With "11 Words for 2011," slick GOP operative Frank Luntz signals his uplifting, triumphant credo for conservatives this year. Glad someone's having a good year. Considering how insipid, intellectually indefensible is Luntz' list, one wonders how Republicans won the House, let alone now concoct an echo chamber that entraps every ruling top Democrat.
Notably AWOL are any of the grossest lies and distortions that propelled the rightwing insurgency. What, no heroic "rogues," nor death panels, government takeovers, socialist-Kenyan anti-colonialist, job-killing Obamacare, or the vacuity of "we're broke" so government for the people is kaput. Lest we overlook this week's witticism from Speaker Boehner: "unions have a 'machine gun' pointed at 'the heads of local officials'." And what have officials already dumped on unions if not bunker-busting bombs?
Equally invisible across Luntz' Loaded List of Rallying Cries is any glimmer of recognition America faces structural, systemic dysfunctions -- so ominous they leave experts talking "compound fiascos," "national self-destruction," or "willful stupefaction" -- all encapsulated by one word: "trainwreck."
Finally, note how Luntz' verbiage has no context or history, as if the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld plunder didn't undermine language as it did economic, social and national security. We're back in the 1950's before Reagan began the nightmare. That Donald Rumsfeld unashamedly lied before, during and after the Iraqi war started, then today with his mockery of a memoir now lies about barely attending meetings verified elsewhere-- well, "words matter" whether you reference common reality or manufacture your own.
And here, without further ado, commentary on Luntz' sham wordsmithing, a train of thought without an engine:
"Imagine" -- Luntz writes, "When you want to inspire, imagine is the language vehicle."
Becker: Right, look how well "imagine" worked for the "audacity of hope, urgency of now" dud of a reformer now firmly entrenched to the status quo. If Obama's luck holds, beset only by tepid tea drinkers, he'll absorb enough Republican cant to avoid defeat. Imagine that? Some leftists haven't yet fully "imagined" what went so wrong -- how "victory" dissipated into the weak Obama tea that cycles endless wars, unfair taxes, and continued Constitutional assaults.
"No excuses." Luntz's invocation for GOP "accountability, responsibility and transparency."
Becker: How did I miss that epic story? Tea Party Reactionaries only DISH out excuses, falsely castigating that tyrannical socialist in the White House. For what blunder has any Republican since Eisenhower taken responsibility? The Palin Parade narrowly struts between imagined victimization and delusional martyrdom. No one ever presses for "accountability" on budget disasters, treasures squandered across multiple deserts, or the farce of cutting taxes for the rich while castigating deficits as utter moral decline.
"I get it." For Luntz, this communicates "complete understanding" plus "willingness to solve or situation."
Becker: Okay, Luntz, name one problem the GOP leadership understands, whether jobs and economic growth, the richest, imperial state trashing its own workers, outsourcing that's a meat cleaver to the middle class, or failed anti-terrorism, let alone high school science. Zero understanding guarantees no jobs program. Luntz, you and your ilk don't "get bupkis"-- except for power politics, which, alas, you do well.
"If you remember only one thing"-- Now, here's a black hole of Luntzism.
Becker: Actually, unthinking ideologues only stick to simple, maniacal howls. Good = low taxes, no regulations, and no interference; bad = high taxes, any regulation, planning, or liability. Everything else is background noise. You certainly do not "remember" history, even yesterday. Poor, oppressed governors with machine guns to their heads -- all because "we're broke." Reductionism ad absurdum.