The Party of Economic Royalism in Full Panic Mode

The Party of Economic Royalism in Full Panic Mode December 1, 2011

Frank Luntz, on how Republicans should address the Occupy Wall Street movement:

1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’
2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’
3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. [Emphasis mine] But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

The whole thing is worth a read. Luntz is basically admitting that, on the economic stuff, the Republicans are suddenly getting their asses kicked. The Republican Party’s real constituency is Wall Street and Plutocrats.

My favorite line from Luntz:

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Be afraid, Frank. Be very afraid. Your world – the world divided between, on the one hand, a class of people who do the work, fight the wars, suffer the consequences and make all the economic sacrifices, and on the other hand, people who do none of those things and suffer no jail time even when they are clearly guilty of felonies and even war crimes – that world is ending.

Take one last look around, you lying miscreant. That world is going to be taken away from you.

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  • J. Pickett

    I’m painfully part of the 99%. But I consider the ows movement a fully functional circus. I doubt that it will have any effect on the election because they are usually revealed to be ignorant self entitled young twerps. I myself was once a demonstrator against the Viet Nam war, I found that the more bizarre people got in costume demands and behavior the less seriously the average working person took them. I honestly think they lost Hubert Humphrey the election and did again in 1972. Instead of drum circles they should find out what really puts more bread on the table of Americans than we should be eating. I don’t have much but what I do have I paid for. Sometimes working 60 hr weeks to do it. Jimmy Carter and others of his ilk turned this liberal democrat into a strong conservative.

    • I don’t have much but what I do have I paid for. Sometimes working 60 hr weeks to do it.

      And good for you, J. No, I’m serious – I’m glad that you are responsible, hard-working and frugal.

      Let me ask you, though: is that really where you set the bar in a country blessed with the resources of the United States? Having to work 60 hours a week to afford a decent life for you and yours? Wouldn’t you rather live in a country where wealth is shared widely enough that you can work 40 hours in a week, still pay the mortgage or rent, and have money left over to take the kids to the movies once in awhile? Maybe even head out to Yellowstone or Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

    • I just have a hard time with the extremes… If we all keep thinking of OWS as a circus or otherwise (which is often the case) then we don’t address the real issues, which is how we find solutions that address human dignity and economic stability. And as someone who works in a church office and encounters many people in need every day, not everyone can find opportunity to work hard, even when they so desperately want to.

  • Kurt

    And please remember this is to be added to their previous research that shows the public likes “collective bargaining rights.”

  • Paul B

    Gee Matt, your description of what American economic life SHOULD be sounds an awful lot like the “Living Wage” worldview of Rerum Novarum and the writings of John Ryan a century ago. A little social justice might go a long way.

    • Well, yeah, Paul. 🙂

      I’ve been meaning to do a post on what a truly Christian nation would look like. Soon.

  • Liam

    One should always keep track of Luntz’s Orwellian advisements.

  • Agellius, I’m describing his behavior.

    • Matt writes, “Agellius, I’m describing his behavior.”

      A miscreant is a person, not a behavior. But even if you are describing behavior, the point is that out of charity, you are supposed to put the best possible construction on people’s actions. Thus someone who accuses someone who votes for a pro-choice candidate of being indifferent to abortion, is describing his behavior, but is not putting the best possible construction on it.

      I don’t mean to hijack the thread, but there have been multiple posts as well as comments about how we should be charitable in online discussions, so I thought I would give an occasional nudge in that direction. Using sarcasm. : )

      • Being a miscreant is a description of a person with a pattern of behavior – and he richly deserved the description. I’m sorry to be treading on the toes of your heroes, Agellius 😉

        • “Being a miscreant is a description of a person with a pattern of behavior…”

          Yes, and so is being an a–hole, but it’s still not generally considered charitable in a Christian to call someone by that name.

          “I’m sorry to be treading on the toes of your heroes …”

          Actually I’d never heard of Frank Luntz before your post.

          • I’m sorry you’re offended by my calling out liars for being liars, Agellius. I wish you were as offended by the Orwellian lies of Luntz as you seem to be by me calling him out for them.

          • Matt writes, “I’m sorry you’re offended by my calling out liars for being liars, Agellius. I wish you were as offended by the Orwellian lies of Luntz as you seem to be by me calling him out for them.”

            I’m not offended by you, Matt. If you called me a miscreant I might be, but I have no need to feel offense on behalf of Mr. Luntz.

            For the sake of clarity, let me say that I would not consider it uncharitable in a Christian to say, “I think so-and-so lied on such-and-such occasion, and here’s why”, and proceeding to state facts. That way you are addressing behavior and not branding a person as evil. It might be unkind to do this publicly to a friend or loved one, but public figures are fair game to have their public statements scrutinized.

            The problem with branding a public political figure in the way you have, is that you risk offending people who may happen to have a different opinion of the person, his policies, etc. This is liable to be an obstacle to constructive discussion of the issues with such a person. You’ll just end up shouting at each other (so to speak).

            But hey, your blog, your call.

          • But hey, your blog, your call.

            Thank you for respecting that, Agellius.

          • What, do I have a choice? ; )

          • Well, you could skip my threads, if it’s a problem 😉

          • No, I don’t demand purity and perfection from my friends. I love VN, warts and all. : )

          • I feel the same about our commenters 🙂

  • Kurt

    Frank Luntz is an okay guy. He is just doing his job. Dirty work, but someone has to do it.

  • Rodak

    Luntz is worse than a liar. He coaches political office-seekers in the deployment of the best possible words to most effectively vilify their opponents and/or to plant misleading ideas about the proposals of their opponents in the minds of the electorate. In other words, he spreads scientifically-designed hatred.