You don’t know Orwellian until you know Frank Luntz
The guy who told the GOP to brand financial reform a “bailout”? Every word he speaks seems to be a lie
BY GABRIEL WINANT
Frank Luntz in 2009.
Fools these days just fling around the word “Orwellian” like it doesn’t mean anything. Please,
guys. Despite what some people would have you think, not everyone out there is some budding totalitarian. Let’s try to keep the word meaningful and useful for later.
But that doesn’t mean we can never take note of modern practitioners of Newspeak. I’m thinking here of pollster and GOP image guru Frank Luntz. If we’re holding on to “Orwellian” for when we really need it, well, this guy represents a downright special occasion, so let’s splurge.
It was Luntz who suggested, in a now-infamous memo, that Republicans mask their assiduous service of Wall Street in the fight over financial reform by accusing the Democrats of assiduously serving Wall Street. The ceaseless claims that the proposed bill would authorize a new “bailout” come directly from Luntz’s playbook. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for example, warned, “We cannot allow endless taxpayer-funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks.”