Friday, February 13, 2009

Talking in a trap


I'm sitting in a political meeting much of which is about "messaging." If we can just use the right "frames," we'll win, so the communications people tell us.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Republicans are wailing that President Obama is a failure. He's not being "bi-partisan." The stimulus bill is "not transparent."

Hey guys -- listen to yourselves. You are trapped, trying to argue your case on ground that President Obama laid out in front of you and convinced the public was the right playing field. He made bi-partisanship his trademark and transparency his issue. Republicans fighting on those matters have walked into a message trap. Obama wins; you are playing his game with his rules.

(This post is not a commentary on whether the Obama administration is promoting measures the country needs. I have no idea. I hope so. This is a post about political tactics. The Obama folks are doing fine on that level.)

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