Thursday, February 02, 2006

Telegram The Message

From Alternet (via Suburban Guerilla):

Top 10 lessons learned from the Alito fight

1. There is no organization on the left side of the political spectrum. []

2. The reason they will lose every fight is because every issue is settled the minute it is framed. [] The Republican frame in Alito was that he was a well-qualified, mainstream, devoted and hard working judge who would interpret the law and not make it. The Democratic frame was ??? Nada. Zippo. No response whatsoever.

3. Once the Republican framing goes unchallenged, the media repeats it as if it is fact. []

A great teacher taught me to create a "10-word telegram" for every case. I'd spend hours brainstorming with colleagues & staff to find the most powerful words. You only got 10. It really forces you to boil your case down to its essence. My teacher's example was, "Greedy developer poisons village well; he must pay." The telegram must include the facts, and what you want the jury to do about it.

Once you had your telegram, you used it every opportunity. In every correspondence with opposing counsel, in every hearing, in every deposition. You knew you had been successful when the other side began repeating the telegram back to you.

The Alito framed by the Republicans is a good example of the 10-word telegram, though too long. It contains powerful words that speak to our communal values: well-qualified, mainstream, devoted, hard working.

Republicans have learned to telegram; Democrats are still spouting books, by different authors.

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