January 28, 2013

ANN ALTHOUSE CORRECTS PAUL KRUGMAN:

There are 2 propositions: A. Those who are successful should be able to keep the fruits of their efforts, and B. All Americans should have the opportunity to work toward their own success.

Krugman comes close to saying Romney only said A and Jindal only says B.

But Romney continually said both things. His opponents worked constantly — and successfully — to make people feel that he was only saying A. And Jindal is also saying both things. That’s the function of the word “simply.”

Jindal — in the quoted sentence — isn’t saying Romney only said A. He’s talking about the way people think about the Republican Party, which is in A terms, because that’s the way Democrats have successfully framed them. Jindal is saying the B frame is better political rhetoric.

Krugman goes on to explain why B rhetoric doesn’t properly apply to what Jindal and the rest of the GOP are really doing. That is, he’s continuing the process that was used so successfully in the campaign to defeat Romney — pushing A, obscuring B.

There is no major rhetorical shift. Not from Jindal and not from Krugman. Everyone is doing, rhetorically, what they’ve been doing all along.

What the GOP needs to do is overcome its media problem. I’ve offered some suggestions on that in the past.