The Republican Governors Association met this week in Florida to give GOP state executives a chance to rejuvenate, strategize and team-build. But during a plenary session on Wednesday, one question kept coming up: How can Republicans do a better job of talking about Occupy Wall Street?
“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”
Whoa, Comrade, easy. Americans aren’t quite ready to trade in Old Glory for the Hammer & Sickle — most still believe that capitalism is the best path to prosperity, and why not? But Occupy Wall Street has focused on capitalism’s dark side, and revealed that it’s sometimes a path to misery for all but a select few when it’s abused and runs amok.
Lo and behold, the monstrous orgy of bankster malfeasance and corporate piggery that had the economy doing donuts down the road and going end-over-end until it teetered on a roll bar in the ditch — with the middle class left to pick up the tab for repairs — is now a routine part of day-to-day kitchen table discussion. This is bad news for bootlicking bank lackey politicians of any stripe, but it’s really bad news for the GOP, a party that’s made sucking up to the super-rich a science and an art.
So in comes Luntz, the GOP’s version of The Cleaner, to figure out how to sanitize this mess of an informed electorate and spin their attention away from the grim reality that they’re getting fucked sideways by the System:
Luntz offered tips on how Republicans could discuss the grievances of the Occupiers, and help the governors better handle all these new questions from constituents about “income inequality” and “paying your fair share.”
Luntz’s ten tips advised panicked Republicans how to deal with the problem of a public that’s increasingly catching onto their slimy perfidy and corruption, and even worse, calling them on it. It starts with a ban on the C-word.
Capitalism. While the public still prefers capitalism to everything else on offer, they’re understandably cynical about it these days. There are any number of ways this crisis of confidence could be addressed but most of them involve honesty, so Luntz took the path of least resistance and recommended avoidance. That’s right: the first rule of capitalism is “Don’t talk about capitalism”.
The rest of his advice went on in the same duplicitous vein, a monument to political fraudulence and chicanery and ugly vicious biting of the hand that feeds. After all, how does a wholly-owned subsidiary of the banking industry deal with a constituent’s question about something like this? There’s only one way: point to the sky and go “Look! Halley’s Comet!”
If there was such a thing as a “Scurrying Rats Index”, it would certainly be rallying right about now.