We are the 99%

October 2, 2006

Would you please learn how to f*cking frame!

Yesterday on Fox News Sunday (keep your friends close and your enemies closer), Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Republican Newt Gingrich were being asked about the issues of the day.

Regarding the Republican Bill that goes against 230 years of American tradition by OK'ing torture and which goes against centuries more of civilized law by thumbing its nose at habeas corpus, Newt said that it was Republicans taking a "wartime" view of terrorism while Democrats had a criminal/law enforcement take on terror. Harmon let that slide.

When are the Democrats going to pay attention to framing?

The bill was about the Geneva Conventions --treaties specifically about actions during wartime.

These treaties date back as far as 1864. They include international law that was made right after the horrors of World War II. They have nothing to do with law enforcement and Harman should have said so.

She also should have asked Newt if he thought that if only four years after the war ended people had already forgot the lessons of W.W.II? Ask him if the Nazis who exterminated six million Jews and millions of Roma, disabled, Gays, etc., were less of a threat to the world and the US than 19 men who killed 3,000? That's framing!

They also discussed the Republican Leardership/Mark Foley pedophile case.

Here Newt said that if Republicans would have come down hard on Foley after the first few "questionable" emails, they would have been accused of "homophobia" "gay bashing."

Harmon should have jumped down his throat on this, but she didn't.

We're not discussing gay marriage here. We're talking about an adult and a child. A child under an adult's care and supervision.

I've already heard Republican apologists for Foley (who sound like they married their sister) call into C-SPAN and say, "Yes, he should have resigned. Now he can join the Democrats and get a gay marriage and have the ACLU defend him."

This framing must be stopped cold.

Moreover, Newt was trying to have it both ways. He was trying to say that the initial creepy emails were not sexual enough to warrant much concern, yet he was trying to label them as gay sex. Harman did not catch that either.

Now until I'm invited on FOX/MSNBC/CNN to debate Republicans (not gonna happen), here for the edification of those of you who are invited on these shows, are my:

RULES FOR DEBATING REPUBLICANS

1. NEVER CONCEDE A POINT
The reason for this is simple:

2. ASSUME YOU ARE DEBATING A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR
Notice that I didn't say all Republicans are pathological liars. However, their talking points are so rife with lies and spin and are so ubiquitous that they often become conventional wisdom so some of them may actually believe the crap they are spouting. But, you must realize that they will go as far a misquoting the US Constitution itself to win a debate. (I can't tell you the number of time that I've heard a Republican on television say that Amendment I says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion..." The "a" is not there and adding it changes the meaning to bolster their argument.)

3. PAY ATTENTION TO THE FRAMING
Arguments can be won before they are started simply by the way they are framed. Dems suck at this where Repugs excel. If you can't frame yourself, at least know when they are and refuse to accept it.


You're welcome!

UPDATE: Missed it until just now, but Media Matters covers Newt's "gay bashing" comment here.

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