which they claim (usually by lying or distorting quotes) about the dems.

    The dems are of course too intelligent and nuanced to use simplifications like charges of hypocrisy, since they understand that equivocation goes on when dealing in politics.

    But that all must be ignored.

    Here's how you do it:

    Four years ago they promised you they'd improve your lives with tax breaks for the rich.  Today, it's even worse.  Record deficits.  An unending war.  Continued unemployment.  Now they want to take your Social Security away and increase corporate welfare for the rich to get richer.

    Why should we believe them this time?

    Bush is to America as cancer is to the body

    by WSmith on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:26:06 PM PST

  •  I don't think I have (none)
    the right phrase but here are the elements I see:

    RepubliCONs are liars.  They speak lies.  About numbers and people but even more importantly, abut what they think and intend to do.
    This makes them hypocrites.
    They are the elites in this country - both financially and culturally.

    They say one thing and do the other.

    Perhaps "bait and switch" is a good line to work with.

    You should also highlight the way they have sold out their "christian" values.  They are hurting their neighbours and the poor.

    Remember that for republicons, there is no "society".  There is no responsibility to the people of the country.

    They are trying to Enron the USA.  The guys at the top are destroying the financial viability while plundering everything in sight.  They are pretending the money situation is fine.  They are going to leave you (the employee/citizen) holding the bag.  Your shares in America co are going to be worthless and they are going to say "I had no idea"

    Maybe that's all I can offer:

    The 'cons are "pulling an Enron" on the US people.

    Enron generated false crises (blackouts) just like the Shrubbites (terror alerts) in order to send people scrambling to them.

    Hope that helped

  •  Betrayal of the workers (none)
    Selling out America.

    Contract on America (oldie but a goodie).

    Mortgaging the American Dream.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:27:15 PM PST

  •  How about (3.83)
    amBush on America
  •  Instead of... (none)
    ...describing the policy, why not describe the wingnuts who are supporting it?

    Robber barons seems to fit.

  •  Attack on Working Americans (none)

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:29:03 PM PST

  •  Has the anti-small business anti-innovation (none)
    angle been pursued re: the Bankruptcy Bill.  This will absolutely crush the small business person who sets up their business as a sole-proprietership in order to avoid the complexities involved in forming a corporation and because they would rather pay taxes at the personal income rate instead of paying taxes on profits at the corporate rate plus paying taxes on their 'ssalary' (which is drawn from corporate revenues and counted as a corporate expense) at the personal income rate.  

    A lot of businesses start as sole proprietorships prior to moving up to organizing as a corporation. So much form encouraging people to start their own businesses.  

  •  Bankrupt is the key word (4.00)
    Bankrupting America

    Bush is bankrupting the middle-class

    Morally bankrupt Republican party

    Budget deficits bankrupt our children's future

    National debt bankrupts the future

    Military reserves are bankrupt due to troop overdeployment

    Bush has bankrupted our international credibility

    The hits just keep on coming!!!

    •  The Bankrupt Society (none)
      The Vulture as a motif.

      A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

      by Little Red Hen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:47:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember the DeLay Get Out of Jail Free card? (none)
      We should do a whole GOP themed "Monopoly" game.  (Er, is satire protected or does it violate copyright laws?)  Except, of course, now you can't file for bankruptcy and leave the game..

      I also had this idea of someone setting up an eBay style auction site in which certain prominent politicians were auctioning off this nation's resources to the highest bidder.

  •  elitist vaules, or wrong vaules (none)

    Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

    by Davinci on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:31:29 PM PST

  •  Welfare for the Wealthiest... (4.00)
    Pennies for the People
  •  Frame for the Rethuglican program (3.66)
    Crass Warfare
    War on American Values Everywhere (WAVE)
    (Same) Old Deal
    New Steal
    Same Old Story
    There They Go Again!
    Voodoo Economics Revisited
    Hoover's Vengeance
    Hoover's Revenge
    New Plantation System


  •  I like... (none)
    "The Crooked Deal and The War on the Heartland" Can we pick the top 10 and then have a poll to pick the winner? Also I liked  a comment made here " Bush the CEO President" I cannot remember the author so if you see this please take credit.
    "The crooked Deal- brought to you by Bush the CEO President"

    It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it. President Washington

    by arkdem on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:34:27 PM PST

  •  be careful what you wish for (none)
    remember when the american polital establishment was screaming and schemeing for the end of the socialist nations, red china, ussr, etc.?

    well the present crisis of the capitalist system is the result. as long as a huge part of the world had a separate system, capitalism was able to provide a comfortable living standard to its sector because of the lack of competition. now that all nations are competing within the same economic realm it is dog-eat-dog and devil take the hindmost.

    and there is only one solution to bring back the good olde days - a world wide war. only this time america will not be immune to the widespread death and destruction as in the past.        

  •  It's gotta be ... (none)
    The Old Deal.  FDR took us from the exact type of excesses that GWB wants to take us back to.

    Just say no to W's Old Deal!

  •  Regressive Republicans n/t (none)
    Sorry, I like alliterations
  •  This is a bit stronger than I'd like but (none)
    Conquest of America?
    •  That's strong? (none)
      How about The Rape and Pillage Edict?

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:36:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (none)
        I think it's strong enough that some middle-of-the-road types would see think we're out on the fringes.  As much as peole talk about not trusting the government, there are some things most people don't believe it would do.  Conquering America is one of them.

        Though The Rape and Pillage Edict is stronger.

  •  The RAW DEAL. (4.00)
    FDR gave you the NEW DEAL.  Truman gave you the FAIR DEAL.  Bush and the GOP are giving you the RAW DEAL.
    •  Kerry used that (none)
      It's a good one.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:43:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I knew my neurons weren't firing. (none)
      All my suggestions are mediocre at best, but this is great.  Short, pithy, unmistakable.

      A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law. -Benjamin Franklin

      by Leslie in CA on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:44:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Love your idea-I'm going use and re-use it. (none)
      Raw Deal- easy to remember, goes to the historical source, and has happened to all of us before, Rep and Dem alike.

      And when Bush and Co start with the scare tactics on everything, respond with "you have nothing to fear, but fear itself."

      Let's keep reminding people what made a middle class possible and strong. I doubt many people would like to live the hard life of their forebearers.

      You only regret the things you don't do.

      by DailyLife on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:18:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Kitchen Table Alliance (4.00)

    1. This is describing in a positive sense what Democrats stand for, not disparaging GOPers. We need to go positive on this one, not negative (as fun as attacking can be, we need to tell folks what we stand for).

    2. All types of families of every class, race, religion, creed and every walk of life congregate in the kitchen. This says "family" without using the word "family" or trying to define what "family" is.

    3. It speak to an inclusive group of people who share the same interests. Folks from all walks of life - rich, poor, middle class, black, white, Muslims, Jews...everyone is in a shared alliance because everyone wants the same things: to make our country great again; to have working schools and a clean environment for our children; to ensure that we have a just society that cares for the least of us.

    4. "Kitchen table" is folksy and common-man. Everyone know what you mean when you say this. It also conjures up positive images, as this is the center of family life.

    5. GREAT marketing/communication possibilities:

    a. Dems can sit at a kitchen table and go toe to toe with the American voter, and talk about real world problems in a real world setting. You could call this "kitchen table conversations" or "kitchen table debates"...

    b. Ads almost write themselves, as do rallies and events.

    c. Again, this is INCLUSIVE. Everyone has a kitchen, therefore everyone can participate. Dems are about INCLUSION, GOPers are about DIVISION and EXCLUSION.

    d. This is an IDEAL vehicle to use to discuss the President's budget. Families discuss budgets at their kitchen tables.

    e. Make this a direct appeal to the over 50 million people who voted for Kerry, and the however-many-millions-more who "held their noses" and voted for Bush, or who voted for Bush and are having post-election second thoughts.

    "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by grannyhelen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:38:39 PM PST

    •  Also, we need to take back the term (none)
      "social security". "Security" is not the stock market. Dems need to promise to protect and defend the security in social security.

      "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by grannyhelen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:40:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd rather keep that frame for ourselves (none)
      Why put their evil intent into a warm and fuzzy wrapper? That's doing their work for them.

      I like it though!

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:41:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This IS for us...sorry if I wasn't clear (none)
        As much fun as it is to attack, we have to be FOR something.

        It's pretty darn easy to explain to folks what the Bushies are about. The American people aren't dumb when it comes to their own bottom line.

        What we have to do right now is come up with what we are FOR, and develop that frame. This is my first attempt at that.

        "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by grannyhelen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:49:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fantastic! (3.66)
      I love it!

      Imagine the Kitchen Table Alliance: Dems would regularly meet with each other and with swing voters (and GOP voters) and strategize and discuss the issues.

      Imagine the contrast between the kitchen and the corporate boardroom and you've described the difference between Democrats and Republicans. It's easy for everyone to understand, grasp and act upon.

      I think grannyhelen has hit on something that both describes a movement and gives it a forum in which to operate.

