DCCC releases Thanksgiving dinner table talking points

Thanksgiving dinner table: calm before the storm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the official arm of the Democratic Party seeking to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, has released its annual “Know Your Stuffing” Thanksgiving dinner table talking points. This year’s DCCC guide, sent by email to supporters and available in .pdf format, is billed as a “guide to surviving Thanksgiving with your Republican family.” The DCCC guide, which has a friendly graphical format, has been kept simple, covering just four topics, in the form of suggested Democratic responses to the following political statements expected by Republicans around the Thanksgiving dinner table this Thursday:

1. Healthcare

Republican statement:

  • “Obamacare is in a death spiral. It should be repealed.”

Democratic response:

  • “More than 20 MILLION Americans gained health insurance under Obamacare.”
  • “More than 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or charged more.”
  • “Politifact rated the statement that Obamacare ‘is in a death spiral’ as FALSE.”
2. Climate Change
Republican statement:
  • “Climate change is fake news!”
Democratic response:
  • “It’s WAY cheaper to invest in sustainable energy now than pay for the damage climate change would cause in the future.”
  • “Data shows a consistent and scary rise in temperatures, sea levels, and extreme weather in recent years!”
  • “Every country in the entire world has signed onto the Paris climate agreement — except us!”
3. Immigration
Republican statement:
  • “President Trump is right to end DACA. All undocumented immigrants should be deported.”
Democratic response:
  • “The DACA program ONLY covers law-abiding young immigrants and allows them to make strong contributions to our country and economy.”
  • “Most DACA recipients were brought into the United States as young children. This is, and has always been, their home.”

4. Taxes

Republican statement:

  • “The Republican tax plan will lower taxes for ALL middle class families.”

Democratic response:

  • “Even Mitch McConnell admitted this was false! Half of middle class families would pay MORE taxes under the Republican tax plan.”
  • “President Trump, however, will get a massive tax break. He could save more than $1 BILLION under the new plan.”

While these responses are good on the facts, the problem with them is twofold, and goes back to the very first posts published at Messaging Matters. First, Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated that they don’t care about facts. As linguistics expert and past Democratic consultant Dr. George Lakoff explains:

To be accepted, the truth must fit people’s frames. If the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts bounce off.

Second, these DCCC talking points are mostly defense, responding to Republican charges repeating the Republican agenda. There’s very little going on offense with the Democratic agenda. Why should your Republican guests get to set the discussion agenda on their terms? As we have explained before, that’s like playing Tic Tac Toe where your opponent always goes first. You cannot win, you can only play to a tie. A better tactic is what we call “First the Facts, then Attack.” As the name implies, once you recite the relevant facts to your Republican companion (which will probably go in one ear and out the other), you can then put him on the defensive with pointed questions and statements like:

  • “Why would you want to get rid of your own healthcare coverage and protections? Folks will end up paying through the nose at the emergency room, and we’ll all pay more for health insurance as a result.”
  • “Why would you want polluted air and water for your grandchildren? With more clean renewable energy like solar and wind power, we can have cleaner air and water, keep our thriving tourism industry alive at places like national parks, and also grow a high-tech energy economy with many new jobs.”
  • “Why would you want to lose your home mortgage deduction just to fund another tax cut for billionaires who don’t need it?”
  • “We’ve seen this horror movie before. Bush cut taxes on the wealthy and promised us a booming economy and big job growth. Instead, we got The Great Recession and we lost jobs.”

And by the way, Democrats should never use the term “Obamacare,” cooked up by Republicans as a pejorative. Our healthcare law already has a good name, given by the Democrats who wrote it: the “Affordable Care Act.”

Photo by Philms, used under Creative Commons license. https://is.gd/cxBvpC

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://messagingmatters.com/2017/11/21/dccc-releases-thanksgiving-dinner-table-talking-points/trackback/