A bunch of readers have written in to ask why I haven't commented on pollster Frank Luntz's "leaked" memo advising Republicans on their efforts to oppose health reform. The basic answer is I don't think it's an important document. I could have written the whole thing myself just by reversing-engineering one of Rudy Giuliani's speeches. And it's "leak" feel a bit meta to me. It's theoretically a strategy document for Republicans, but it's being used less to inform their approach than to give the press a reason to write that they have a strategy. And so they do.
"Healthcare denial horror stories from Canada & Co. do resonate," Luntz advises. That means, I guess, that conservative politicians will continue using them, as they have for the past two decades?
Elsewhere, Luntz suggests that Republicans "define the crisis in your terms...If some bureaucrat puts himself between you and your doctor, denying you exactly what you need, that’s a crisis." Attacking bureaucrats! Where does Frank Luntz get these fresh and original ideas?
If Republicans actually need someone to tell them to say this stuff, then they're in more trouble than I thought. But they probably don't. And though some progressives are pleased that Luntz advises Republicans to be "for" reform, the actual advice in this memo is to make Obama's specific reform unpopular enough that they can move to a stance of outright opposition. Which is, again, sort of what you'd expect. I wonder how much Luntz charges for this sort of thing?
Image from Flickr user Lewis Foad.
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