  •  The Short Stick (none)
    Too bad, suckers.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:39:06 PM PST

  •  "the Middle-Class Mortality plan" (4.00)
    or, if that sounds too close to "morality," try middle-class mortuary or middle-class morgue.  The idea of all three, obviously, is that the GOP is trying to destroy the middle class (and the working poor, but since a large majority of Americans self-identify as middle class regardless of their actual status . . .).

    I like middle-class massacre as well.  Also, I agree with GreenSooner's concerns about the "contract on America" meme, for the reasons s/he cites.  It's absolutely accurate, but is too likely to be confused w/their framing.

    Other possibilities:

    • Greed First

    • Robbing America

    • Rewarding Selfishness

    • the Home Invasion agenda

    • Steal straight from Warren Buffett; call it the Sharecropper Society Plan.

    • the Poorhouse Plan (or the Poorhouse Agenda)

    • the Dickens Agenda (yeah, too literary, but so appropriate)

    • Greedy Old Pirates for the GOP

    A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law. -Benjamin Franklin

    by Leslie in CA on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:39:57 PM PST

  •  The Plot against the People (none)
    I think 'plot' is better than war because the attacks will be run undercover: e.g., "personal accounts."

    And, yes, against all the people, on behalf of the corporations, a la the bankruptcy bill.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:40:16 PM PST

  •  Two Americas (4.00)
    I wasn't an Edwards gal in the primaries, but I think his "two Americas" theme really hit the right note. His riff on, e.g. "one health care system for the wealthy, another one for the rest of us," etc. was something that seemed to resonate with audiences.

    There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

    by sheba on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:40:19 PM PST

    •  Reminder (none)
      from a speech in December 2003:
      "Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another America that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks. One America that will do anything to leave its children a better life, another America that never has to do a thing because its children are already set for life. One America -- middle-class America - whose needs Washington has long forgotten, another America - narrow-interest America - whose every wish is Washington's command. One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a President."

      There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

      by sheba on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:04:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Deck of Cards (4.00)
    Make up a deck of cards as was used in Iraq. On each card list what that person is doing to this country.
  •  "three jobs (4.00)
    is not enough"
  •  Ideas (none)
    The War on the Future

    Broken Dreams Policy

    The "Us First" Policy

    Slash and Burn Politics

    The Twilight in America Policy

    The War on Americans

    Robber Baron Policies

    ...I kind of like that last one.

  •  How about (none)
    The Powerful, not the People..

    People are powerful!

    by One World on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:49:38 PM PST

  •  Red Robbing Hood (none)
    Red Reich

    I've seen these before:
    Robin Hood in Reverse
    Reverse Robin Hood

    "KBO." "It's the order of the day." -- Winston Churchill

    by joanneleon on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:50:31 PM PST

  •  I guess (none)
    I need to change my signature.

    The people are very far from powerful these days.

    People are powerful!

    by One World on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:51:07 PM PST

  •  The War on the Middle Class (none)
    because it is very clear what the slogan is about. It is easy to understand. We can repeat it like it is a chant. Everything that they are doing maps to it. The Crooked Deal is clever but it is a play on words that many might not get and it obscures what we are trying to convey.
    •  War on the middle class (none)
      says it all.
      Most people like to believe that they are middle class, in other words this is an attack on everybody from the elite (corporations against its employees, govt against its citizens etc)
  •  And it is not just the working class (none)
    in the old-fashioned sense of that word (i.e., labor), it is all of us who have to work for a living, including professionals who may have relatively high incomes but do not live off of dividends. This is an assault on all working people. And when we become poor, it will clearly be an assault on all poor people.
  •  Fascism? or Corporate ownership society (none)
    Okay. Not so catchy, but true, no?

    OWE-nership society.
    Debt ownership society.

    "War on the family"
    "War on Americans"
    "Back to the 80s"

    "The unwell and unfair state"
    "Corporate welfare state"
    "Project to destroy America"
    "The dirty, underhanded, double crossing, back stabbing Deal"  - A three breasted mutant chicken in every pot and two cars repossed from every garage.

    "Help America Spend"
    "Look over there!"
    "The man behind the curtain society"
    "The Big Brother System"

    I liked NeoContract on America.

    "Middle class bashers"

    "The Have-not Society"

    •  Fascism indeed (none)
      Fascism is not too strong a word for the Republicans "Wall Street Revolution" altthough it would obviously be too strong to use. Italians know a lot about fascism, check out Eco's "Ur-fascism" or the works of Gentile: Bushco fits the description perfectly.

      Many catch phrases can be used so long as they fit together in a coherent metaphorical frame. It is important to get negative first, before proposing alternatives. Right wingers still talk negatively of "washington" as if they didn´t control the whole thing: they somehow manage to keep alive the illusion that washington is democrats. It is very important to position the democrats as the outside party so that when everything goes down in flames republicans can be blamed in a clear-cut fashion.

      By the way, I´m new. Also I am from Colombia and have taken an interest in US politics because I fear fascism emanating from your country...

  •  The Main Street Assault (none)
    that is what New Labor used in 1997

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:55:26 PM PST

  •  The American Nightmare (none)

    "KBO." "It's the order of the day." -- Winston Churchill

    by joanneleon on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:55:55 PM PST

  •  The Kneel Deal (4.00)
    The GOP agenda would force workers to their knees - disabling them as a self-respecting force. On their knees, ordinary people (here and around the world) will be utterly dependent on crooked leaders and crocodilean corporate profiteers for all health and wealth, welfare and warfare, life and death, and whatever blasted fragments of earth and water, air and fire, remain.

    Or is that too dramatic? :)

    •  Could have fun with that one (4.00)
      :) and many others.  How about the "Newt Deal"?  Oh that's right, he's now a transparent member of the opaque party.

      I agree with earlier comments that many of these types of phrases can be used to our advantage.  Even if we're not expert framers, the whole brainstorming process is good.  DailyKos rocks.

      "KBO." "It's the order of the day." -- Winston Churchill

      by joanneleon on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:38:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  name (none)
    Wealth for the righteous
    Right to More Wealth
    Losers left Behind
    Excess Money Power Insures Rights Equity
  •  Weapons of Middleclass Destruction (WMD) n/t (4.00)
  •  The Owners and the Owned (none)
    As a potshot at the faux "ownership society". Hint: If you got less than six figures from Bush's tax cuts, you are not one of the owners. You are the owned.

    The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives. - Sir Winston Churchill

    by drewthaler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 04:58:16 PM PST

  •  Selling Out America n/t (none)
  •  a theme that hasn't been discussed (none)
    i think the theme for 2006 should be

    The Return of Balence Government

    Only when republicans and democrats share power does the country function in a good way --

     as we have seen in the last 6 years of republican lead government , the party of the rich doesn't have your best interest at heart.

  •  The Contract Against America (4.00)
    or "The New Contract Against America"
  •  Ending the Dream n/t (none)
  •  the 21st century compact with america (none)
    but just a cautionary note...such a compact would need mainly POSITIVE elements...such as (drum roll please"

    1. the implementation of FAIR trade agreements that enable workers from different nations to compete on a level playing field.  this means level environmental regualtions and standards of human rights (i.e. no sweatshops).
    2. the strengthening of our armed forces and national guard.  This means full health care and benefits, a pay raise, and an expansion of the number of troops serving.  It also means shifting the emphasis of military spending from expensive weapon systems to people.
    3. a national energy independence plan.  This means investing significant resources in alternative energy fuels, providing tax incentives for companies who save energy.  It also means less money for terrorists.  It also means America becoming the world's leader in energy technology, which means jobs.
    4. comprehensive electoral reform.  term limits for the senate and house, as well as federal allocation of resources for a universal standard of voting machines.  AND PAPER TRAILS FOR COMPUTER BALLOTS.
    5. Implementation of national health care, which would give individuals the ability to choose their own doctors and reduce wasteful insurance bureaucracy.
    6. Sunshine laws for government.  more public disclosure, less closed meetings with lobbyists.
    7. A statement against torture in any form, because it is bad for democracy.
    8. a pledge to support democratic movements around the world, not by direct military intervention, but by economic and ideological support.
    9. serious litigation reform that provides for review panels that will disbar lawyers who bring repeaded frivilous lawsuits.

    these are just some suggestions, but I'd love to know what y'all think

    "no one likes missionaries with bayonets" -- Robespierre

    by Dont Tread on Me on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:08:16 PM PST

    •  Excellent suggestion (none)
      This is what we really need -- a rational alternative to their focus on pro-business legislation. I'd also suggest that the Dems include a minimum wage increase. It would also be good to cater to small business owners with tax benefits for new businesses somehow (we need to stress that the small entrepreneur is the engine of the economy). I also like Kerry's suggestion to penalize US businesses who outsource too many jobs (perhaps some sort of means-testing against unemployment levels).

      We also need to stress that the Democratic party is Progressive (moving forward) rather than regressive.  Maybe we need to stop referring to them as neocons and start calling them the Regressive party (reverse on the Liberal issue of the last 20 years or so).

