Monday, February 13

The "Political Crime Wave" Narrative

I am a big proponent of Framing. In a nutshell, framing is the idea that if you argue with someone using the terms that you decide on, you have already won the debate. The shining example of this is the term "Pro- Life." By using that term, the opponents are now framed as being "Anti- Life." From the get go, they have to say why they are 'against life' even before they start presenting their side of the argument.

A narrative (for the uninitiated) is the over- arching framing term used for a political platform. The small government Republican, for example, is a narrative. Democrats, these days, are lacking a narrative (partly due to the Republican narrative of 'Democrats don't stand for anything', gleefully carried on by the traditional media). What I read this morning is a narrative that I love.

Via Simon Rosenberg, a la MyDD (Emphasis mine):

There is a lot of talk these days about how to best clean up Washington. The answer seems obvious - make a very public example of those who have broken the law, showing that even powerful players in Washington are not above the law. Our message to the American people should be a simple one - we will do whatever it takes to find the lawbreakers who have betrayed the public trust and bring them to justice. We should put the bad guys in jail.


When a city faces a crime wave the mayor doesn't call for the toughening of the laws. He first works to catch the criminals and bring them to justice. The same should apply to these Republican scandals, perhaps the most extensive set of ongoing criminal investigations into a governing party in American history. Our first order of business should be to make sure that those in power are doing everything possible to cooperate with the investigators, share what they know with the American people and bring the lawbreakers - regardless of party - to justice.

For the health of our democracy, Republican leaders - Bush, Frist, Hastert - should publicly disclose what they have been doing to help the various criminal investigations. Have they been deposed? Will they testify at the many upcoming criminal trials of their colleagues? Have they turned over relevant documents? Will they give the Justice Department and the FBI more resources to tackle this political crime wave? What are they doing to ensure that the prosecutors are walled off from any political interference? Will they resign if it is found that there was rampant criminal activity on their watch?

It fits so well with everything that's been going on in DC. It fits because frankly, it's the Truth. What do you get when a bunch of thugs and liars are put in charge? A crime wave that just so happens to be overlooked by the powers that be.

I'm also not worried about the hemorrhaging of the Republican Party. Recently, there have been Republicans in DC and state capitals jumping the Bush ship, so to speak, so as to keep their political careers alive. These politicans may very well try to run on a 'reform' platform in the run up to November. But as Glenn Greenwald points out (with comments from kos), they will have much more to deal with than Democrats (A fantastic article, a MUST READ):

People who self-identify as "conservatives" and have always been considered to be conservatives become liberal heathens the moment they dissent, even on the most non-ideological grounds, from a Bush decree. That's because "conservatism" is now a term used to describe personal loyalty to the leader (just as "liberal" is used to describe disloyalty to that leader), and no longer refers to a set of beliefs about government.


And in that regard, people like Michelle Malkin, John Hinderaker, Jonah Goldberg and Hugh Hewitt are not conservatives. They are authoritarian cultists. Their allegiance is not to any principles of government but to strong authority through a single leader.
The conservatives that support the administration will attack like wild dogs any 'turncoat Republican' that they see as abandoning their Dear Leader. It is already apparent that any Moderate in the Republican party will likely be faced by a hardcore conservative in their primaries this fall. That puts them right where we progressives want them: In a devil's Catch 22 between Moderatism and Conservatism; between jumping Bush's ship, and thus the party, or going down with it like brass on the Titanic. Either way, things are looking better for us every day.

Democrats can win in November. Our party can regain the majority in the House and (if we have some luck) the Senate. Sometime this spring or summer, the party needs to launch it's campaign platform. We need some sort of "Political Crime Wave" narrative. People hate crime. I think it's an issue that will get Joe and Jane voter to the polls in the upcoming midterms. Once we get a majority in either chamber, we can begin to get things back on the right track.


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Exactly what scandals are you referring to? Do you have any proof of anything? Or is this just an idea you have. Because you probably know only what you hear on the news and I hate to tell you that isnt enough to go on. Most news programs only show one side of the situation or only the bad side.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Vander said...

1.) Last I checked, the 4th amendment prohibited searching/ spying without a warrant.

2.) New Orleans is STILL a mess.

3.) How is that WMD search going in Iraq?

4.) How high is the Abramoff scandal going to get?

5.) How about our buddy Karl Rove?

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Yeah well there are cities in Mississippi that are still a wreck too. It takes a very long time to clean up after a hurricane. Especially one that did as much damage as this one. Why would you care if they had a warrant or not if they were able to save lives in advance of a disaster. They arent going to spy on anyone that they dont have a reason to. To answer your question about iraq from my site. Why would we pull out right now? We need to get to a point where they can stand on their own feet first. I would say there are still terrorists over there. Who do u think is responsible for the car bombings and beheadings?


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