Now: the battle to win the government shutdown spin | Arkansas Blog

Now: the battle to win the government shutdown spin


THE MESSAGING BEGINS: Who'll win the blame game?
  • THE MESSAGING BEGINS: Who'll win the blame game?

Extremist Republicans (which is to say all of them from Arkansas, based on roll call votes) have forced a government shutdown rather than accede to continuation of the law of the land — the Affordable Care Act. Now come  economic hardships and hassles for millions. As a nice ironic touch, the implementation of Obamacare begins today.

Now comes the fight to win the spin game — on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, advertising, press conferences and all the rest. I can't predict how that will turn out. When it comes to messaging, the Republican Party has a knack for the disingenuous slogan. See: death tax.

Some things to remember:

* WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT: Credit Ezra Klein.

All this to stop poorer Americans from getting health insurance funded by Medicare cuts and taxing rich people.

* TODAY'S FAVORITE LIE: You'll find it in the Too Extreme Tom Cotton and Tiny Tim Griffin messaging. It is that Congress and staff are getting special treatment under Obamacare.

It is a lie.

Again, it is a lie.

Congress and staff have an employer-sponsored health care plan, as millions of others do. That is a nice workplace benefit. To force those employees into a health exchange without their existing employer contribution is to force some of them into medical bankruptcy. That's the Cotton/Griffin plan. Not just for Congress, but for all of the U.S.

* THE REASON LIES WORK: The misunderstandings or simple lack of knowledge among the public is enormous. See polling. But here's some good news: Hot poll that shows the public gets who's responsible for an unpopular action. The public doesn't want Obamacare funding cut off and they don't want government shut down and they blame Republicans.

In Tim Griffin's exceptionalist America, it's every man for himself. If you can't afford health insurance, tough. Move to England, France, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia or any of the other less exceptional countries that believe health care is a birthright. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put it well:

When the American people wake up, they will be furious to learn that Congressman Griffin just shut down our government, forcing Arkansas’s middle class families to pay the price for his demands to pad insurance companies’ profits.

To the dishonest Cotton messaging, his 2014 opponent, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor responded obliquely:

The Senate has now passed three responsible measures to keep our government open and our economy growing. Yet, the House has continued with their “my-way-or-the-highway” politics. This confirms what the American people have said all along—that hyper-partisanship in the House will shut down our government and hurt our economy just as it’s turning the corner.

PS — Among the shutdown-related news today is closure of Clinton Library to walk-in visitors, though some programs and school visits will continue. Details here.

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