Washington Kaplan Post has another in its ongoing “Five Myths” series, this one by arch-Republican propagandist and Big Liar Frank Luntz, of all people. Yes, this is probably THE LAST person on earth you’d ever want writing a column about myth busting, but remember, this is the Kaplan Post we’re talking about – where journalistic standards are totally optional, if ever thought about at all!
In Luntz’s propaganda piece masquerading as “myth busting,” he argues that conservative voters actually: 1) “don’t want a reduced government so much as one that works better and wastes less”; 2) “don’t want to round up all the illegal immigrants and deport them;” 3) are not “a bunch of greedy Gordon Gekkos;” 4) they don’t want to “slash Social Security and Medicare,” only for them “to work;” and 5) they care about income inequality.
Now, I could just say something snarky like, “if you believe any of this, I’ve got a nice bridge in Alaska to sell you,” or whatever. But we can do better than that, just utterly demolish Luntz’s lies one by one. Here we go.
1. Republicans absolutely DO want to reduce the size of government – and not in a constructive manner, either! Per PollingReport.com, we’ve got a Newsweek poll with Republicans overwhelmingly (67%-24%) saying they want “a smaller government providing less services.” Can’t get much clearer than that. We also have a Gallup poll which finds that Republicans “in particular are displeased with the size and power of the federal government, with 16% satisfied and 84% dissatisfied.” And guess who Republicans vote for? That’s right, over and over again, they vote for candidates who call for slashing government programs, who do whatever Grover “drown government in the bathtub” Norquist tells them to do, who pledge never to raise taxes (and therefore government), etc, etc. Then there’s that whole “Tea Party” movement, whose rallying cry is basically to “stop the spending” (except on the Social Security and Medicare benefits they receive, plus the military, which of course make up most of the federal budget). In sum, Frank Luntz is full of crap that “conservatives don’t want a reduced government so much as one that works better and wastes less.” In fact, conservative voters most certainly do want “a reduced government” (except for their own benefits, of course, making them total hypocrites). Shocker, huh?
2. Conservative primary voters most definitely want to get tough on illegal immigration. For instance, in Alabama, Republican primary voters this year overwhelmingly supported that state’s harsh, draconian, “round ’em up” new immigration law. Also, per PollingReport.com, polls show that Republicans strongly oppose the Justice Department challenge to Arizona’s own “round ’em up” immigration law, with 3 times as many Republicans saying it didn’t go “far enough” than that it went “too far.” Finally, 42% of Republicans say that illegal immigrants should be deported, with just 23% favoring a path to citizenship (another 23% of Republicans support a “guest worker” program). That’s a lot more than the “tiny fraction” of conservatives Frank Luntz claims “would support a shortsighted (and fiscally unfeasible) blanket policy of deporting the illegal immigrants already here.” Once again, Luntz=LIAR.
3. Conservative voters most definitely have NOT been critical of Wall Street. In fact, a Public Policy Polling poll finds that, among Republicans, 36% blamed Congress for the economic meltdown in 2008/2009, compared to just 25% who blamed “Wall Street/Corporations” (36% of Democrats blamed “Wall Street/Corporations). As for who is “best suited to fix the economy,” 34% of Republicans said – you guessed it – “Wall Street/Corporations,” compared to just 11% of Democrats. Also, according to PPP, Republicans hate the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, with “very conservative” voters favoring the corporate-funded Tea Party over the Occupy movement by a 12:1 margin (84%-7%). Yeah, those conservatives, they’re really critical of Wall Street alright! Ha.
4. Conservatives want their Medicare and Social Security, but they vote for people who will trash those programs. Here’s a case where Luntz may actually be onto something. Here, even Tea Partiers strongly oppose major cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The problem is, they strongly support – and vote for – politicians who DO want to slash Social Security and Medicare. For instance, check out this Gallup poll, which indicates OVERWHELMING Republican support (82%) for the Paul Ryan budget plan, which would destroy Medicare as we know it. And, of course, conservatives are the ones who put the Tea Party in charge of the House of Representatives back in 2010, allowing them to vote almost overwhelmingly as a bloc for the Ryan plan to trash Medicare. So, again, what the heck is Frank Luntz smoking to believe that it’s a “myth” that conservatives want to “slash Social Security and Medicare?”
