Luntz is such sleaze. His op-ed in the LA Times isn't even the sort of thing you can rebut, you can only point out the slime oozing off every word. The contention that his true aim in life, linguistic humanitarian that he is, is to clear policy debates of obfuscation and inject language that fairly and clearly expresses the policy conflict is enough to make a weaker man retch. But I'm no weaker man. In fact, I'm a highly evolved homo-sapien deeply enmeshed in modern communication technologies that allow me to absorb disparate sources of information and render judgments that inform and amuse thousands of others. And, highly sophisticated creature that I am, Luntz's op-ed pleases me. Because it means he's on the run.
Luntz wrote this in response to the wide play his leaked "New America Lexicon" got. You guys might remember it -- Kos had it, everybody linked, everybody laughed and pored over it...but it got to Luntz. It got to him because he's being dragged out from behind the curtain. Instead of issuing Oz-like pronouncements and watching the words ripple through the Sunday shows, liberals are focusing fire on him, the message-man, and the tactics he uses. And so now he's wasting his time defending what he does and, in true Luntzian fashion, spinning it. Bits and pieces of his offhand framing are impressive, as when he calls the Social Security plans with the highest levels of privatization "the most innovative", but the whole thing is an apologia for the indefensible. So keep up the pressure kids, Oz is emerging, and the sun hurts his eyes.