Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog whistles, canards, euphemisms, innuendoes, insinuations, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, August Aug 24-26, 2016

academic flights of folly: multilateralism, diversity and multiculturalism, global warming, “rape culture,” gender-based salary differentials, etc. Although these things are real, the GOP/Tea Party “gaslights” them–that is, pretends they aren’t real.

administrative afflatus: the bloated Beltway regulatory monster that kills job growth in America. Any regulation and/or administration is an unnatural construct of big government philosophy.

efficiency: capital will always go where it can be used most efficiently. That’s why US corporations have so much cash stashed in offshore/overseas accounts, subsidiaries, etc. But isn’t “efficiency” actually a tautology in the sense that capitalists can define it anyway they wish? Efficiency can only be used as a means to an end–it is never an end in itself, but, rather, is a handmaiden. So if the purpose is profit only, companies cut corners, engage in cartel-like pricing and stifle competition. Other purposes –social justice, environmental responsibility, equity–require differing definitions of efficiency.

Hillary’s criminality: a given, especially when she ran the State Department as a criminal organization.

humane: the new watchword of the Trump campaign as he softens his image and vows to “not hurt anyone” with his immigration policy. But one wonders how  “extreme vetting” can also be “humane” vetting: either you let undocumented immigrants stay in the country and keep their families intact or you don’t. Also an admission that his campaign has been too “hard” and too eager to “hurt people.”

measured: the new Donald Trump. Aka, mature, discrete, disciplined, presidential. All the things Trump isn’t.

political progress and tolerance: Trump’s flip=flop on immigration, deportation, ethnic screening, and religious litmus tests.

political polls: Dem propaganda.

racist: anyone who’s not a liberal

ransom: any liberal/Dem campaign contribution. Aka, bribe.

reckless: any US military withdrawal, as in Iraq, Vietnam, and Afghanistan

regret: whatever doesn’t work for Trump he now “regrets”–not the thing itself, but the reaction to it. Disappointment, not contrition.

social justice: the leading cause of poverty.

suggests: Hillary and Bill’s “pay-to-play” Clinton Foundation scandal suggests gross corruption. This is the weasel word the Tea Party uses when they have no actual proof of wrongdoing. Synonyms include, “points to,” “hints at” and “almost certainly proves.” The only one doing the suggesting is is Tea Party/GOP.


Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, August 20-23, 2016

co-conspirator: James Comey or any Hillary defender.

denying upward mobility: opposing charter schools. To do so is to doom millions of Hispanics and African Americans to lives of diminished possibility, if not poverty.

emoting: what Elizabeth Warren does every time she pens her mouth,  shooting from the hip in an unhinged, hysterical and “emotional” way. As if Donald Trump is the voice of reason and constraint.

fake evidence of racism: any evidence of racism, since we live in a “post racial” world.

giving our jobs away: what Obama/Clinton have done to America. (see also “open borders,” below). Trump actually claims that Hillary would rather give a job to a non-US citizen than to a Hispanic or African American US citizen. This is of course an outlandish lie.

information chaos: what the Obama/Clinton political machine create whenever they tell their lies, make their distortions and insinuations, leave out inconvenient facts, etc.

mockery: what Hillary does very time: to foreign policy, to the rule of law, to truth and basic human decency, to the very idea of an honest election.

negative trolls: those who attack Trump.

omnidirectional bureaucratic opportunism: the spoils of the Dems’ entrenched, permanent political ruling class in Washington. (See also “rent-seeking,” below)

open borders: the Obama/Clinton immigration policy.(see also, “giving our jobs away,” above). Never mind that Obama has deported more immigrants than any other US President, or that Hillary has never advocated “open borders.”

pandering to blacks: what the Dems have been doing for decades as they have exploited blacks and only pretended to be interested in them every four years. Any regulation or legislation that promotes racial justice, economic equality or improves the lives of blacks.

rent-seeking: how the Clintons use private gain for political purposes.

