We need a sort, pithy way to frame the Medicare issue, and we haven't yet done it. The "framing war" is being waged big time by Ryan, whom I just saw on some news program talking about how his plan "strengthens and saves" Medicare for the future.
Those words track the talking points Republicans have issued. According to MSNBC's coverage, Republicans have been directed to avoid the words "privatize" and "entitlements" and instead push their program as
"preserving, securing, saving" Medicare for the future etc. etc.
Democrats cannot let Republicans frame the Medicare debate. Yes, we have the facts and the arguments and the high ground, but if we lose the framing we risk losing even on our strongest issue.
Last night on The Last Word Lawrence O'Donnell asked the Democratic surrogate what the "short" pithy way to make the case was for the Dems, and instead got a thoughtful but complicated response as to which $700B cuts were which and why blah blah blah.
That won't cut it! According to Rachel Maddow, http://video.msnbc.msn.com/....Romney has hired the PR people BP brought on board after the oil spill, and the group of "crisis managers" that whitewashed dictators and bad actors, and they are masters of framing. Adding PR skills to a Romney campaign that already has embraced lies and distortions intensifies our need to WIN THE FRAMING WAR NOW! Framing happens early in the debate, and determines "home field advantage."
This diary is a test run for such a framing "slogan." Based on helpful comments to my previous diary about framing, the best I can come up with is:
MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT versus COUPONS FOR GRANDMA
But someone else out there may have a better idea, so please submit your comments and VOTE in the POLL
Yesterday I proposed "Single Payer Benefits versus Coupons for Grandma," but got some good comments from people indicating I needed to go back to the drawing board. I'm grateful for a comment by "equern", who noted that
"Nobody knows what single payer means (0+ / 0-)and to Idamena2, who suggested 3 parameters that such framing must meet:
And the very word "payer" is a killer."
1) must be passionateI agree wholeheartedly with IdaMena2's parameters. That's what we need to come up with.
2) must put a human face on it
3) must be overt (no numbers to think about)
I like numbers, but I've learned the hard way that few people think in numbers. $500 vs 700 is like telling your cat blah-blah-blah-blah.
by IdaMena2 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:55:32 AM PDT
So vote in the Poll for your favorite framing statement, and PLEASE, if you have a better idea put it in a comment.
I know I'm sounding alarmist on the framing issue, and some here hope that, because we have the best argument and the best "facts" we will win this debate, but I know that whoever sets the framing wins the issue. We can't let the Republicans co-oopt the Medicare issue with lies and distortions. The best way to avoid that is to frame the debate on our terms: Let's ask seniors if they want Medicare as we know it or Coupons for Grandma!
(I used the word "Coupons" rather than "Vouchers" because vouchers are less well understood, and also because elderly people struggling to get by on a fixed income know exactly what "Coupons" are, and how they may save you some but often on a high-priced and unneeded product. "Coupons" seemed evocative of that struggle.)