Dems seek to frame debate

House Democrats will gather for an “issues conference” on Dec. 7, setting their legislative priorities for the 109th Congress and seeking ways to frame the debate on their own terms.

Lawmakers will be treated to a seminar by George Lakoff, University of California-Berkeley professor of linguistics and cognitive science, on how conservatives are able to win at the polls by carefully choosing their language to present their ideas.

There will also be a session on Social Security and how Democrats plan to engage President Bush’s proposal to reform the entitlement program. Reps. Robert Matsui (D-Calif.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) are expected to be the Democrat’s point men on Social Security reform.

“This is a chance for members to come back and talk about important policy issues,” said Brendan Daly, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He added that Lakoff’s presentation will help Democrats frame the debate on their own terms.

Hans Nichols