That the town hall meetings of August were something less than spontaneous should surprise no one. Whether for health care or any other issue, it’s hard to generate crowds in the dog days of summer without some organization.
But Rolling Stone magazine says it has come across a May memo in which pollster Frank Luntz outlined the Republican approach to the Democratic initiative. In essence, the Luntz memo became a script for the GOP and town hall organizers, briefing them not just on what to say, but how to say it.
The logic of the language is simple, Luntz writes: “Takeovers are like coups — they both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.” For a third of all Americans, he adds, the top worry about health care reform is “being denied a procedure or medication because a Washington bureaucrat says no.” Luntz concludes by telling Republicans how best to play the fear card. “It is essential that ‘deny’ and ‘denial’ enter the conservative lexicon immediately,”