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A repository for frames at various levels of explanation/expression.

Frame Projects


The idea of the frame tank is to create representations for ideas at several levels of complexity and density, limited at least initially purely by length (discuss at talk:FrameTank). The notion is a single idea, stated in differing numbers of words, engaging different techniques.


Each Frametank page includes seven elements, each complete (or linked):

  1. A dkospodia article name, which is it's ID.
  2. 1-3 word(s)
    The Word. (see The meme identifier at the MemeTank)
  3. 1-3 sentence statement
    Concise line, can rely on specific understandings of individual words or phrases.
  4. 100-200 word (one page) statement
    A paragraph? A series of haiku?
  5. 500-1000 words statement
    An essay.
  6. 10-50 Pages statement
    A paper.
  7. Book Length
    Links to books said to epitomise the ideology of the frame. What an honor.

[ED-NOTE: please feel free to debate these numbers and/or edit them at the talk page, the specificity is in order to illustrate the style of the rules, which is basically by length, but in all cases specifically measurable by some means]

Qualitative Notes

The word is an identifier that one would love to become an actual word, that is, spoken in regular language in a generic way epitomizing the idea as represented in the other elements. The sentence is sloganeering, and involves using words with favorable frames. The next level is pamphleteering or mission statment sized. And so on. Finally, many frames may in fact begin as books that seem to reperesent a particular idea.

Each section might be links to it's representation on the net, theoretically, or at least addended with that. Many such source material can be found looking through MemeTank for creation projects or other memes which should be framed as well.

Diaries and stories tagged as
on Daily Kos:

most recent
most recs
front page

This area of dKosopedia contains information on current liberal Democratic thought on various topics. A “frame” is a context for thoughts, and “reframing” allows us to change the frames associated with political concepts to those that help our cause. Use the following links to find proper language to respond to Republican frames.

The concept of reframing political arguments got an enormous boost from George Lakoff. Lakoff founded the progressive think tank, the Rockridge Institute, which concentrates in part on helping liberal candidates and politicians with re-framing political metaphors.

Frameshop is a workspace for continuing and refining the work begun by Jeffrey Feldman's series FrameShop Diaries on DKos, introduced in this diary. Feldman set up a site to continue this work, which you can find here. The terms “Frameshop” and “Frameshop is open” are trademarks claimed by Jeffrey Feldman. This will begin to add to completed frames and counter-frames in the FrameTank.

The much more reactive reframe:namespace is for the obvious stuff that anyone can do. The end result of that is just more pages in main namespace that define things properly. This undoes Republican framing but doesn't do anything to contribute to a positive Vision for America. For that the more extensive FrameShopping is required:

Adding Pages to FrameTank

You can and should participate in FrameTank. The entire shop is under construction. Grab a tool and get started. You will need an account on dKosopedia (separate from your DailyKos account). Log in and start editing.

Use the HTML for one of the existing pages to write up your topic in a word processor. To get this text, go to one of the pages and click the “edit” button in the tab at the top of the page. You will see an edit page with a text field that holds the HTML text. Copy it to a word processor and edit it to make your new topic. Once your topic is ready, you can add a new page.

To add a new topic, go back to this page and click the “edit” button in the tab at the top of the page. Then add a new link in the area called “Projects” or “FrameTank Activism.” (These links are alphabetical, please preserve the order.) The links generally have the form:

* [[Frametank: <name of your topic>]]

Save the FrameShop page and click on your link. This will take you to an edit page where you can add text for your topic. Copy the HTML for you topic from your word processor and save the page.

Once you have added your link, you should edit the FrameShop page to update the “FrameTank Content Listing” area. Make sure your link references are in this format:

[<dkosopedia URL> <visible name>]

You can get the <dkosopedia URL> by clicking on your link in the list and copying it from the browser. Remember that the URLs are case sensitive.

We suggest copying the FrameTank page to a word processor (as suggested for making the topic page) and then copying it to the edit field before saving it. This allows you to more easily copy one of the existing sections in the content listing. Be sure to pay careful attention to the link formats and get three equal signs on the topic header. Note that the content listing area is in alphabetical order.


FrameTank is designed as a "repair shop." It begins with the idea that political debate in this country is like a highway filled with cars, where much of the highway and most of the cars are broken. As in insurance there are lots of claims, many of them bogus, all of which need to be filed in the claim:namespace.

Fixing the highway is a big project. It takes time, it takes connections, and it takes money. Lots of money. It's not a short term project. The term:namespace is full of projects we won't get to quickly.

Re-articulating the core principles of the Democratic Party and evaluating vision/threat/status of each principle is a big project. But we have real problems to fix that can't wait for broad repairs to our party infrastructure. In the short run, we need to fix as many cars as possible--we need to make repairs to the language we are using. If we repair enough cars, driving will become safer and easier.

If you want to do "big picture" stuff go see Vision for America. But this FrameTank is a place where ordinary drivers of political language can come for repairs. It's cheap. It's convenient. It's open 24/7. If you've got a problem, bring it to FrameShop and we'll try to fix it.

At FrameTank we will:

  1. Identify specific claims that can be challenged, in claim:namespace
  2. Identify faulty political language, putting it in term:namespace
  3. Explain the problem clearly, using neutral point of view terminology
  4. Estimate the cost of not doing repairs, with simple cost arguments
  5. Realign the frame, by making careful issue statements
  6. Provide new language for immediate use, via positions on the issue
  7. Reinforce existing language using the reframe:namespace on each questionable term.

