Friday, February 27, 2009

Layers of Feedback

Daniel Larison takes Patrick Ruffini to task here and asserts that the problem with the political right isn't messaging but the message itself. Ross Douthat offers the helpful metaphor of the layer cake: part of the right's problem is messaging; part of it is the message itself.

I think there can be a slightly different way of conceptualizing this relationship between messaging and message: I think sometimes for the right rhetoric can get in the way of policy rethinking---that tendencies for the messaging block new ways of reformulating the message. Part of what I was getting at with "code words" was the way in which the use of code words can suck up all the air in a space that could be used to debate more substantive ideas, policy, and so forth.

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