You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Dec 12, 2011
Memo to Frank Luntz: YOU'RE SHITTING EVERYONE, RIGHT?
If you've watched The Colbert Report (and if you haven't, what the dear sweet fuck is wrong with you?), you've probably seen Frank Luntz plying his trade. What trade is that? Well, Wikipedia describes Luntz as a "political consultant and pollster", but since I'm the only one who can edit THIS site, let's come right out and say it. Frank Luntz is a pimp for words.
He finds words on the street, and turns those bitches out. The words do horrible, filthy, degrading work, and when they're done, Luntz gets all the money and only Luntz's customers are satisfied. Who are Luntz's customers? I'll give you a hint. Who benefits the most from a man whose primary skill set revolves around using misleading language to warp the perception of reality?
For example, Luntz coined the term "death tax". Before that, it was called the "estate tax", and the only people that were pissed off about it were people with estates. You know who has estates? Rich people. You know who dies? EVERYBODY. If you tell a bunch of... they are charitably called "low-information voters" in the Frank Luntz world - we just call them stupid fuckers around these parts. Anyway, if you tell a bunch of stupid fuckers you want to get rid of the "estate tax", they might be upset with you, because you're helping people with estates, not them.
If you tell them you want to get rid of the DEATH TAX...
So, yeah. Luntz is a beast without a conscience. Really horrible human being. But I have to wonder if he's even trying anymore, or if he's successfully turned just "being Frank Luntz" into enough of a career that he can just say any old shit, and the GOP will smile and nod and follow along and give him piles of money and not even check to see if his new, improved descriptions of reality actually have the desired effect. Here's how Luntz is coping with the Occupy Wall Street movement and its effect on the debate over income inequality. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market." The public... still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem."
That Word, in case you were wondering, is "capitalism". What he's basically saying is that capitalism has become the Blackwater, of, well, capitalism. The AIG of... well, again, capitalism. The British Petroleum of... you get the idea. Somehow, capitalism has gotten a bad name, so Luntz is suggesting renaming it.
That's some bush-league shit. Luntz is either phoning it in because he doesn't care, or he was blindsided by a bunch of hacky-sack-wielding idealists who somehow managed to reframe the national conversation without getting a million-dollar check from the RNC. I'm surprised Luntz didn't suggest turning the Invisible Hand into Handy, the adorable mascot for capitalism! Let Handy show you how filibustering the head of a consumer finance protection agency actually helps financial consumers! I bet he can do it with just one finger!
He also suggested changing "taxing the rich" to "taking from the rich", which only makes sense if you assume the target audience is people who only saw the Gerard Butler Robin Hood movie. Otherwise, you'll wonder why nobody has declared Frank Luntz an OOOOUTTTTLAAAAAAAWWW! yet.
But my favorite is how he suggests that Republicans stop saying they defend the middle class, and start saying they defend "hardworking taxpayers" instead. This is a double-whammy, because first, it's an admission that Republicans have stopped being able to lie about defending the middle class with a straight face, and second, when you combine it with how Republicans generally (and Newt Gingrich specifically) portray the poor, and the zombie lie about how poor people don't pay taxes, well, it paints a hell of a word picture, doesn't it?
He also suggests not calling bonuses "bonuses", instead calling them "pay for performance", which I think misses the point by a mile even for Frank Luntz. I mean, nobody was mad about Wall Street getting bonuses for doing their jobs well. They were mad because Wall Street assholes got big payouts for doing their jobs really, really badly and ruining the economy. So if that's still the performance, and all the evidence appears to show that it is, then them getting pay for it is still a fucking problem.
Plus, given this batch of ideas, I'm not sure Luntz wants to remind his GOP overlords of the idea of pay-for-performance.