I was on Hardbal last night after the President's State of the Union, there were so many areas of offense, I just didn't get to them all on-air. I was going to write a longer post on what he said about Congress and ethics, but my friend Tim McFeely, President of the Center for Policy Alternatives, sent me this note and I am re-printing his smart words here:
"In his meandering, theme-less State of the Union Address last night, near the conclusion Bush declared:
They [the American people] are concerned about unethical conduct by public officials and discouraged by activist courts that try to redefine marriage.
In 8 seconds, the president dismissed the corruption scandals gripping Congress and his Administration and equated these in the American mind with judges who have applied state constitutional precepts on equality to lesbian and gay couples. The reaction? Applause from both sides of the proverbial aisle - Democrats want to underscore the unethical conduct reference and Republicans want to take another swing at scapegoating homosexuals for the moral decline of America.
It's yet another example of the way conservative wordsmiths "frame" and mischaracterize events and issues. This simple sentence conjoins public officials who pervert their duties by accepting bribes from the Abramoff crowd with state judges who see unlawful discrimination in denying marriage rights to same-sex couples. Corrupt congressmen and courageous jurists are framed in the same photo and filed under "bad characters" that Americans don't like. Instead of seeing the real photo of Abramoff gripping Bush, we get a contrived portrait of Randy Cunningham hugging Margaret Marshall (now that's a mind-bender!)
What's the answer? At a minimum media commentators and the rest of us need to WAKE UP and deconstruct these faulty frames. And all of us need to watch our backs and fight back every time this word-poison is injected into the public discourse."