The end result will be relatively friendly debating terms in main namespace and an issue/position/argument statement that can be easily backed with evidence/source/authority that the public will trust. It will be free of the kind of noise found in the MemeTank, term:namespace or Fox News.


We need to move these pages from Frameshop: to Frametank:

FrameTank Activism

FrameTank Content Listing

This section provides an alphabetical summary of the FrameShop pages.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action

  • Provides a gathering place for ideas to support affirmative action.

The Attack on Our Rights

Are Democrats Traitors?

  • Examines common Republican slurs on the patriotism of Democrats. Lists the two dozen primary rights asserted by the Constitution and ways in which the current administration has weakened those rights and/or violated the laws. Provides responses and counters, as well as extensive links for information about the Constitution and organizations looking out for our rights.

Challenges to Democracy

Reaffirm Democracy

  • List the twenty government programs invading our privacy or denying our rights and points out their anti-democratic nature. Calls on us to reaffirm democracy by withdrawing support for these programs and demanding that the government adhere to the law. Provides details on the five most important challenges to democracy, and gives responses and counters, as well as resources for responding.

“Culture of Life” Reframing

Reframe “Culture of Life”

  • Suggestions for responding to this Republican frame with values that show liberals value life and Republican policies tend to devalue it.



  • Looks at components of democracy, such as equitable control of resources and governmental processes of fairness.

Economic Policy

Economic Policy

  • Examines issues in economic policy, such as the stratification of economic health by level of wealth, how to restore economic fundamentals, and reframing issues to the advantage of Democrats. Provides responses for common Republican framing.

Fair Elections

Fair Elections

  • Examines problems with elections, including electronic voting, registration, partisan control of elections, defects in electioneering, campaign finance, and election auditing. Provides resource links.

“Framing” Bush and Cheney for Impeachment

Should Bush and Cheney Be Impeached?

  • Makes the case that we Congress should pursue the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney.

“Health Savings Accounts” Reframing

HSAs (Health Savings Accounts)

  • Examines the conservative concept of “health savings accounts,” used to frame healthcare as solely an individual responsibility and problems with the healthcare system as problems of irresponsible consumer behavior. Provides ideas for reframing healthcare problems, including possible responses, resources, and other notes.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina and Emergency Response

  • Surveys Katrina-related issues, including FEMA, refugees, the future of New Orleans, and climate change.

International Trade Agreements

International Trade Agreements

  • Examines how international trade agreements have damaged the U.S. economy and destroyed significant wealth building in the country, as well as diluting workers’ rights. Provides links to resources.

“Ownership Society” Reframing

Ownership Society

  • Examines the conservative concept of “ownership society,” an umbrella phrase for programs like “health savings accounts” and “personal retirement accounts” intended to push responsibility for social problems onto individuals. Analyses how the term is used and provides ways to counter and respond, as well as resources to draw on.

“Personal Retirement Accounts” Reframing

PRAs (Personal Retirement Accounts)

  • Examines the conservative concept of “personal retirement accounts,” offered as an alternative to Social Security and used to frame retirement savings as an individual responsibility. Analyses the economic and social deficiencies of using PRAs for retirement funding, specifically security, fees, and uncertainty.

Selecting Presidential Nominees

Target President Profile

  • Provides a gathering place for ideas on what constitutes the ideal Democratic presidential nominee for the next election. Addresses Republican frames related to the presidential race, such as “tax relief.” Analyses what constitutes a good president and realigns the frame in terms to the advantage of Democrats.


Political Philosophy of Sex

  • Provides a liberal political philosophy of sex that blunts Republican efforts to use people’s fear of sex to drive their political agenda. Covers a large set of issues related to sex and politics, such as marriage, sex education, obscenity/pornography, health issues, privacy, lifestyles, rape, child abuse, and sexism. Provides responses to common Republican attacks and phrases.

Social Justice

Social Justice

  • Examines social justice and provides a framework for gathering ideas about social justice issues.

“Terrorism” Reframing

Reframe “Terrorism”

  • Explores the meaning of “terror” and how it is used, including its propaganda use as in the “[term:war on terror|war on terror]”.

White Collar Unemployment

White Collar Unemployment

  • Examines the damage caused by layoffs and chronic white collar unemployment. Provides concepts for rebuilding the middle class and white collar activism. Reframes the issue to coordinate with other Democratic issues.

TNR Framing

"The emergence of the spectacle of terror as a new form of politics raises important questions about how fear and anxiety can be marketed, how terrorism can be used to recruit people in support of authoritarian causes, and how the spectacle of terrorism works in an age of injustices, deep insecurities, disembodied social relations, fragmented communities, and a growing militarization of everyday life. At the same time, the new media such as the Internet, digital camcorders, and cell phones can be used to energize sites of resistance, provide alternative public spheres, pluralize political struggles, and expand rather than close down democratic relations. Giroux considers what conditions and changes are necessary to reinvigorate democracy in light of these new challenges." from the publisher's buzz on Henry A. Giroux's "Beyond the Spectable of Terrorism"

Key diaries

Below is a collection of key diaries on this topic. Please only put diaries that have achieved "recommended" status on Daily Kos:

  • Using the Republican Meme To Our Advantage - by adguy (Aug 19, 2006) - great suggestions for very Rovian phrases, such as "Power-Drunk Anti-Constitutionists", "Corrupt and Morally-Bankrupt Republicans", "Incompetence Central", "Snake Oil Salesmen", "Fiasco-nistas", "Enemies of Innovation", and "Comfortably-Corrupt Republicans"

See also

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