      We need to be PROactive not REactive (thanks Steven Covey).

    Pretty much covers it.

    What an excellent day for an Exorcism.... Social Security THERE IS NO CRISIS!

    by DianeL on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:08:46 PM PST

  •  Conning the Republic - the Republi-con Con-gress (none)
    Conning The Republic is what I call the actions of the "Rover Boys," George-Karl-Dick, who, along with their corporate friends, do it with a smile.  

    They have become the greatest con artists in American History by shifting all wealth to their control and fleecing all public social welfare funds of any kind. Look for the establishment of  secret associations based on wealth, patterned after English society where priveledge is held within tight family groups at the "top" of society.  

    I have a few cartoons about the subject of republicans at


  •  Ticker Tape America (none)
    Explains it wonderfully
  •  What to name it? (none)
    I don't like "The New Contract On America" as it's kind of esoteric in that it requires the audience to know what it refers to.

    Let's try "Bush's Folly". Simple and to the point. Possibly better, though a few more syllables, would be "The Republican Folly" as we won't have to spend energy sticking whoever the next Republican Presidential nominee is with the same name. (Ah, Machiavellian...) "Bush's Folly" is more specific, though and could refer to a specific style of Republicanism rather than throwing everyone in the party into it. Of course on the other hand, that gives Republicans a free "out" where they say "Well, I never supported Bush's Folly! I was a good Republican!"

    "Bush's Folly" could also reference the war in Iraq.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:14:05 PM PST

  •  We've got ours. Screw you act. (none)
  •  Looking to History (none)
    I still like the old tried and true slogan:

    In bed with big business.

  •  okay, the one that encapsulates the way i (none)
    see what is happening: the republican rip-off of middle america - tax privileges for the wealthy, increasing national debt for everyone else, no bankruptcy protection, bleeding social security dry to finance the war, destroying the environment to feed corporate greed and endless maiming and death for our soldiers. it's a rip-off of the first order.

    We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

    by yankeedoodler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:15:48 PM PST

  •  Republicans are Mugging America's Middle Class (4.00)
    Muggers don't have to lurk in the back alleys anymore. They can run for office as Republicans.

    Open your wallets, all you working middle-income families. These guys will take your livelihood from across the country.

    Overtime? Sorry. Bankrupty protection? Nope. What about the right to sue in court for damages? Not for long. Healthcare costs rising? Republicans have a plan - hand your tax money over to the richest of the corporate elite. Hey, it's not a good plan, but it's a plan.

    Sorry, ma'am, did you say your son in Iraq has no body armor and his kids are on foodstamps? Too bad, then, that Republicans spent your tax dollars on no-bid multi-billion boondoggle military spending and missle defense instead of poor Johnny.

    Our middle class families are struggling while Republicans mug them to pay their tithes to the super-rich. American parents are working more for less money than they did thirty years ago. And the chance that getting hurt or laid off will ruin your family's security grows ever greater.

    How can we expect to keep our children away from violence, or teach them that people's merit comes from their character and not the clothes they wear, or that hard work and compassion for others in your community - not drugs or a record deal - gets you get a good life for yourself and your family, when parents can't afford to spend time with their children?

    This mugging of middle class families has gone on long enough. I for one am sick of it.

  •  Steal this article! (4.00)

    Republicans to murder American dream!

    Republican legislation introduced this week, together with further bills to be introduced soon, will sharply undermine the ability of working and middle-class Americans to move ahead in life.

    By removing middle-class protections, including individual bankruptcy protection, overtime pay, and certain minimum wage protections, Republicans hope to make it easier for the wealthy to exploit American workers.

    Republicans hope that wealthy employers will pass their payroll savings back to the Republican party as a political kickback, thus ensuring the continued domination of the Republican party in Washington.

    A Washington insider characterized the plan as "an attempted assassination of the American dream," but declined to elaborate for fear of reprisals.

    -BMP, tonight

    PS: the "Washington insider" is myself, and the term is defined very very very loosely to include denizens of New York City without connections to any political organization whatsoever.  I've been taking lessons from Bush et al.

    "Don't want to be an American idiot..." -- Green Day

    by Black Maned Pensator on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:22:39 PM PST

  •  I like your Contract on America. (none)
    Cuz if there is one thing all Americans can agree on, The Mafia and The Mob are the coolest things ever.
    You can get alot of traction out of mafia ANYTHING.

    Contract With America (or whatever that horse shit was called) is recent enough for most people to remember. Heck, I remember it and I was doing my best not to know anything at the time.

    You only regret the things you don't do.

    by DailyLife on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:26:27 PM PST

  •  My simple suggestion (none)
    Men, women and children, man your lifeboats; the Republicans are coming.
  •  Robber Barons (none)
    Along with all the things that happened at the turn of the 20th century.

    I just can't help but feel like they're "Playing a Game of Monopoly with Peoples' Lives"?

  •  Bush's Real Domestic Agenda (none)
    It's more than possible that Bush launched the Social Security hoo-ha knowing that it was never going to go over, as a distraction from this  calculated assault on the middle class.  I think this should be framed as what he really had in mind.  
  •  Contract on Ameria (none)
    Think this is a poor choice of words, whenever I hear "contract on," I think of a hit job.  
  •  The Gucci Revolution! (none)
    It's worldwide! Join it or die.

    bbc news

    Some people here are jokingly calling the phenomenon "the Gucci revolution" - not because they are dismissive of the demonstrations, but because so many of those waving the Lebanese flag on the street are really very unlikely protestors.

    There are girls in tight skirts and high heels, carrying expensive leather bags, as well as men in business suits or trendy tennis shoes.

  •  Republican Rollbacks. (none)
    We should say
    "These new Republican rollbacks of your benefits and protections are going to hurt American families and businesses.

    Republican rollbacks.

    Republican rollbacks.

    Republican rollbacks.

  •  contract on america or (4.00)
    The Bill of Wrongs
  •  Faith Based Fleecing (none)

    Reason may not explain everything but it explains a whole lot.

    by 1world1life on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:47:56 PM PST

  •  The Opt Out Society (none)
    Since 2003, I have been using the term "The Opt Out Society" to describe the GOP agenda, the threat it poses to the American Social Contract, and the opportunity it offers Democrats to return to the majority:


    Ironically, it is the very realization that it is American national unity itself that is under attack by the GOP during a time of war that presents Democrats with their best chance for victory. The American people, standing shoulder to shoulder against foreign foes, are being divided and splintered by a Republican public philosophy of market worship, the privatization or abandonment of traditional government roles and services, and a radical individualism. The Bush philosophy represents an all-out assault on common national purpose in the United States. Government not only can't solve problems, it has no moral claim on its citizens' participation in a shared national effort to try. At the end of the day, you're on your own in a Hobbesian struggle of each against all; the government's role is to stand aside and let you fight it out.

    This Republican program seeks to undermine the traditional American social contract and create what can be called an "Opt Out Society." That is, the GOP will abrogate the unwritten agreements that have defined the national bargain for three generations, such as hard work in exchange for social mobility, commitment to public institutions in exchange for growing personal freedoms, and those disproportionately benefiting from the American system disproportionately contributing to its maintenance. Instead, conservatives push to privatize social services like education, health care, and retirement, while rewarding Americans for withdrawing their support from their country, their government, their communities, their schools - and each other.

    This Republican program is the true threat Democrats must fight. They must, though, avoid the pitfalls of a purely populist campaign along the lines of Al Gore's doomed 2000 effort. Successfully highlighting the yawning chasm between the president's call for American unity abroad and the GOP assault on national unity at home is the opportunity for Democrats to win that fight.

    For the full essay, see:

    "The Opt Out Society: The GOP Threat to Nationality Unity and the American Social Contract"

    For a strategy for framing the Opt Out Society, see:

    "Branding the Opt Out Society"

    For other discussions of the Opt Out Society, see:

    "The Poor? They're Inconvenient" (Philadelphia Daily News)

    "Hijacking Freedom"

  •  raw deal sounds good (none)
    That's the best one I've seen here.  Democrats gave us the New Deal.  Now Republicans want to replace it with the Raw Deal.

    A gaffe in Washington is when you tell the truth and people act surprised.

    by hotshotxi on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:54:06 PM PST

  •  Return to Middle Ages and Feudalism (none)
    Feudalism was the system around which the primary social structure of the Middle Ages was organised. As practised, individual nobles, rather than the ruling monarch would be charged with the management of various  vassals.

    Though not technically slaves, Serfs did the work on the lord's manor and were bound to a lord for life. They could not marry without the lord's permission and could own no property. In addition to servitude, serfs were bound to land that they worked and could not leave it. If a serf was able to run away and managed to stay in a distant town for a year and a day, he would be free. Serfs were also offered protection from the lord, but they did not have to agree to military service. Serfs lived very harsh lives were work was hard and rewards were few.

    Looks like we are ready to return to 1215 and start all over.  With any luck, we can be back to where we were during the New Deal and Clinton Administration in just slightly less than 800 years.  

