Monday, January 22, 2007

Why on EARTH is Frank Luntz on the Huffington Post?

Especially when the arch-spinmeister is using his tradecraft as vigorously as ever?

Yes, nobody who reads the Post is going to read this:

Democracy is at its best when its practioners use language to unite and explain rather than divide and attack. The blogs from the Left and the Right be damned, the real center of America is upset but not bitter, anxious but not fearful, restless but not unforgiving.
...and not laugh. He made his fortune and reputation doing exactly that which he decries here- using language to divide and attack.

No, he's not converted, and he's sure as hell not the detached analyst of spin that he's playing here. (Hell, the Dems have a few too many of those and a few too few Luntz types, but that's another issue entirely.) The only reason he's preaching conciliation is that he knows that liberals tend to respond well to that sort of thing, knows the press likes their Dems fluffy, cute, and conciliatory instead of akin to those mean, hard-edged Republicans, because it makes for a better story, and knows that if they do so, they'll get eaten alive by the employers he really makes money from.

I mean, hell, look at this:

But alas, power does strange things to Democrats: put a gavel in their hands and a camera in their face and they revert to the name-calling that kept them from the majority for a dozen long years. The message from the electorate in November was 'work together and compromise.' You need only look at the incumbent governor of California who won a lopsided landslide in an otherwise Democratic sweep. Cooperation works. Compromise wins. But over-heated rhetoric says to the world that you are no different - and no better - than what you replaced.
Yes, this is masterful spin. It sets him above and apart from what he's talking about, to make him seem objective (a prize to many liberals and most opinion journalists and not a principal architect of those "dozen long years". It repeats old nonsense about the Dems being "out of the mainstream" (read: "strange"), and invokes the new nonsense about Bush's critics being simply hateful name-callers. It hauls out isolated, easily explained incidents (like Arnold's re-election) to try to create a trend that means anything but "Republicans were tossed out".

And, finally, it invokes the long-exploded idea that the American people want "cooperation and compromise" and that they want the Dems to "work together" with the Republicans, again trying to appeal to a sentiment that appeals to some liberals and the press, but has no connection to reality. And what is that reality?

They threw the bums out, and the new guys shouldn't play pattycake with the bums left over.

That's what Frank is trying to dance around here. He's damned good at it, I'll give it that, although "a dozen long years" gives one an eye for this sort of thing and he's FRANK FREAKIN' LUNTZ, so one is going to be a little wary. I am. You probably are too.

The question is... why give him a forum to do so?

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