When The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was first introduced and debated in Congress, polling on the individual parts saw an overwhelming majority of Americans approving. Well, with Democrats in charge of our framing, we all knew that wouldn't last.
Enter Frank Luntz and the Republican Dirty Framing Machine and we got Death Panels killing grandma and it was all over but the funeral.
Democrats screwed the pooch on this because in the 30+ years Luntz has been teaching Republicans how to talk, Democrats have refused to fight back with equally compelling language that illustrates our policies using our moral frames.
This may be a battle that is so long into the siege that it can no longer be won, but I'm not going to go down without fighting for what I believe is the best way to turn this conversation around and start winning back all those people who liked what was in the bill in the first place, but have been talked out of supporting the bill by the Fright Wing Party of America.
President Obama is a brilliant man. But like anyone else on this planet, he's also capable of being led astray. I don't know who advised him to try to "own" the pejorative "Obamacare," but they were dead wrong. Dead wrong. The president's little Twitter hashtag game completely backfired when Republicans started using it to continue their disparagement of it in the nastiest terms possible. "Obamacare" is no more embraced by those who would potentially support it if they understood it than it was last summer.
And there was nothing about that hashtag that would have made it look utterly stupid for someone to be objecting to!
That's why I'm proposing that we forget "Obamacare," and that we even abandon the here-to-fore "official" name, The Affordable Care Act. That's become a joke now, too. "Affordable care — yeah, right. My premiums went up 20 percent the minute the damn thing passed!"
But how ridiculous does it sound to oppose Patient Protection? Who (in their right mind) could be against that?
So I have a challenge for each and every one of you:
Fire up your Twitter accounts and start tweeting the hashtag #PatientProtectionAct, along with something it protects. Here's a list of my tweets using it — copy them and tweet them yourselves. And post your own here, too, so the rest of us can copy and tweet them, too.
(Tweets below the fold.)