Tag Archives: Polling

The Tattlesnake Frank Luntz is a Scum-Sucking Pig Edition

(With apologies to our porcine friends who also happen to suck scum, but don’t have much influence on the electorate.)

While some readers may chastise me for gross understatement in the title, and I take their point, I decided to keep this clean, or as clean as you can when describing the contents of the sole working Port-O-Potty on free chili and beer night at a baseball game.

“[A]sk a question in the way that you get the right answer.”
— Frank Luntz on his ‘fair and balanced’ polling methods.

What makes Republican word-whacker Frank Luntz my target is that he is an intentional and dedicated deceiver of the public, smart enough to know full well what he’s doing, but blithely willing to trot out his wares — borrowed from the misuse of modern psychological techniques to sell the gullible what they don’t need joined with a carnival conman’s shell game pitch — for the temporary benefit of his bank account, while his country slides into a wreckage of divisiveness and debt. If you’d like to find the home base for the decimation of our public speech into ignorant, inflamed, fearful, flag-draped hatred; the revision of our history into a reeking bonanza of selfish suicidal capitalism, evangelical Christian crapola and nasty neoconservative warhawk bilge; and the reduction of our political discourse into so much overheated, oversimplified, covertly racist, sound-bite slag, you can point to three names: the late Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and the lesser-known, but every bit as important, Frank Luntz as the authors of the meltdown in progress.

“Luntz is glibly amoral, worrying only about whether language has the right effect, not whether it’s true.”
— Steven Poole, commenting on Luntz’s book “Words That Work” in The Guardian (UK), July 21, 2007.

It was Frank’s notion to rename a bill allowing more pollution as the ‘Clean Air Act’; it was Luntz who told the GOP to re-label estate taxes as ‘death taxes’ so that the wealthy paid less while the rest of us took up the slack; it was his demented mind that connected Iraq to 9/11 and instructed Republican pols to always preface any mention of the failed Iraq incursion with ‘9/11 changed everything’; behind nearly every current and past GOP talking point, endlessly repeated in the Right-Wing Echo Chamber, you’ll find Frank’s pasty round face, tirelessly choosing just the right words to convince a malleable faction of the American public to eat corporate Republican turds and think it’s prime rib.

Frank Luntz Pig

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The Tattlesnake Electoral Enigmas and Other Wacky Weirdness Edition

Laugh-a-bull: McCain’s top pollster Bill McInturff appeared on MSNBC with Chuck “Not Related to Crazy Ashley” Todd on Halloween. To put it politely, McInturff was pissing up a rope trying to sell some bizarre notion that this election is somehow similar to 1984 and 1996 and is tightening up to the point that McPalin can pull off a win. Hell-o, Bill both those years featured a popular incumbent peacetime president and an economy that wasn’t crashing to the ground and taking a devastated middle class with it. He also blabbered on inanely about armies of older, rural white voters crawling to the polls to catapult Wrinkles and the Winker into the Oval Office. This is big-box absurd the majority of Americans, some 80 percent, live in or near a city there aren’t enough rural voters, even if every single one voted for Mac and Cheesy, to elect him as president. Todd can be commended for keeping a straight face during McInturff’s lunatic raving, no doubt designed to buck up the flagging morale of the depressed Republican base. (Hey, Bill, poll this: Obama’s a point behind McCain in his home state of Arizona four days before the election.)

Laugh-a-bull Two: What if the polls showed Bush the Junior suddenly popular with independent and undecided voters? McCain would be rushing to the nearest microphone, “My friends, I’d like to remind you that I voted with President Bush 92 percent of the time and Governor Palin and I embrace all of his wonderful policies! Why, I’m just like him!” with the High-Heeled Sneaker nodding in agreement, “Oh, you betcha! President Bush is the original maverick all right!”

Think About It: What if Obama had picked a vacuous lightweight like Sarah Palin? Imagine what the Sunday Morning Punditrocracy would be bloviating about then: “Unquestionably, Sen. Obama has shown very little regard for the American people and the office of the presidency with his vice presidential pick.” “Absolutely, George. It shows an unbelievable contempt for the public and reflects very badly on his judgment — it points up a total lack of maturity to do the job!” “And I understand he only interviewed her for an hour before choosing her!” “Simply incredible. I think with this rash and foolish decision, Sen. Obama has demonstrated he would be an extremely dangerous choice for president in these times of national crisis!” “You won’t find any disagreement with that on this panel, Cokie. We’ll be back after these messages.”

