Tag Archive: Obama

Boehner lawsuit against President Obama backfires big time

Sad John Boehner

Sad John Boehner

Last week, Republican House Speaker John Boehner confirmed that he plans to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for Obama’s use of executive orders. The reaction to Boehner’s lawsuit threat has been a combination of derision and ridicule for Republicans, and more money for the Democrats.

The Obama White House message on climate change

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On Wednesday night, Organizing for Action (OFA), the grassroots organization that pushes for President Obama‘s agenda, held a conference call to discuss the Obama administration’s proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The call featured Rohan Patel, who is special assistant to President Obama and White House Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Patel spoke about what the Obama administration seeks to accomplish with the new EPA rules, as well as the White House messaging on climate change.

Fox News’ two-pronged attack on food stamps and California

Judy Oerly gathers food she will be taking home from the Central Pantry in Columbia, Mo., on 10/4/13.

Judy Oerly gathers food she will be taking home from the Central Pantry in Columbia, Mo., on 10/4/13.

Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Fox “News” attacks the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), which Fox and the Republicans refer to by its old-fashioned and perhaps derisive name “food stamps.” Perhaps it’s also not a surprise that Fox “News” attacks almost all things in the great Blue State California, from “liberal Hollywood” to progressive policies such as green energy (which, by the way, is responsible for many good California jobs.) But what might be surprising is that Fox found a way to attack both SNAP and California at the same time, via its “Food Stamp Surfer” story.

Chris Christie: “bully” and other word games

Republicans successfully use neuro linguistic programming (NLP) in their political messaging. That is, Republicans use and repeat loaded words or short phrases connected with names, issues, programs, bills, laws etc. in order to make voters feel a certain way. Thus, you can find many examples of Republicans praising other Republicans as “strong leaders” who take “decisive action.” On the flip side, Republicans use negative-sounding (and often flat-out false) terms like “liberal media” and “death panels” to achieve a negative effect. Republicans frequently use words such as “Muslim,” “Kenyan” and “socialist” for this reason after uttering President Obama‘s name. A list of many of these loaded Republican phrases is contained here. Through repetition, these Republican terms often sink into our brains and affect the way we feel.

The one-sentence key to great political messaging

Messaging Matters2

Remember Messaging Maxim #4: Feed the Narrative? Well, before you feed the narrative in your political communications, you have to have a narrative. And sometimes you have to remind your listeners — and yourself — that you have a narrative. In this video, award-winning journalist Tom Junod (Esquire, GQ, etc.) gives a simple, one-sentence trick for journalists that is perfectly adaptable to political communicators of all kinds:

Enjoy your low Obama taxes today

Messaging Matters2

One of the many Republican lies is that President Obama has raised your taxes. Other than for a miniscule sliver of top-salaried Americans, the opposite is true — President Obama has lowered a number of taxes, and today, Tax Day, most Americans enjoy some of the lowest federal income taxes of their lifetimes.

The Republican disconnect

Pig at the trough, Via Flora, West Palm Beach, FL

Pig at the barrel, Via Flora, West Palm Beach, FL

Here in a little corner of Southeast Florida, it’s Republican Land. You’ve got your gun-clinging rednecks, your Bible thumpers, and your One Percenters. The last group is something to behold. Their car of choice this year is the $200,000 Bentley convertible. Their home of choice is the Spanish style mansion behind the gates guarded by security personnel in starched uniforms. And their expression of choice is “I hate Obama.”

How to Frame the Affordable Care Act Win

After suffering a historic political loss via the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are seeking to make lemonade by characterizing the ACA as a massive tax on everyone. Let’s not help them do this.

For example, I’ve heard Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh call the ACA (please don’t call it “Obamacare” — that’s pejorative right-wing framing designed to evoke Big Government and the Nanny State) “the biggest tax increase in the history of the world.” I guarantee that Republican politicians will be using phrases like “massive tax increase” over and over. But then I hear Democrats saying “no, it’s not the the largest tax increase in history, there have been bigger ones.” That’s a terrible response. It’s like a criminal lawyer telling the court, “my client didn’t kill 26 people as the prosecution alleges, he only killed 20.” You never want to argue within the frame established by your opponent. That’s playing on a field tilted against you.

Instead, here are some useful points to remember regarding the ACA and the Supreme Court ruling:

Romney’s Republican Bullying Pulpit

It was a remarkable week as North Carolinians voted on Tuesday to ban same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships, President Obama on Wednesday historically stated that he supports gay marriage, and then, less than 24 hours later, Willard Romney’s campaign was rocked by the story that, during high school, Romney led an assault on a fellow student who had longer hair and was thought to be gay. Obama’s use of the presidential “bully pulpit” only made it that much clearer that Romney and the Republicans have a “bullying pulpit” problem.

The Romney bullying story, and Romney’s incredulous answers about it (saying he doesn’t recall the incident but somehow recalls that he didn’t know the sexuality of the victim at the time), are bad enough by themselves. But they are much worse when viewed as part of the larger narrative against Romney and the Republican Party as mean-spirited bullies in virtually all areas.

How to Take Over a Political Debate in 48 Hours

How do you plant a political message and watch it grow into an expression on the tip of everyone’s tongue? If you’re the Republican Party, you take a term like “class warfare”, get your leaders and like-minded pundits to say it over and over, and, within a couple of days, it’s stuck in voters’ brains like a successful television commercial jingle.

It doesn’t even matter that you’re fighting a real plan with a mere label. Your phrase becomes the basis for the debate. Then, President Obama has to come back first by denying that he’s guilty of the label being applied to him, and then embracing the label as a badge of honor.

Either way, it’s much better when your side controls the frame and the labels that get applied to you and your opponents.