    Think King George will sign the Magna Carta?

  •  The REAL War on the Unborn (none)
    Ok, I know, shaky ground. But truly, the debt that will be on the heads of the new generations will essentially have them born into a kind of slavery.


  •  So far I like the following ideas: (none)
    • Raw Deal
    • Starve the Beast
    • Ambush
    • Two Americas
    • You're on your own
    • Bait and switch (but this is too close to flip-flop
    • War on Grandma,  or  War on the Jones
    • We don't want your bag of peanuts
    • Creating a deck of cards

    And for us Democrats:  "We care."

    When the fox preaches The Passion, farmer watch your geese.

    by reform dem on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 05:59:51 PM PST

  •  GOP (none)
    Members are nothing more than Wall Street Welfare Kings/Queens.
    •  Wall Street Welfare (none)
      Now THAT is catchy.
    •  I like that (none)
      Wall Street Welfare.

      Democrats are Against "Wall street welfare."
      We support working families.  Middle class families.  Our goal is to reduce the ranks of the working poor while congress is currently working to increase them.

      Can we get Howard Dean to YELL THAT, so that we can play it ad naseum?

      "We're against Wall Street Welfare."

      •  Is it 1929 Yet? (none)
        Regressive Republicans are joining together to end Social Security in order to create Wall Street Welfare.

        "I mean it, man, is there an emergency-level outbreak of flag desecration no one's kept me posted on?" -President Bartlet

        by Greg in TN on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:59:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Intellectual Honesty (none)
    I was very pleased today to see that a self-professed conservative and president of a Manhattan-based asset management firm actually aspired toward intellectual honesty in a discussion on the privatization of Social Security. I want to thank The Cunning Realist for supplying additional examples of how those "in the know" do actually realize and count on the fact that the privatization plan for Social Security will shift more of the current private sector financial risks onto the public sector.  In his posting he shared two personal discussions he had on the issue of private accounts. One was with an executive at a large publicly-traded technology firm and the other was an employee at one of the largest investment banks in the world.

    This executive wants private accounts that invest in the stock market and his stock in particular. He sees private accounts as transferring risk from him to the public--risk, he surely knows, that is already being transferred through instruments such as IRA's, 401K's, and the explosion of mutual funds over the past decade. He's profited handsomely from that transfer of risk. From a corporate perspective he wants that transfer to continue, and from a personal one he needs it to continue to support his lifestyle.

    And, without surprise, The Cunning Realist found that the bank employee's sentiments concurred.

    He said: "I want that dumb public money coming across my desk." It's debatable whether that money would come across HIS desk as well as how much the financial industry in general would benefit from private accounts, but his expectation is clear.

    Recently public interest groups such as the Campaign for America's Future have come under attack by supporters of private acccounts for suggesting that securities firms would profit from the President's Social Security plan. If executives at large publicly-traded technology firms and employees at large investment banks actually will not see any profit from this planned shift of public funds into the private sector, maybe somebody should tell them. This would likely dry up any remaining support for the President's privatization plan.

    The attempts by the administration to downplay these issues, and in some cases even deny them, I believe, have been intellectually dishonest. It is time for the president to clearly state how his plan will work so it can be openly and honestly discussed.

    You can read The Cunning Realist's inaugural post here.


  •  Off the top of my head (none)
    No wallet left behind.

    You work, so we don't have to.

  •  The new contract on America (none)
    Let's just call it what it is-FASCISM !!!!! Here's an idea, let's all get together and declare war on the Credit Card Companies.  How about if we all just quit paying them?  What are they going to do-take a hundred million of us to court?  We have to start sometime to stand up for our rights. We can send these people a message they'll never forget.  We're fed up and we won't take it any more.  Give them a list of demands and tell them if they don't meet them, no more payments until they do.  
    •  Good idea (none)
      Stop paying credit cards. If massive enough it could be significant. And it is doable.
      Fascism, terrorism, are words that adequately describe Bushco (if "terrorism"= manipulating people through fear), but are too strong to be listened to. People who peg you as a "liberal" will not listen to you. Words like "fascism" or "US terrorism" peg you as a liberal. More descriptive, less emotionally charged terms are in order.
      To fight orwellian vocabulary you need plain vocabulary, no big abstract words but plain self-explanatory phrases "Bush's debt offensive"...
      Sorry, not inspired
  •  The most compelling term we can possibly use (none)
    would relate to or would involve the term TERRORISM.

    Used raw, that might be inarticulate and off-putting.

    But terrorism is the word of the decade which trumps all others rhetorically.

    Even if the term were used in one instance, by one congressional or Senate member, it would likely gather some attention and it would without a doubt FRAME just how we feel about their policies.

    Financial terrorism against the middle class.

    Job export terrorism against working class Americans.

    Fiancial terrorism against the middle class.

    Bankruptcy terrorism againt people in the greatest need, those who will as a result of this GOP bill lose everything due to a personal financial crises, often brought on my a major illness in the family and often in cases where the family does have medical coverage. It is terrorism and it is a gift from Bush to his corporate policial financial  backers.

    Medical care cost terrorism, with the GOP congress and senate adding to the terror we all feel about the costs and liabilities of major health care costs.


  •  My first post! (4.00)
    Some ideas...

    Welcome to Imperial America.

    America is becoming a nation of billionaires and baristas.

    Republicans are gating us out of our own communities.

    Republicans are building barriers to prosperity.

    I also like calling these proposals "Republican Rollbacks." It's memorable and has nice alliteration.

  •  this is hard (none)
    Breaking the back of the middle class

    Turning the American Dream into the American Nightmare

    Power before people

    Only the Wealthy survive

    Stealing your future (is hard work)

    Locking the door to opportunity

    A feast for Republicans, scraps for the rest of us.

    Pay them now, pay them later.

    Building America the Sweatshop

    Republicans: Taking your job and shoving it

    The Greed Guarantee

    Republicans: Your pain is their gain.

    A Thousand points of blight

    Gutting the American Dream

    The Fat Cat Frenzy

    The New Wealthfare

    Cooking America's books.

    Two Steps Forward, Six Steps Back

    The Bust Fund

    The Money Monarchy

    Republicans: The Pick Pocket Party

    No CEO left behind

    Wealth isn't everything, it's the only thing.

    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!

    by MarkinNC on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:13:14 PM PST

  •  Chump Change (none)
    Changes only a chump would buy into, and chump will be all the change he has left.
  •  Watch your wallet. (none)
    Not so much a frame as a catch phrase or retort. Every time a RepubliCON starts talking about some program or bill or and how it's so wonderful for 'mainstream 'murkins" and "mainstream values," Democrats just roll our eyes at the audience (or camera) - making it clear they're talking to those same "mainstream 'murkins" - and say, "Yeah, well, watch your wallet."

    Possibly "Watch your back" could be used instead, in some cases - especially for the deluded "values" voters who think RebupliCONS actually care about their issues.

    The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. --G'Kar, "Z'ha'dum" Babylon 5

    by KarenJG on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:19:17 PM PST

  •  The Republican program needs to be called: (none)
    You're on your own.

    The Democrat party counteraction program needs to be called: We're with you!

    The GOP says you're on your own, but we're with you.

    The specifics can then be fleshed out with a variety of categories:  consumer protection, affordable drugs, catastrophic health coverage, etc.

    This is not a mexed missage.

    by CityofGod on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:20:18 PM PST

    •  bootstrap mentality, though (none)
      I wonder if it might be better to give the sense that people are being STOLEN from, rather than left out to dry. Could be that too many bootstrap Midwesterners and individualist red staters might not see being 'on one's own' as bad, since the American Dream narrative (wrongly) suggests that people can make it on their own.
    •  The "Ownership society" (none) actually the "On Your Own - ership Society".

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:42:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "Ownership society" ... (none) actually the "On Your Own - ership Society".

        I would drop the "ership" and just have it - "The 'Ownership Society' is actually the 'On Your Own' Society. But you're not alone. We Democrats are with you."

        This is not a mexed missage.

        by CityofGod on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:54:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  how about pickpocket republicans (none)
      They distract you and then rob you blind.

      And dems are the cops, trying to bring them to justice.

  •  Or... (none)
    Taking Out a Contract on Working Americans


    "The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians." - H.L Mencken

    by herooftheday on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:22:23 PM PST

  •  We must frame both sides (none)
    In order to serve as a good frame, I think the contrast between Left and Right must be inherent.  There must be two sides to the frame.  Something like... Them:

    Picking Americans' Pockets
    Enronning Our Country Into The Poorhouse


    Investing In We The People
    Trusting Americans Enough To Talk Straight

  •  my vote for (none)
    The Raw Deal: Bush's Sharecropper Society
  •  More ideas (none)
    Somebody suggested  "poorhouse agenda" I like that.

    Dream Breakers
    American Nightmare
    The New American Nightmare
    No More Dreams, America
    The Future is Over

    The Sharks Will Have It All.

    This is good. Let's keep at it.


