We’re having a long meeting today to discuss editorial strategy, so there will be no more blogging. (Horrors!)
To keep yourselves occupied, check out two pieces in the Atlantic Monthly. First and most importantly, Benjamin Wittes argues persuasively that the biggest danger posed by the possibility of a majority-conservative Supreme Court is not to abortion or civil rights, but to environmental protections. It’s a thoughtful, nuanced piece with some interesting details I wasn’t aware of. You should stop reading this and go read that instead.
While you’re over there, read Joshua Green’s Lakoff-bashing. Green obviously has a pretty shallow understanding of what Lakoff is about, but he is right about one thing: Progressives need new institutions and new ideas, not just new glosses on the old ideas.
And speaking of Lakoff-bashing, check out this priceless Ezra Klein post, wherein he makes the same point I made here (after, it turns out, Klein had already made it), which is that Lakoff himself is pretty damn bad at framing. It’s amusing. Here’s a funny bit:
After the election, I read Lakoff’s book for a review I was doing. I was stunned. The guy’s recommendations seemed completely ignorant of everything else he said. Frames, for instance, bring to mind a host of contexts and other information. So the strict father frame the Republicans use immediately paints Democrats as mommy. And while mom is awesome, it’s dad you call when you hear noises downstairs late at night. That’s how Republicans win elections, they basically mount the stage and say "did you hear that, America? I think I heard someone jiggling the door downstairs! Now would you rather have George Bush and his bat go check it out, or should we send John Kerry and his baguette?" So Lakoff responds to this by suggesting that Democrats become a gender neutral nurturing parent, which simply doesn’t exist, and would actually just mean mom.