This Is How You Do It.

Almost by accident, President Obama stumbled onto some brilliant framing this weekend. After outlining some of his achievements, Mr. Obama said:

It does kind of make you wonder: Why are so many Republican politicians down on America?” he said. “Why are they so grumpy? I know its political season, but listening to them you would think that everything was terrific back in 2008 — when we were going through the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression, we were engaged in two wars, hopelessly addicted to foreign oil, Bin Laden’s at large.

“Grumpy Republicans” is brilliant. It’s as good as “flip-flopper,” which the Republicans applied with such success to John Kerry. It’s easy. It plays into “grumpy old man shouting at clouds,” which perfectly encapsulates the privilege of old white men and the absolute futility of Republican attempts to turn back rights for gay people, women’s rights, emphasis on climate change, etc. It also draws a great contrast between how America has always seen itself — the can-do attitude of pioneers, Rosie the Riveter, the Moon launch, etc. — and how Republicans depict America.

Digby talked about this today, noting that:

Republican America is a dystopian hellscape in which evil, violent foreigners are trying to kill us in our beds while rapacious jackbooted government thugs try to wrestle our guns from our cold, dead fingers and Planned Parenthood sociopaths are committing mayhem on children and selling the body parts. And that’s just for starters.

Democratic America is a very powerful nation struggling with a declining middle class and economic insecurity at the hands of the ultra-rich, requiring some energetic government intervention to mitigate income inequality, solve the looming crisis of climate change and manage global crises without plunging the nation into more wars. They also must hold off that anarchistic opposition which sees the world as a dystopian hellscape and that may be the greatest challenge of all.

So #grumpyrepublicans needs to trend on Twitter. Dem candidates and talking heads need to use it relentlessly. We need Facebook memes built around Grumpy Republicans. Go forth and frame.


4 responses to “This Is How You Do It.

  1. Hmmm…. As a 78-year-old Caucasian male living on Social Security in a mid-level mobile home park and registered in the Pacific Green party (soon to re-register as a Democrat to support Bernie) I tend to resent the broad-brush categorization of privileged “…old white men…” as being pretty much “Grumpy Republicans”. Grumpy I am, Republican I’m not. Besides, I read your blog with pleasure.

  2. Martin, Well you’re not “grumpy” are you? 🙂

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