The Fiscal Something

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 7 2012 @ 2:37pm

Ryan Cooper covers failed attempts by liberals to re-name the fiscal cliff. Drum is unsurprised that alternate names have failed to catch on:

[T]he truth is that making up a new name for something is really, really hard. New names almost never catch on, period, and when they do it's usually organic. They don't catch on because someone runs a contest or because someone with a megaphone forces us into it. And they especially don't catch on when the new phrase sounds forced and artificial, as they almost always do.

Bernstein claims that "there's basically no evidence that it would make any difference at all that whether we call all of this the 'fiscal cliff' or something more accurate":

[P]ick an issue: it almost certainly didn't matter that people came to call the recent health care reforms "Obamacare," or that people called certain taxes a "death tax." If you can produce evidence, fine, but I'll warn you right now: showing that policies poll differently when you call them different things is not evidence that those different names have any effects on which policies are adopted. You need more than that, and I don't think you're going to find it.