  •  NeoCon economic blitzkrieg (none)
    How's this for a name?
  •  Bush to the Rest of Us: Drop Dead! (none)
    Gotta admit the NY Post, even under Murdoch, has such a knack for great headlines. Why not steal from the best?
  •  one more (none)

    Shark Feed - The New Contract on America

    The Take Down Society


  •  The "Let Them Eat Cake" act (none)
    Or something that states how out of touch these aristocratic weasels are...  We could use the clip "Three jobs? that is uniquely American" comment of Heir Bushler.  I am not feeling extremely creative, but I want to add some food for thought, before it is food for not.  I was thinking of a way to explain how this is the anti-new deal and stress the parts of he plan that real republicans hate; Welfare, affirmative action, etc...  What they are proposing is the anti-New Deal.  I wanted to find a way to jumble the new deal into a new phrase, such as Lead Wen, but cannot find a good one.  

    Instead of having a poverty level in which one can receive benefits, they have instituted an affluence line, in which you must cross to get the new welfare, health coverage, affirmative action (sweetheart, no bid contracts), bankruptcy protection, retirement benefits, etc...  They are the Sheriff of Nottingham, not Robin Hood.  They are Europe pre-renaissance.

    GOP- The Dawn of a New Reich or The Reich wing of American politics

    We could play up the Bush I - voodoo economics and call it Copperfield Economics - Watch us make your future disappear.

    •  Ad campaigns (none)
      I would like to see a series of ad campaigns across the internet detailing how corperate america will benefit at the expense of the Average Joe.  Such as...

      The Bancruptcy bill

      Will ensure that companies, such as Enron and the airlines, can still benefit from bancruptcy protection, while our military personel will be homeless, etc... (fill in the details)

      End each ad with the bill name and the tagline - The best laws money can buy


    •  Personal Incorporation (none)
      If these policies go through, my family will be called GlazeOne® - a Delaware corporation, just to make sure I have equal protection under the law.
      •  You know, that's not a bad idea (none)
        It doesn't take much to incorporate in DE. You don't need to live here, and it's not horrendously expensive.

        Check it out...

        •  I don't live in DE, either (none)
          Navada is just as friendly.  I was only half joking when I said it, too.  Thanks to Bush, you can pay yourself a small salary and, at the end of the year, pay the rest of your money in dividends and only pay 15% on that money.  If you attend classes to better your career, call it capital investment.  Problem is, the more you see that you can get away with, the more likely you are to vote for those bloodsuckers.  Again, the Republicons - the best laws money can buy
  •  Corporate aristocracy (none)
    Folks need to begin to see this as a return to pre-revolutionary royalism and aristocracy, which it is.  The founding fathers warned against the power of corporations, even back then.  They are profoundly anti-egalitarian.  These forces for aristocracy are always with us and need to be beaten back constantly.

    How many corporate CEOs are there?  Employees?  Investors?  I'll wager even the total number is a minority of the population.

    "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

    by eyeswideopen on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:39:18 PM PST

    •  American Aristocracy (none)
      Bow down to the Rich.
      The Government is God.
      On your KNEES to Bush.
      Prostrate yourself before the KING.

      It would be good to first establish how much money you have to have to be: Upper Class, Middle Class, Lower Class. People like to think they are upper middle. We need a CHART.

      A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

      by Little Red Hen on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 07:28:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Enron Trust Fund (none)
    Trusting the men who brought you Enron..
  •  Sucker Economics (none)
    If you fall for it, you are a sucker.

    "Doing the world a favor since 1963."

    by Petruk on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:39:58 PM PST

  •  Corruption (none)
    This is all about Corruption, about how the Republican Party has become totally corrupt, up and down the ticket, in every sense of the word
    (Democratic frame: we offer reform/change).

    We need to point out the blatant corruption of the Republican Party at every opportunity.
    They have and are continuing to "sell out" the American people.

    The very legislative agenda they are now pushing is corrupt in and of itself because they never ran on the very things they are now trying to ram through. If they had, they would not have won.

    For instance, on Social Security, not only did they not level with the American people about what they were up to, but they, in fact, vehemently denied they had plans for radical changes to Social Security when the subject came up, accusing Democrats of "trying to scare old people."

    It needs to be pointed out over and over again that the Republicans' agenda is bogus and corrupt, kept hidden from the American people until after the 2004 elections.

    And now, they are selling out the American people on issue after issue, from bankruptcy legislation as dictated by the banking industry to efforts to weaken workers rights, from privatization of Social Security to renominating judges who had already been rejected. If Republicans had been honest with the American people about what their plans were, they would not have been elected. It is as simple as that. They are reneging on what they told American citizens during the campaign and instead taking their marching orders from the
    special interests who give them money.

    The Republicans are totally  corrupt and dishonest. They conned the American people in the elections of 2004 and are continuing to try to con them into thinking they're acting in their best interests when they are, in fact, acting only in the best interests of those who give them money.

    Corrupt. Sell-outs. Conning the American people.
    That's what frames we should be offering for those Grand Old Prostitutes (Whoring themselves to the monied elites).

    And then let Dean continue to lead us with the vision he's laid out, for the Democrats to be the party of reform.

  •  Bet the Farm (none)
    "squeal like a pig, boy!"
  •  The Repubs have launched a (none)
    Class Action Lawsuit against the Middle Class.
    Raising the retirement age is a bad idea whose time has come.....again.

    Few people remember that the entire reason for RETIREMENT SCHEMES in the first place was to get older people out of the work force so younger workers with families to support could move in......

    The notion that someone who does not own their own business can expect to "work" until 67 or 70 years old is just nonsense......older workers will be pushed out of organizations as they reach their late fifties or early sixties---BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.....

    Sometimes, this comes through a "disability."

    Other times, it's just a good old fashion office "hatchet job," where everyone gangs up and the "old guy" and starts complaining to the boss.....

    And sometimes, these "hatchet jobs" are instigated by management who want to get rid of an older worker before the worker's retirement benefits "vest."

    Without union protections most older workers don't stand a chance in today's workplace....

    And that's not even considering the technology lag that most older workers are burdened with..... Things change. And there are not enough good paying jobs to go around.....

    All raising the retirement age will do is force more older workers into an under-employed poverty.....for years before their Social Security pension "kicks in."

    What are unemployed people supposed to do between the ages of say 55 and at MickeyD's? As Walmart greeters......? There are simply not enough jobs for old people.....

    Retirement is the only option, and Social Security is the only gauranteed pension left in the that the 401k scam has killed off the defined benefit pension that was the backbone of American retirements for the last 60 years...!

    As I said:



    More Content, Less Chat.

    by BALTHAZAR on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:16:55 PM PST

  •  frame (none)
    How about "GOP Gold Rush of 2005?"

    Too strident and the middle frames US -- out.

  •  Framing the issue (none)
    I saw a great way to frame the Social Security issue. The Treasury Office or some other part of the executive just set up a 'war room' to help W sell the Social Security privatization plan. Every time Dean or Reid opens his mouth about the issue in the next couple of weeks, the first words out should be 'The War on Social Security' or 'Bush's War on Social Secrity'. Then they need to cite that story. Once that's been repeated enough, you can start to bring up 'Bush's War on the Middle Class'.
  •  <b>Tearing down the American Dream</b> (none)
    Deconstructing America
    Thats how I see it.
  •  I am just reading (none)
    the Rise of T. Roosevelt--the best biography I've read in a long time.  If today's repug party reflected his views on corporate power (and conservation), I'd probably be a republican today.  It's amazing how far from TR today's repub party is.  Roosevelt complained about and crusaded against the "unnatural alliance between government and corporations."  He must be turning over in his grave today, because it's not a mere alliance we're witnessing, it's a covenant marriage.

    Today's GOP is the robber baron party. The democrats are the only option left for the "forgotten middle class."

  •  The New American Feudalism (none)
    Don't know if Feudalism is too far off the beaten path, but it ties in nicely with this administration's desire to return to the dark ages- no education (except for the nobles), no owning land (except for the nobles), and just two classes- nobility and serfs. So who's the nobility going to be? Unless you're a personal friend of Bush and his cronies, it's not going to be you.

    "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." - Thomas Jefferson

    by EsnRedshirt on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 07:58:34 PM PST

  •  how about (none)
    The Greed Reapers


    Greedy Old Politicians

    George Bush vacations in Texas; he LIVES in Denial.

    by Joon on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:05:08 PM PST

  •  Forgetting the Byrd Rule (none)
    If it increases the deficit (making taxes permanent would, by definition, and can't be hidden like the original tax cuts would) it is subject to the Byrd Rule, and cannot be included in budget reconciliation. It would therefore be subject to filibuster.

    Realistically, we have other things to worry about. Like the horrendous bankruptcy and class action bills being passed while Dems are 'winning' the SS fight. I worry this will happen many times. 59-40 was the vote on Bankruptcy reform, if I remember correctly. Does anyone know why did the Dems did not filibuster?