BTW: Who is paying for ‘average working guy with a publicist’ Joe the Plumber to bop around to McCain rallies and how did a $42,000-a-year plumber’s helper (he doesn’t have an Ohio plumber’s license) get so much time off from work to gobble to the media his self-confessed ignorant opinions and pursue his pre-failed country music singing career? (What will be his first release, “Take This Job and Shove It”?) Inquiring minds want to know.

Disappointed? Where was our October Surprise this year? (And I was planning a party, too.) No tapes from Bin Laden saying, “I am your father, Barack”; no false flag attacks on Castro Street in SF; no sudden end to the Iraq disaster, “See, The Surge worked we won!”; no nothing. Did some Bushophile slip up, or is the stage being set for Brother Jeb in 2012 after McPalin is buried in a landslide?

What Say You? Bill Clinton runs for Governor of New York while Obama nominates Hillary to the Supreme Court? Big Dog Bubba has a political jones that won’t be satisfied loafing around the house, going on the lecture circuit, or traveling around as ambassador-at-large he needs an elected office and he wouldn’t mind making history as the first president who also served as governor of two different states.

The Tattlesnake Obama Infomercial Seals the Deal Edition

While the Tattler doesn’t usually like the kind of wan-music-in-the-background soft emotional porn of the ‘Oprah-ized’ infomercial, Obama’s half-hour spot Wednesday night avoided most of the worst aggravations of this TV clich窠especially the forlorn solo piano music sound track with flourishes of swelling strings redolent of tacky video matchmaking and cancer treatment center ads.

It featured battleground-state stereotypes a laid-off white male Ford Motors worker, a Latina woman trying to make ends meet, an elderly black couple hampered by chronic illness and worried about the future, et al — struggling with life in Bush’s downsized economy, but at least the people were real and their stories didn’t sink into cheesy Lifetime-channel melodrama; Obama’s interspersions in office surroundings reminiscent of Camp David were obviously intended to make the Low-and-Slow-Information-Voters of Middle America, awaiting the ballgame, feel comfortable with him as president, which was the main point of this smart $4 million investment.

Obama laid out his economic plans clearly, appeared mature and confident, and didn’t, as I recall, mention Sen. McMoribund or the Ice Princess even once. Contrast this with tone-deaf McCain’s free hour on Larry King following Obama’s spot in a country thirsting for unity and a different direction, he mostly griped about Obama and reprised the half-baked GOP themes of the past four election cycles, although he finally admitted he really didn’t believe his Democratic opponent was a socialist, negating all of the frantic rhetoric emanating from his campaign to the contrary. (Incidentally, if you know anyone who supports McCain, ask them exactly what he plans to do about the economy that is fundamentally any different from what Bush has done.)

Bill McInturff, McCain’s lead pollster, claims he has internal numbers that contradict the national polls showing Obama way ahead he proclaimed that McCain was “functionally tied” with Obama (whatever that means), but didn’t comment on why, if that’s true, McCain has been forced to spend money defending states that have safely been in the Republican column for decades, including his home state of Arizona. (Perhaps McInturff has been consulting the same secret figures Karl Rove used in 2006 when he boasted to an NPR reporter that the Republicans would hold Congress — “You may end up with a different math, but you’re entitled to your math, I’m entitled to the math.” Two weeks later, the GOP was blown out by the Dems in the off-year election. Following the drubbing, it leaked that Rove’s fatuous optimism was merely a ‘job requirement’ and not based on any inside information in other words, ‘the math’ was entirely in his head.)

McInturff’s private polls notwithstanding, and barring a monumental screw-up by Obama or Biden, or some sort of, at this point, impractical and impracticable mass voting treachery by the GOP, you can get used to saying ‘President Obama’ after next Tuesday.

Wednesday night’s well-produced infomercial sealed the deal.