"Framing" the Debate

How would you feel if a politician with a long record of implementing policy that is detrimental to you, used polling information to “connect” with you and make it seem as though he empathised with your issues. Would you feel manipulated, duped, conned? I know I would. This is exactly what Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster for pResident Bush does for a living. In the July 8 article in TruthOut “To the Ladies in the Room” Molly Ivins points out how Luntz helps Bush to artificially connect with American women, giving them the feeling that he understands their issues, all the while implimenting or supporting policies that are detrimental to them. Case in point, Irvins points out that under the Bush administration:

  • The Labor Department has refused to use tools at its disposal to identify violations of equal pay laws.
  • Labor repealed regulations that allowed paid family leave to be made available through state unemployment funds. Now it’s unpaid leave only.
  • Labor has proposed new regulations that deprive millions of workers of the right to overtime pay – and even gives tips to employers on how to avoid paying overtime when the law still requires it.
  • The Department of Justice has weakened the enforcement of laws against job discrimination and abandoned pending sex discrimination cases.
  • Among the Bush budget cuts affecting the lives of millions of women are cuts in Head Start and other early childhood education programs, after-school programs, K-12 education, housing subsidies, child care, career education, services for victims of domestic violence, the nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC) and Pell grants to help pay for college.

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