  •  Sure it is still your country? (none)
    ...or do you just work here?
  •  The War on Workers (none)
    ...and start calling the other side "cons."  
  •  The RIght Wing War on the Family (none)
    "War on the family" has been mentioned a couple of times, and I think it's very effective, because it relates directly to what people care about most - their families. There are so many ways to show how the GOP's actions and proposals are squeezing middle and working class families. The worst thing about it is that what these scumbags are doing is guaranteeing a future for our children that is worse than what we've had - less free, less secure, less healthy, less prosperous. As a new father, I find that to be the most depressing aspect of what's going on.
  •  WOLVES AT THE GATE (none)
    It's visual and palpable.  And it has teeth.


    Say, how do I get me wunna them cool blogger nics?

    by Bob on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:24:23 PM PST

  •  We have terms... (none)
    For the hard working people of industry and corporate America, blue-collar and white-collar workers. How about we label this a "gold-collar assault"?

    Remind people that it's the richest, who are rich thanks to other people, benefiting and targeting the middle-class and poor, the blue- and white-collar workers.

    They aren't like us, they won't ever get to have a beer with the Prez, and they won't be pals with their representatives and senators who are pushing these laws.

    Label them to distance them from us.

  •  How About (none)
    Elephant dumps dung on America
    Raging elephant crushes middle class
  •  How about..... (none)
    "America, you're fucked!"

    OK, that's rather snarky - but it's kinda fun, and accurate, to say!

    *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

    by clueless on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:34:42 PM PST

  •  OK, a little more serious now (none)
    how about:

    "Before it's too late"

    Kinda dark and ominous, and open to lashing out by the other side, but pretty darn effective for getting people to stop/think/ask 'before what's too late' - at which time they are willing to listen.

    *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

    by clueless on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:39:32 PM PST

  •  Corporate Socialism (none)
    where the many must sacrifice for the sake of supply side economics, or the new Republican Globization.

    in an effort to make even more money, corporate policies of imperialistic globlization are turning the United States into a nation of sharecroppers and a future as a third world country.

    I'm still thinkin'

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:49:13 PM PST

    •  See Amendment 37 in Oregon (none)
      they screwed the people there in the name of "fair neighborhoods are somethink like dat.

      Mentioned above
      I am likin'
      Pickpocket Republicans
          the new gas tax
          and the newly coming higher state taxes

      Class Action Lawsuit against the Middle Class
         it all starts on K street

      People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

      by missliberties on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 08:59:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Neoliberal Capitalism (none)
    Hello all. Disagree if you love capitalism.

    What the post described was neoliberal capitalism at work. Therefore, Why not call it 'neoliberal capitalism'? The capitalist class's assault on the working class and others has been going on for some time. In modern times it picked up steam back in the 70s when the Trilaterist Commission identifed a "crisis in democracy." They meant that the ruling class (which I see as consisting of the capitalist class and the majority of the political class, including the Democratic Party I'm sorry to report) was too vulnerable to too many 'special interest' influences. In other words, Regular folks were having too much to say, or were perceived as having too much to say, about matters affecting them.


  •  "Let America Be America Again" (none)
    Great Poets speak to the heart. Have we any poets here to update this poem? This
    poem by Langston Hughes in the mid-thirties still rings true to me today.

    Let America Be America Again

    ...I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
    I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
    I am the red man driven from the land.
    I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek-
    And finding only the same old stupid plan.
    Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak...

    O, Let America be America again-
    The land that never has been yet-
    And yet must be-the land where every man is free.
    The land that's mine-the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's
    Who made America,
    Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
    Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
    Must bring back our mighty dream again.

    Sure, call me any ugly name you choose-
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
    We must take back our land again,

    •  Thanks for this. (none)
      Needs music! We need to all be singing this. Somebody up to writing the music? "...Charms that soothe the savage (starving) beast"

      A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

      by Little Red Hen on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 07:34:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  War on the Middle Class (none)

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:00:36 PM PST

  •  How about..... (none)
    War on America.

    We have had War on Drugs,
    War on Terror
    War on Iraq

    Republicans=All War all the time.

  •  They forgot America - They forgot us. (none)
    Its perfect.  I saw another poster who used Dont forget America but they already have. Billions to Iraq, wealth exportation and outsourcing our jobs to China, tax breaks to the top 2% etc.

     They forgot America. They forgot us.

    I like it.  

    •  Excellent (none)
      It really is.  Simple and a little sad . . . but then the question is, what is our message?

      Do we follow up with--

      Um, an "I Remember America!" campaign?

      I remember America . . . and I want it back.

      It has to be about us--what we intend to do that is better and more just and more likely to increase everybody's safety.  It's not ever going to be enough to say that they're wrong.

      "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney

      by 2kate2 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:25:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not about them (none)
    It's about us.  Last night I read the text of an interview Luntz gave to Frontline a while back.  He described sitting with Gingrich and a gang of determined Republicons (now that's a good word!) prior to the 94 elections.

    They knew they needed to do things differently, and they noodled around until they came up with the original "Contract with America".  They weren't looking for a way to get people to think differently about the Democrats--they wanted to re-frame themselves.

    I know the Republicons are loathsome, incompetent, and callous.  I suspect a lot of people who voted for them know it, too . . . and I think those people are hoping that someone (us!) will find the language and the means and the passion to hold up a new set of ideas.

    We should be thinking of ourselves as--I dunno, like the French Resistance.  Bold and fearless.  Clear.  Resolute.  

    "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney

    by 2kate2 on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:17:23 PM PST

  •  Best by far -- Red Ink Republicans (none)
    Red Ink Republicans really captures everything we need, and it does with some damn snazz.

    original dairy

    Hats off to the city fathers, they're no longer a hundred feet tall.

    by Throwbot on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:29:06 PM PST

  •  The GOP is STRIP-MINING America's Middle Class (none)
    America's Middle Class
    Sorry to be so literal.
  •  The Snidely Whiplash Agenda? (none)
    Okay, I may be showing my age here.  But if Rocky and Bullwinkle, and with them Dudley Do-Right, have not entirely vanished as cultural icons, it could have resonance.

    "You must pay the rent!"
    "But, I can't pay the rent."
    "But, you MUST PAY THE RENT."

    Cue the twirling mustachios, and the family being tossed into the snow, and the ingenue being tied to the railroad tracks.  And what have you got?  Why, the Republican bankruptcy bill, which targets, inter alia, our reservists on active duty, who've taken a pay cut to go to Iraq, and their families.  And so on, and depressingly on.

  •  going to repeat myself (none)
    The term should be:

    "the Raw deal".

    plays nicely against the dismantling of the progressive square and new deals.

  •  These are the ones I like so far (none)
    Banana Republicans

    War on the American family

    War on Working Americans

    Assault on American Families

    Selling Out America

    AmBush on Working Americans

    Slash and Burn Politics

    Debt-ership Society

    I kind of like linking the word  "Con" with Republican:


    "The Con is On"

    Conning the Worker

    Contract On America

    We start calling it the Social Security Con.  The Bankruptcy Con. The Medicare Con.  The Bush Budget further steals more taxpayers money and gives it to Big Business Cons.  They are conning you out of your money and your rights.

  •  The Thread That Never Ends (none)
    The Shakedown, these are really just about all too snarky.
  •  The Raw Deal (none)
    It's obvious the Republicans are trying to undo the New Deal, so why not point it out.  "Crooked" (as in Crooked Deal) will have us playing defensive, yet again, as they accuse us of name calling.  

    But is is a bad deal.  No matter how you cut, the Red Ink Republicans are stacking the deck against the middle class and want to hand us a raw deal.

    Go Kos!

  •  I'm going to borrow from Clinton and Edwards: (none)
    There are two Americas.
    One works hard and plays by the rules in order to get ahead.
    The other works hard to CHANGE the rules in order to get ahead.

    Freedom does not march.

    by ex republican on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:18:48 PM PST

  •  Thomas Jefferson warned us about this. (none)
    We can't say we weren't warned:
    Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1816 :
            "I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws our country."
    and on another occasion :
            "This country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied incorporations and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar"   and on another occasion :
            "I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies" and on another occasion :
            "Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind; for I can apply no milder term to . . .  the general prey of the rich on the poor."
    Abraham Lincoln added :

            "These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people."   (in the Illinois Legislature, January 1837) and later:
            " As a result of the war, corporations have now been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow . . .  until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed."
    and on another occasion:
            "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.  Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."


  •  Sharecropper Society & Red Ink Republicans (none)
    I hate to say it, but we're never going to convince the Humvee owning, gun toting bigots who hate Islam that Democrats will provide better national security than Republicans.  We still need their votes to win any election.  Let's give up on international affairs and focus on the very real and substantial economic danger the Republicans have borrowed USA into.

    Using Warren Buffett's term "Sharecropper Society" gives a bit of neutral impetus that appeals to all those wannabes who envy wealth.

    Red Ink Republicans is a nice phrase which should roll off the tongue of every Dem - in fact, never say Republican without putting "Red Ink" out in front.  We've got the surplus graphs from the past 20 years to prove the Republicans are the ones who keep buying drinks at the bar for their buddies by borrowing cash from the waitress, busboy and barkeeper.

