Here’s an enlightening post from the Daily Kos published at the end of last year, entitled “If it’s Wednesday, it Must be an Unprecedented Power Grab”. The post highlights the Republicans’ use of the term “power grab” over the years to describe a wide variety of Democratic proposals, from Senate procedures to the auto company bailout to the Clean Water Restoration Act, with which the Republicans disagree. As the post indicates, “it’s a standard play, like so many of their Frank Luntz focus group-tested go-to phraseology.” (emphasis added).
Note also how this is a perfect example of Messaging Maxim #2: Rinse and Repeat. Sometimes the Republicans gussie up the phrase “power grab” with alarming adjectives like “unprecedented”, “major”, and “biggest”, but at the root is always the underlying phrase “power grab”. That phrase will now take its rightful place on the ever-expanding list of Political Phrases Used by Republicans.
You have to hand it to the Republicans: they know how to stay on message, and it can be extremely effective, especially until folks like us and the Daily Kos bring it to people’s attention.