No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.
- US Supreme Court

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

talking points that don't revolve around someone named Murphy

Warning! Warning! Do not jump into the fight about whether or not Darragh Murphy is or is not a Republican.

For one thing, you don't know who she is - or what her motives are. What if she is? How do you know she isn't?

So what if it were true? What if she were a Republican? What if it turned out she was some sort of real villain - a lying, cheating saboteur who also steals peoples' boyfriends just for fun, and throws them into the river when she's done with 'em? Would that mean PUMA is no longer a valid idea, or that your concerns about this election no longer matter?

The attacks on Murphy are a reframing of the narrative. Don't let them do it. Don't let them make it all about Murphy.

Keep it about YOU. Keep it about why PUMA came into being in the first place.

A better answer:
"you know, I have no idea who these people are who started PUMAPac and Just Say No Deal, but that doesn't matter to me, because the cause is just and I believe in it, and I will continue to believe in what I know to be right whether it turns out our "movement" is infiltrated by Republicans or not.
You could even say:
In fact, I would be astonished if Republicans didn't try to do everything in their power to take advantage of this split in the party. But what Republicans do is not the point. It's what Democrats do that matters here. The Democratic 'leaders' need to address the rift in the party, instead of trying to purge the Clintons and all their supporters.
Or here is another answer:
I can't control other people - or other peoples' motives - but I can control my own vote. And that is what PUMA is about: reclaiming that control. Both Obama and McCain are going to want to control us, but our movement is about us making our own choice and making our elected officials listen to us. So naturally we have to expect that they will try to stop us from taking back the power of our vote - they are going to infiltrate and sabotage and they are going to make up stories and they are going to try to make people not believe in us - but those games aren't going to work this time.
Or here is another answer:
I don't care about those people. PUMA is real and the anger is real and the outrage is real and we are tired of being manipulated.
But it is IMO a bad answer to let yourself get sidetracked onto arguments about the character or motives or hidden agenda of any particular PUMA. It's an argument you can't win - but could very easily lose.

What you feed is what will grow.

You can waste your breath insisting that Murphy is a good person (let alone sincere, lifelong Democrat, legitimate, and absolutely the best at baking tollhouse cookies), but the more you do, the less this debate is about what went wrong on May 31st and the more it is about digging up dirt on this person Murphy. Is that really what PUMA wants?

I don't mean to say throw Murphy under the proverbial bus - the last thing PUMA needs is its own bus - but on the other hand, do let Murphy be the one to make statements about what Murphy is and what Murphy isn't. It is always, always asking for trouble to try to vouch for someone you just met.

It's also not doing Murphy any favors. Murphy is probably better able to defend herself if we just stay out of it.

1 comment:

Notyoursweetie said...

Good point! Murphy's personal history is irrelevant. Attacking the messenger is a Rovian method.
What Murphy says is right and posting personal info on the internet out of vindictiveness - unacceptable.
They turned into freepers.