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

    by LondonYank on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:58:02 PM PST

  •  How About: The Something for Nothing Crowd (none)
    Contract on America is too inside baseball, and I like some of the others, but I think the idea of apealing to peoples basic sense of fairness is critical.  The GOP wants something for nothing all the time.  They want the goodies but no taxes.  In World War II the marginal tax rate was 93%, 95% in WWI.  Roosevelt didn;t want something for nothing and we won the war.  You got to pay for education.

      I was just visiting Denmark, taxes are 65 %.  That is a tax burden!  We get a lot for our taxes.  Should get more.  But something for nothing also relates to the way these guys want to steal land for developers by using eminent domain.  It is disgusting.  And the GOP supports it all.

    So: The Something for Nothing crowd.  Very dismissive

  •  What to call it (none)
    Because they are tampering with FDR's legacy and returning us to the 19th centary as far as rights go:
    I say- call it the RAW Deal-play up how FDR gave us a New Deal and contrast what the repubs are doing now. They should be ahsamed but they have none.
      We need the liberal version of  Reagan's welfare queen stories- We need anecdotes that are heartbreaking  and show how these policies can hurt real people-people red staters know and love  like their neighbors and relatives.  We have to make the repub policy changes understandable on a human, emotional  level.  That is how Reagan got people to go along with the welfare cheat lies.  We would be telling the truth so more power to us.
    The repub could be called grandma killers if we frame it right!
  •  How about Immoral Liars Screwing (none)
    Middle America - we don't have to be so fancy. Bring out the big guns and tell it like it is.

    The parts of the Bible on greed and gluttony are optional. Oh, and those on bigotry and hypocrisy too.

    by Joe B on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 02:32:58 AM PST


    Reason may not explain everything but it explains a whole lot.

    by 1world1life on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 03:08:59 AM PST

  •  re-framing the bankruptcy bill (none)
    Didn't have time to go through this whole thread, so forgive me if this idea is already out there, but I have been thinking a lot about reframing the bankruptcy reform bill: how about calling it the "Indentured Servitude Act?"  

    Use stories of the pre-Independence Georgia colony which was the dumping ground for indentured servants, and use the old Tenessee Ernie Ford standard, "Company Store", as the theme song.  

    This is what middle- and lower-class victims who have had the misfortune to get very sick or encounter some other financial devestation will become, after all, won't they?  21st Century indentured servants?

  •  American Aristocrats (none)
    This is the rise of the Aristocracy.  The rest of us are servants and slaves.  Sharecroppers is a good word.
  •  new name (none)
       We have become the "republican" rendition, of America. Their politics could be, the "extraordinary rendition" of America.
       Our middle class is disappearing. Thus, the new "ghost detainees."
  •  Why do they hate America? (none)
    This is a question the cons have been using for a long time.  With the bankruptcy bill, the class-action bill, the neutering of Goverment bargaining power, I think the talking heads should begin asking Republicans why they hate America?  

    Why should they make it easier for a giant, international conglomerate to put Sally Homemaker in debt for the rest of her life?  Why would they want to give the upper hand to a bunch of wall-street fat cats who don't care about anything but the money lining their coffers?

    We can take a clue from Reagan-era movies on this one.  In them, the bad guys were always faceless drones of some evil empire while the good guys were always easily recognizable stars with all-American good looks.  We can place the Republicans firmly in the faceless drones camp by asking simple, direct questions and pointing out their refusal to answer.

    •  Perhaps a sharper question should be asked (none)
      Why do they hate middle Americans?

      brings it down to a more personal level--from institution to people.

      George Bush vacations in Texas; he LIVES in Denial.

      by Joon on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 06:28:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their gain is your pain (none)
    Don't forget to plug the sadistic element in all their policies. They have all the power- you have none. They enjoy watching you suffer while they grab all the comforts for themselves

    Raw deal says it well  but something with even more bite tell a truer story

  •  How about the Republic-End revolution n/t (none)
  •  Corporate Socialism (none)
    ..this is the best suggestion thus far IMHO because it describes exactly what they want--Wall Street Welfare--and it plays on the right's ingrained antipathy for socialism.
  •  One more thought (none)
    We should be playing up the Repubs failure to live up their Contract for America.  Dems should repeatatly call them in Breach of Contract and, in a play to the "values voter", call our proposals the New Covenant.  A promise for our children's future.  This needs to be supported with all of the morality behind the Dem programs; Keeping seniors above the poverty line, providing a safety net for all Americans, access to healthcare, reducing infant mortality (WIC), etc...
  •  How about (none)
    "Bushism: Survival of the Richest"

    "GOP: Master Bait & Switchers"

    George Bush vacations in Texas; he LIVES in Denial.

    by Joon on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 06:39:01 AM PST

  •  A vote for "Red Ink Republicans" (none)
    It hits them where they live. It has multiple entendre. With those multiple entendres, in three words it encapsulates many of the things that are wrong with their policies.

    I also like calling them "non-cons," because they have no right to call themselves conservatives. (If anyone does, it's environmentalists.)

    This doesn't solve the greater problem of encapsulating progressive values in succint and seductive wording, but it does point out the blatant hypocricy of the republicans.

    Red Ink Republicans. Use it.

  •  Trick Economics (none)
    As a play on "trickle-down economics", the rethugs' favorite (and wrong) model. I also really like "The Crooked Deal" and "The Sharecropper Society".

    by grantster on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:22:58 AM PST

  •  the problem here... (none) that we're trying to frame their agenda, not ours.

    Visit Heeyah! World's First County Democratic Central Committee Weblog

    by da on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:23:43 AM PST

    •  The War on Work (none)
      The vast majority of Americans, poor, working-class, middle-class, and upper-middle class, are either workers or retired from working.  (I include stay-at-home parents, who work very hard for no pay.)

      Bush's policies almost always favor people like him, who don't have to work because they have inherited money, or connections who will give them a cushy 4-times a year appointment on a corporate board, or daddy's friends who set them up in business to drive into the ground.

      But everyone else works.  So these are "labor issues" or "working class issues" or even "middle class issues." This is all about respecting the value of -work- in our society, which George Bush doesn't do. Everytime he talks about his "ownership society", I think all it means is that he thinks people who work-- all of us-- are patsies and fools and not worth helping, unlike the rich people who can just OWN.

      The War on Work.  That's what Bush is waging.

  •  How 'bout (none)
    Contract Against Americans

    apologies if already posted.  No time to read through 360+ posts while in the office.

  •  PickPocket (none)
    Pickpocket Repbulicans.

    Pickpockets are dishonest, sneaky and they may smile in your face as they reach for your wallet. Doesn't that describe this republican crowd to a tee? That along with Sharecropper Society is a perfect way to call out these slimes.

    Next, we can think of a way to call ourselves. But first, these guys need to be stopped.


  •  Republican Assault on the Middle class n/t (none)
  •  Poll (none)
    I don't have time to read this all at work, but I rated as many as I could.  There's some good stuff in here; now we need to make a list and "gut check" our options with a poll.  Once we agree on a few of these memes, we need to start propogating them actively and intentionaly.  Otherwise this is all a useless excercise!

    So...I'd like to see these ideas summed up in a future front page article as a poll with body text soliciting ideas for propogating these memes and REPORTS on how people have done so.

  •  slogans (none)
    The New Attack[Contract] on America: It's not fair ... It's Republican.

    The New American Deficit. Courtesy of the Republican Party.

    Well, We All Know Who's In Charge!

    In adddition to just catchy slogans, which I agree are one of the most effective way to communicate a message, Democrats need to get in the face of Republicans more aggressively. Hence the "Well, We All Know Who's In Charge!

    You see, Republicans have learned and used effectively the principal that, no matter how improbable it seems, if you repeat a lie often enough from a multitude of people and in numerous forms of media, the public comes to believe the lie is the truth.

    So what the hell is wrong with Democrats putting out the TRUTH so often, from so many people and sources of media that the public will learn the actual truth?