5. Conservatives are schizophrenic on income inequality. I’ve already referred to polling that shows Republicans as hating the Occupy Wall Street movement and being highly favorable towards Wall Street. On the other hand, polling indicates that “Fifty-three percent of self-identified Republicans back an increase in taxes on households making more than $250,000, a sentiment at odds with the party’s presidential candidates.” On the other hand, Republican candidates continue to get applause by charging President Obama and Democrats generally with “socialism” for wanting the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Thus, the GOP bashing of the Buffett Rule. Meanwhile, a recent Faux “News” poll found that Republicans by a nearly 3:1 margin felt that “raising taxes on wealthy Americans will…hurt the economy.” Also, 84% of Republicans called the “Buffett Rule” proposal nothing more than “an election-year gimmick to avoid cutting government spending.” Sorry, Frank Luntz, but these poll results do NOT indicate that Republicans care deeply about income inequality, certainly not enough to DO anything about it. #FAIL
OK, so Frank Luntz is a lying liar, a Republican propagandist as he’s been for decades. Remember Newt’s heinous “Contract ON America?” – that was Luntz all the way. For more on Luntz, including his “reframe” of global warming to the less-“threatening” “climate change,” his recommendation to describe Democrats and Democratic policies using words such as “corrupt,” “devour,” “greed,” “hypocrisy,” “liberal,” “sick,” and “traitors,” etc. – see here. It’s utterly appalling, possibly even more so knowing that this is an utterly amoral guy who does it all for $$$$. Yeah, it’s disgusting.
Given all that, the question is, why have I actually seen a couple of Democrats comment that they found Luntz’s thoughts to be interesting? More accurate are some of the comments on the Post, including the following. Enjoy, and with that, I’m going to watch some NHL playoff hockey, where, unlike in politics, you have referees who can call penalties for flagrant violations of the rules! 🙂
“Nice try, Frank. I know that you work all day to make excuses for Republicans and conservatives, and you are very good at your job, but that doesn’t mean that any of the rest of us have to believe your prevarications.”
“Judging conservatives by the legislation they actually initiated after their big wins in 2010, their major objectives are to limit reproductive choice, attack Planned Parenthood and get rid of worker’s unions. Across the country in states with Republican majorities, legislation was advanced to force women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds before an abortion. Personhood measures were put on ballots. The cons strove to defund Planned Parenthood which prevents millions of unwanted pregnancies and abortions . None of this was related to the jobs, cons promised. Judge individuals, particularly pols, by what they do not what they say.”
“This survey makes conservatives seem like respsonsible people. If so, why are they being led by the far rightwing yahoos who seem to want to kill whatever good these conservatives espouse, When do you hear any of these conservatives rip their representatives for not working with the Democrats on sensible solutions instead of the help the rich get richer programs? Until I see more of those conservatives, I will beleive they myths that prevail because I don not see much of anything the author speaks of.”
“If Frank Luntz’s claims were anything close to being accurate, the sociopathic Teatotalitarians would not have taken control of the House of Representatives, reasonable republicans (reasonable for Republicans, anyhow) like Richard Lugar and Orrin Hatch would not now be finding themselves fighting for political survival, either Tim Pawlenty or Jon Huntsman would likely be the Republican nominee, and sick sociopaths like Paul Ryan would find themselves even more marginalized than Ron Paul. Also, of course, Barack Obama would have succeeded Al Gore, or alternatively John Kerry would have been concluding his second term.
I can’t believe that Frank Luntz believes the garbage he vomits. Very clearly the individuals running for the Republican nomination didn’t. Either that, or none of the people whom Luntz describes bothered to show up for the Republican primaries and caucuses.”