Give them bootstraps
Judges are crazy too


Roses R
ick Hertzberg, over at the New Yorker, caps a recent posting with the following executive summary:  

"If roses were called 'snotflowers,' they would smell as sweet. But they would not sell as well."

How true.  The Bard of Avon could not have said it better.

It's the conclusion of an interesting post that discusses how the wording of survey questions can slant answers.  

For example, he speculates that people would be more likely to favor a reduction in "payroll taxes" than in "Social Security taxes." His guess is that "many people, have a viscerally negative reaction to the words 'Reducing Social Security,' even if followed by the dread word 'taxes'.”

I don't know if he's right on that point, but his larger thesis is clearly correct -- words matter.  More broadly, framing -- the context around ideas -- define the terms of debate.  

That's why the GOP spends so much time, money, and effort testing words, like "job creators" and "job killing."   Remember when they turned "estate taxes" into "death taxes"?

I wonder why the Democrats have been so slow to adopt the same practice. On the other hand, I suspect even if they were to hire the equivalent of Frank Luntz -- the GOP's messaging guru  -- they wouldn't have the discipline to stick to the playbook. 

Meanwhile, Obama's job plan is going nowhere even though Gallup discovered that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans favor its constituent parts, which was Hertzberg's even larger point. 

How do you like those flowers?







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