Monday, July 10, 2006

More framing discipline

Arthur Silber has more good advice about how not to frame the debate on Iraq. In short:

1. Don't talk about it in terms of incompetence (Which is also Lakoff's point);

2. Don't talk about it in terms of bad intelligence; and

3. Assume the press will do the government's bidding.

The third point isn't really so much about framing, but the first two are important to remember. The decision to wage war on Iraq was (and the decision to wage war on Iran will be) a policy decision. Intelligence will always be fixed around the policy, and competence would have led to further imperialistic pursuits. Doing the wrong thing well would not have been better in the long run.

We went to war in Iraq because the neocons wanted to, and they used whatever tools fell to hand to get there.


Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

There's a great (if a bit long) article up on Alternet by Alan Wolfe about (and called) Why Conservatives Can't Govern...

"...Conservatives cannot govern well for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare a world-class boeuf bourguignon: If you believe that what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are not likely to do it very well...So long as conservatives denigrate government while relying on government to achieve their objectives, Rumsfeld's vision of how to fight wars is the only kind of conservative foreign policy one can have. His low-balling of troop estimates in Iraq was the foreign policy equivalent of libertarian economics: relying on government while refusing to pay for it."

I especially like his idea of what conservatives are good for...

"Because government is the one institution that allows us some control over our future, conservatism, which distrusts government so much, is best viewed as a natural counter to liberalism, which, if left unchecked, tends towards wasteful bureaucracy."

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're recruiting people for a team, do you tell them, "This team sucks. It's full of lazy and incompentent people, and you just know the other squads are better."?

Of course not.

So for years, the conservatives have been saying the 'government IS the problem'. What kind of people are going to want to be part of the problem?

But we need our best in government. Without them, we'll all suffer.

2:47 PM  

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