    Every time the budget comes up - Well, the Republicans control that. Iraq? Well, we all know, etc. Benefit cuts in Social Security? Republicans want to dismantle Social Security. Bankruptcy? We Democrats TRIED to provide protections for the poor, the disabled, our valiant Soldiers serving overseas who have to file, families devastated by soaring medical costs, BUT, well, we all know who's in the majority. Ethics? Well, those in charge would rather change ethics rules than actually investigate ethical violations. Deficits? There they go again! The fiscal conservatives are in charge!  Our broken military, unable to meet recruiting goals? Bad policy by the majority causing unnecessary fatalities and catastrophic wounds to far too many soldiers will indeed repress recruiting efforts. But we all know who's in charge. Medicare? The party in charge will not allow it to be discussed, much less allow legislation to correct the mistakes made by relying on phony data provided by the President, come to the floor for debate and a vote. Scandalous overcharges, outright fraud by contractors, cash handed out by the bagsful, and billions of taxpayer dollars missing? Well, what else can you expect when the Republicans suppress any attempts to thoroughly investigate these and other matters so we may report to the American People. Torture? Just another way in which the Republicans in charge have diminished and/or destroyed the international reputation we formerly enjoyed. Europe or China surpassing the U.S. as a superower? Absolutely inevitable with the current foreign policy of the Republicans. Nuclear weapons proliferation? Well, unfortunately, this Administration has shown the world that the only way to insure that the American Government will not attack them IS to possess nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

    And another thing that irks me: why are our Democratic representatives "tilting at windmills" by voting on legislation they know going in they have no chance of defeating? WHY NOT ABSTAIN AND FORCE THE REPUBLICANS TO PASS A 100% REPUBLICAN MEASURE? How many such votes could the GOP (Gay Opposition Party) stand before realizing that they could make no claims of HAVING to outvote Democrats in order to SAVE their constituency? Wouldn't the press have a field day interviewing EVERY INDIVIDUAL DEMOCRATIC SENATOR as to why they abstained; that would open endless opportunities to hit on the points made above over and over again on national TV  and cable news for weeks. "Well, we all know that with the majorities Republicans hold in the House and Senate, there is NO Democratic measure coming to the floor anytime soon, and, since it the stated policy of Republican leadership, especially in the House, to not bring forth ANY bill that they know they will not pass, the act of voting has been rendered MOOT for we Democrats. Besides, it is high time the country is able to see the true Republican Agenda without the phony argument that they had to overcome stiff opposition from us to pass their legislation."

    I mean, c'mon folks, if we don't get out front and in their faces NOW, we can once again write off 2006, and maybe even 2008. I personally sent email after email to the Kerry camp while he was getting clobbered by the Swift Boat Liars for Bush ads and pleaded with them to expose those frauds for what they were: a sad bunch of misguided veterans telling the world that they had engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer/NCO, dereliction of duty for not reporting people obtaining medals under false pretenses, and in at least one case, admitting accepting medals THEY KNEW the certificate of which was false, and engaging in a criminal conspiracy to conceal these crimes, thereby calling into question EVERY MEDAL ever awarded in Vietnam. BUT, since the statute of limitations had long expired, and Democrats certainly did not wish to see these poor misguided veterans prosecuted for the crimes to which they were confessing, well, we all know who put them up to this, so this will be our only response EVERY TIME THE ISSUE COMES UP. It is no doubt good for their souls to be able to finally confess their crimes, and thus be unburdened.

    I wept as I watched the election slip away from basic incompetence.

    And let's stop all the "unaminous consent" nonsense for a day or a week or just long enough to serve notice on Republicans as to just how impossibly slow the pace will be if they get the balls and temerity to use the nuclear (or nuklar if you're a Bushie) option to end filibustering. And it should be done by BOTH the House and the Senate so notice is served on both bodies.

    Does anyone reading this have the juice to get some of these ideas to "the powers that be" in the Democratic Party? Everytime I send such suggestions directly all I ever get back are the standard "thank you for your interest" and "we need contributions . . ." letters and emails.

    Of course, it could just be that I'm nuts and don't recognize the insanity of having the balls the stand up and shout, NO MORE! Or it could be that they are just more interested in raising money than listening to people. Is there anybody out there?

  •  Ok heres my idea for a great ad (none)
    a sad violin playing in the background showing shots of devastated rust belt area, empty shops, closed down factories, run down neighborhoods with paper and trash blowing around the streets.

    "They forgot America - They forgot us."

    (morph into uplifting music) a man raising a flag in this same neighborhood ,streets are cleaner, a blue collar guy carrying his lunchbucket walking into his new job at the reopened factory, (music rises to crescendo)

    "We remember America"

    " Its time to bring America back to Americans"

    shots of our candidate shaking hands with the blue collar guy, and fade away to a shot of a blowing American flag.

    "We didnt forget America"
    (music becomes celebratory)

    Anybody looking for a good creative guy ? Im available .

  •  Greed (none)
    I've been giving deliberate thought of late to how we the average American citizens view greed in general.

    I discovered this story the other night that provides answers.

    GREED by Julian Edney (1) The url is

    It's worth every second of your time spent.

    Re the catch phrase you seek, I am of the opinion that you use that which has been given you in war.

    Try exploiting "moral values" or the lack thereof in the search for a general war cry.

    Additionally, Mother America should be included for a change.

    Further, catch words like "taxpayors", "workers",
    "voters", etc. should be examined re usage.


  •  I've always liked the term Social Capital (none)
    It's a fairly mild but all encompassing term. I understand it to mean the values and ideas that a propel a community or society to work together to acheive mutual benefits.

    Hard work is a value but there is no value in slave labor. If workers and employers are to benefit each other then we must ensure that both sides play fair. Perhaps the way to look at this is not as in "you vs. you" but in lets work together to defin what helps us all and in terms helps our economic system work better.

    So in the end that begs the questions be answered in a different way such as how does the laws in that bill affect Jill Anyone. And how in the long run does that create a better society, established with the vaules that help people help themselves. I for one can see that with the things like enron and other corporate cases not being resolved yet that we do have a lot to work on in resolving labor practices and we should work on the laws we know that do not increase the values of society and benefit the American worker.

    ehhh you get the point I hope, a bit orwellian.

    *Deprivation/Depriving of the American Worker

    •  Deprivation should be Privation (none)
      Privation of the American Worker.

      A. It sounds almost like privitization
      B. The word states what is really happening to the American Worker.
      "the state of being deprived; especially : lack of what is needed for existence."
      We need work to live, and our workers need protection to exist in the American economic model.

      C. American Worker unifies ppl as one collective unit hopefully.  


    This is not a mexed missage.

    by CityofGod on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 02:41:29 PM PST

  •  Civil Society (none)
      The Dems want a Civil Society, where we can practice economic freedom. Not a system where 1% of the people have wealth and the laws are set up so that they are exempt from their moral responsibility to that society which allowed them the conditions to become wealthy in the first place.

      In a Civil Society, people pay taxes so that they can have roads to ship their goods, public schools to keep our children strong and a military to keep us safe. And the moral values to give some kind of disaster relief to those whose need a little help.


    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:01:00 PM PST

  •  Dustbowl Economics (none)
    (almost as much fun as Smash & Grab Politics)
    •  <b> The Corporate Values Agenda</b> (none)
      An accurate description which uses two of the Republican's favorite words.  Combine as frequently as possible with the term "corporate elite".

      Emphasize Democrat's "commitment to community" and "defense of the middle class."

      Remember when Republican's start screaming "class warfare", they're worried.

  •  raw deal is great but... (none)
    You can only get so far by pointing out your opponents' weaknesses (which is already something that the left is being accused of). My suggestion would be to frame it as a choice between the Raw Deal and the Real Deal.

    The Republicans want to give you a raw deal by destroying SS, while the Democrats have the real deal to save this institution.

    etc. etc.

    •  So many possibilities (none)
      I nominate some good ones for this thread:

      The Screw Deal
      Ripoff Republicans
      Greedy Oil Pirates
      Greed Oil Power
      Greedy Oily Prevaricators (lying to the American people to institute the Screw Deal)
      Fleecing the American Flock
      Con Artist Conservatives
      Elephants in the China Shop
      The Greed, Oil, Power Shell Game
      Cheap Labor Cons (from the Conceptual Guerilla)
      Socialism for the Rich - Tax Wages not Investments
      Bankruptcy - Not for The Average American anymore
      Robbin' the Hood

  •  Call it the "New Kleptarchy" (none)
    Actually, anything with "Kleptarchy" in it should do. Everything this administration does is, to a far greater extent than any previous administration, designed to suck up taxpayers' money and other national wealth into a giant trough at which a mendacious few can gorge themselves. And nothing -- human life, constitutions, international law, human rights, national sovereignty, the environment, human decency and kindness -- stands in their way.

    Even worse, their Kleptosophy is having a worldwide impact, not only on those politicians who sign up for the missile defence boondoggle, for example, but also on those national leaders who follow the example of "the world's greatest democracy." Some, like Tony Blair and one or two others, have embraced the Grand Kleptarch's view that the Iraq War is a wonderful opportunity to arrogate national wealth to their friends (and, ultimately, themselves) through the billions wasted on the campaign. Casualties? Who cares? Many more others have taken a leaf out of the Amerikan Kleptarchy's book by plundering the communal assets of ordinary people who are too poor to avoid paying taxes through "privatization" (aka firesales of national treasures to a favored few who kickback wealth to those in power who made it possible).

    It's almost as though the Kleptarch-in-Chief (and his Dad, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton ... all the usual suspects and many more) looked at the Saudis and other Kleptarchies around the world, and said to themselves, "I'll have some of that!" And, lo, others followed.

    Yes, I think the word you're looking for is Kleptarchy. Just think of the possible variations: Kleptiticians, Klepteaucrats, the Kleptocracy, the Kleptigentsia, Kleptacademia, Kleptomedia... No doubt your eminent readers can think up more.

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