STOP Framing "us"

How a select few of "them" are Framing all of "us"

Archive for the tag “Mitch Daniels”

Another one bites the dust. Indiana becomes the 23rd state to vote against worker protections by adopting “Right to work” (for less)

Indiana becomes the 23rd state to pass the controversial “right to work” law.  The Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, expressed his views in a television commercial ad (paid for by anonymous donors, of course).

Mitch Daniels claims that Indiana is losing jobs because, “we don’t provide workers the protection of right to work.  Right to work just says no worker can be forced to pay union dues against his will.   But this simple protection really matters.”

Besides being completely false, these comments are scripted in accordance with the “right to work” frame.

Simply put, “right to work” is a frame designed to convince Hoosiers to support this draconian law that will actually strip away worker protections by making it illegal for workers to collectively bargain for higher wages and benefits once corporations legally drive down their wages.  The statements made by Mitch Daniels are designed to evoke this frame, which implies that workers rights are being taken away, and the only thing that can prevent this travesty is to vote to protect workers rights by supporting the “right to work” law.

Sounds good, right?

Despite the actual evidence of the negative impact “right to work” (for less) has had on states that have enacted this law, radical right wing groups have figured out that the facts don’t matter if the issue is properly framed, and repeated often enough.

This illustrates why right wing talk show hosts, media pundits, and others on the corporately controlled media outlets all use the same language.  They are not worried about what the evidence shows, or what the facts are.  Instead, their primary concern is repeating the language of their frames enough times so that people start believing them.

For those who are continuously subjected to the “right to work” frame, (ie, Fox news viewers, right wing radio listeners) the take away is that liberals are somehow taking our rights away.

What about the right to a living wage, or the right to collectively bargain, or the right to pensions earned through years of hard-work and devotion to a company, all of which will be stripped away from us if we fall for the “right to work” frame and vote against our self-interests in the states we live in.

Mitch Daniels ended his commercial with this line.  “Join the huge majority of Hoosiers who support right to work reform and the new jobs it can bring to our state.”

That’s funny, because an estimated 10,000 protesters showed up at the state capital to express their anger over the Governor’s radical plans to strip away worker’s rights.

 

Why Mitch Daniels was chosen to give the response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

The Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels was selected to give the response to President Obama’s state of the Union address.  The reason this particular politician was selected is due to one of the primary tactics the radical right wing uses in their on-going war against the middle class and working poor in this country.  This tactic involves literally “framing” the opposition for actions they are guilty of committing.

The majority of Mitch Daniels speech was filled with frightful language designed to scare us into believing that the only way out of the disaster of debt we are drowning in, as he puts it, is to follow the policies he and other radical republicans will put into place, which are the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  Policies stemming from the failed trickle-down economics theory that favor starving this country of revenue by slashing tax rates on the top 0.1% to historic low levels, a third of what they used to be on this group of super wealthy elites.

For those who are unaware, Mitch Daniels was President Bush’s budget director, and thus, he was directly responsible for the Bush tax cuts and other policies that dramatically increased the wealth of those in the top 0.1%, while leaving the rest of us destitute and holding the bag.  This is why it was necessary for Mitch Daniels to give the response, so he can be the one to “frame” President Obama for his failed policy decisions.

The NY Times reviewed the impact of the policies under former President Bush and made an apples-to-apples comparison to President Obama’s policies.  The results are very revealing, and confirm Mitch Daniels is attempting to “frame” President Obama for the Bush era policies he helped to create that significantly added to our deficit, and continue to produce catastrophic conditions for an overwhelming majority of American citizens.

As illustrated in this comparison, $5 trillion of debt was racked up under President Bush and only 1.5 trillion under President Obama.  But this doesn’t tell the whole story.  As pointed out by Ezra Klein, “What’s also important, but not evident, on this chart is that Obama’s major expenses were temporary –the stimulus is over now – while Bush’s were, effectively, recurring.  The Bush tax cuts didn’t just lower revenue for 10 years.  It’s clear now that they lowered it indefinitely, which means this chart is understating their true cost.  Similarly, the Medicare drug benefit is costing money on perpetuity, not just for two or three years.  And Boehner, Ryan and others voted for these laws and, in some cases, helped to craft and pass them.”

To quote Mitch Daniels, “In three short years, an unprecedented explosion of spending, with borrowed money, has added trillions to an already unaffordable national debt.  And yet, the President has put us on a course to make it radically worse in the years ahead.”

The tactic of framing the opposition works best when the person who is actually responsible for the behavior is the one who makes the accusation, or uses the frame against their opponent.  This is why it was necessary for Mitch Daniels to give the response to the President’s speech.

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