something that needs to be addressed: any of the Bill-Hillary shenanigans–the Clinton criminal cartel’s conduct. Basically, in Trumpland, anything that challenges him or any allegations he makes, however wild and crazy. Always has a tone of ominousness and paranoia. One of Trump’s first instances of this were of course his “birther” charges against Obama in 20008.

a stable and predictable regulatory system: the end of government overreach, so that businesses and ordinary citizens can finally break free of the nanny state. The key predictability and stability factors here are that there won’t be any  more regulation. This much wished-for panaceas has been at the heart of GOP dreams forever, and part of Grover Norquist’s injunction to make government so small that it drowns in the bathtub.

unstable, unhinged, unbalanced: Hillary. Also referred to by Sean Hannity as Hillary’s “seizuresque” moments.

what do you have to lose?: since blacks have been pandered to, why they should support Trump. For a definitive answer to this question of what African Americans have to lose, see Jennifer Rubin’s Washington Post column :

Let’s count the ways.

Trump has championed a strict law-and-order agenda that rejects the suggestion there are legitimate complaints in the African American community about policing. He is a lightning rod for racial animus and tension, falsely accusing cities with large African American populations to be crime havens. With Trump, we’d lack a president who had any conception that there is a problem with policing in minority communities or any desire to bring communities and police together.

This is someone who declines to speak at African American gatherings (e.g., the NAACP). He’s someone who just brought on to lead his campaign the former head  of a website pandering to the alt-right — that means white supremacy. Only after prodding and a growing controversy did he figure out that he should denounce David Duke and the KKK. And, of course, this was a man heavily invested in birtherism, asserting the president was born in Africa, not in the United States. It’s ironic that in the very speech asking what minorities have to lose, he pits African Americans against immigrants. And let’s not forget his shout-out at a California rally: “Look at my African American.”

Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, August 12-19, 2016

calumny: lamestream media attacks on Trump. The self-satisfied, self-congratulatory uptown media elites are about to get their heads handed to them in the general election. aka, “smear.”

collective responsibility: why all American Muslims are complicit in any act of domestic terrorism.

diversity: perversity

extreme vetting: making it much more difficult for immigrants to come into the US. In essence, a revival of fortress America. When does “vetting” become “extreme?” Is it like
“enhanced interrogation?” Doesn’t “extreme”imply going too far?

historic amnesia: what the Dems practice when they ignore the damage Obama/Clinton  have done in Iraq. Syria, Russia and Libya

the fate of the USA as we know it: what’s at stake in the general election. This apocalyptic language is used in every election, but has special significance this time around because of the Trumpians’ “clash of civilizations” drumbeat. They see this election as a catastrophic event, the extinction of their values and America’s identity and honor.

frenzied: liberal attacks on Trump. The innuendo here is that the Dems are panicking because they’re ahead in the polls and Trump has a secret army of voters just over the hill that he will deploy come election time.

hyperliteralism: what the lamestream media reverts to when reporting on Donald Trump’s campaign statements. Whereas Trump is either joking, or being sarcastic or deliberately provocative, the media take on an almost autistic interpretive limitation in holding him to the literal sense of his words.

language: according to Trump, in his Hugh Hewitt interview, what he says is what becomes reality because the public accepts his meaning of words, as in calling Obama and Clinton the “co-founders of Isis.”  Reminiscent of what the Mad Hatter tells Alice about language:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

nuisance flooding: natural and temporary changes in sea level. Liberals call it “man-made climate change,” but it’s really just nature acting natural. This term actually was coined in 2015 by Florida Governor Rick Scott, who forbade mention of climate change.

teeing up the cops: what Obama/Clinton do when they talk about “police violence” or praise Black Lives Matter. In practice, every criticism of the police is now being framed as undermining law and order and justice, and turning the police into the victims.

Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, August 2-12, 2016

artificial: government regulations or price controls or anything that inhibits the pure, natural functioning of Mr. Market. Always an innovation killer and jobs/growth inhibitor. One notable area of the effects of artificial barriers to economic growth are the environmental rules, zoning laws and building restrictions that plague the housing market.

the Constitution: null and voice starting Jan 20, 2017 if Hillary is elect3d.

demonizing police officers: criticizing their conduct.

economic distortions: corporate taxes.

justice: law, order, and safety at home. In his convention acceptance speech, Trump seemed to conflate justice (a Rawlesian combination of equality and liberty) with law and order and political suppression. A particularly Orwellian passage indiscriminantly equated justice, progress, an enhanced police state, economic prosperity and “The American People” (all capitalized):

Our goal is justice for every American. If we are to have respect for law in America, we must have laws that deserve respect. Just as we cannot have progress without order, we cannot have order without progress, and so, as we commit to order tonight, let us commit to progress.

The American People will come first once again. My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order. On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America.

Apparently anyone who disagrees with these false equivalencies and glib causal chains is not entitled to be part of “The American People.”

going fetal: what the police do when their hands are tied by DOJ oversight, which punishes the police rather than rewarding them. In Tea Party/GOP logic, the answer is less policing, not better policing. Police passive resistance and work slowdowns are just another form of their abuse of power.

lies: Trump’s form of marketing, as explained by the WSJ’s Holman Jenkins:

He tells an excitable part of the electorate what it wants to hear, on guns, trade and immigration. When you tell the public untruths, in Mr. Trump’s understanding of business, that’s marketing.

pussies: Democrats and liberals, according to Clint Eastwood.

selective smear: any Obama administration report critical of the police, restrictive voting rights laws, or financial industry misconduct.

They: anyone not supporting Donald Trump, especially the media. A fifth-column.

unaccountable, unelected officials: any Obama agencies or appointees. In GOP administrations, they are simply called “Dept of Justice” officials or whatever.


Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, July 28-August 1, 2016

Birkenstock and Granola Wing: Bernie supporters among the Dems. Aka, composters and tree-huggers. These golden nuggets from at least 25 years ago come courtesy of Karl Rove, who, ironically, seems stuck in the past while all the while belittling Hillary as a possible agent pf change.

community activist: any prosecutor who brings charges against the police. (see “rush to judgment,” below)

courts working as they should: judicial outcomes supported by the Tea Party/GOP. (see “rush to judgment, below)

Europeanizing: Obama’s weakening America by cutting the military in the name of social redistribution programs. It doesn’t seem to matter that the defense budget has grown under Obama, since he has only slowed the rate of growth. (see “public utilities, below).

failure: a matter of personal choice.

governing: about attitude, rather than experience, practicality, evidence, or reasoning. Anything that stokes tribalism, fear, and hatred fuels the Trumpinistas’ aim of political tyranny and endemic political repression.

gutting the First Amendment: any restraints on campaign financing.  Any weakening of Citizens United puts the government in charge of who precisely can speak in elections. This hyperbole works by setting up a black vs. white dichotomy: either unregulated spending (and thus unregulated speech) or totally controlled spending and speech. Thus attempts to keep big money out of politics and bring more transparency to political spending get reduced to a totalitarian clampdown on free speech.

hard-working: white.

increased minimum wage: surefire way to increase youth crime and gang activity. This classically counter-intuitive GOP/Tea Party claim is held aloft by supposition and  correlation: the unsupported assumption that higher wages lead to greatly increased youth unemployment.

public utilities: under Obama, any sector of the economy subject to federal regulation. For example, the banks are now answerable to the government first. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground in GOP/Tea Party ideology between no regulation and total regulation.

rush to judgment: any brutality charges brought against the police.

uninformed: anyone under 30 who votes against the Tea Party/GOP.

Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, July 21-25, 2016

America’s best days are behind us: according to Hillary Clinton, adhering to the Obama status quo of no growth or slow growth. This is a straw-man argument if there ever was one: no politician would ever argue that America is a has-been country.

the art of the deal: a zero-sum game.

campaign contribution financial disclosure: harassment and intimidation.

desert: what the real Americans have coming to them again: respect and opportunity. (See “respect,” below.). Migrants, liberals, the “pc” crowd, the media elite, etc. all have gotten respect they don’t deserve. This assertion of entitlement is however based on a fabled country that, paradoxically, at once has passed and never existed in the first place. Trump’s cruel conjuring trick is to summon the djinn of  hope to people who need anything but magical thinking and a false messiah.

elitist:  the default attitudinal starting point  of any Dem argument against Tea Party/GOP ideas. By definition, Tea Party opponents are not only wrong but “othered” as effete, condescending fools. “Elite” here doesn’t refer to quality, but to attitude: they only think they’re better than everyone else, but there is nothing distinguishing about them except their smug ignorance of how the world really works.

grating: Hillary ‘s voice any time she opens her pie-hole. Aka, “shouting,” “hectoring” and “scolding”.

gutting: what Dems want to do to the First and Second Amendments–see “muzzling, ” below.

justice: law and order. On the surface, Trump’s invocation of the need for law and order seems self-evident.  But, rather than being reassuring and inclusive, in Trump’s hands, “law and order” becomes threatening, ominous and divisive. The “order” Trump refers to is the old order of white privilege, and his “law” is Old Testament law, based on outrage, retribution and revenge. Old Testament law and desert are unaccommodated things without the restorative cure of New Testament love and healing.

mocking: the Dem elites’ attitude toward average Americans. Every Dem criticism of Tea Party dogma is  a case of “mocking, “moralizing” or talking down.”

muzzling. Any Dem attempt at campaign finance reform. The pc crowd wants to muzzle free speech.

progress: part of Donald Trump’s vision of order:

Our goal is justice for every American. If we are to have respect for law in America, we must have laws that deserve respect. Just as we cannot have progress without order, we cannot have order without progress, and so, as we commit to order tonight, let us commit to progress.

respect: Donald Trump’s promise to those who feel marginalized or dispossessed that they will get their country back. As David Frum argues,

Trump’s country is divided in a different way: between those who have lost a status they deserved—and those who have gained a status they do not deserve.

restless: what the blue-collar voters are this year, which is why Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan are in play.

 servant: what Donald Trump will be to “the people,” of whom he is the “voice.” More likely is that he is the puppet-master and his followers the puppets, being jerked around by a phony populist (a so-called “blue collar billionaire”) and someone pretending to not be political.

speaking from the heart: Trump’s straight-ahead, ‘tell it like it is” style that differentiates him from”the politicians” and their “political correctness.” Actually a euphemism for Trump’s unfiltered vendettas and racist, sexist or xenophobic insults. As Virginia Heffernan puts it in the NY Times,  “Casting Mr. Trump’s incitements to xenophobia and violence as heartfelt evidently makes them slightly less terrifying,” going on to add:

It’s become impossible for Mr. Trump’s supporters to lend reason or logic to his vendettas, daft misogyny, thoroughgoing racism and bloodlust. Instead, they advertise it as lovable.

theory: Dems’ “facts.” In John Oliver’s already-classic characterization, in which Trump supporters claim that candidates can create feelings,  feelings are as valid as facts,and thus candidates can create facts.

unelected judges: those appointed by Dems. Any Tea Party/GOP (unelected) appointees are called just that, never “unelected.” This rhetorical sleight-of-hand implies that Dem picks are always elitist and not the will of the people. This flirts with the argument that such judges are illegitimate because they are “unaccountable.”

unleashing innovation: the free market unleashed, the animal spirits of capitalism, unabated creative destructionism. But when has innovation ever been leashed? More likely is that fraud, greed, and

the very survival of the American Dream: imperiled by Hillary. Part of the apocalyptic , hyperbolic, baleful rhetoric of the 2016 GOP Convention.



Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, July 15-19, 2016

Black Lives Matter: anarchy and thuggishness.

contest of ideas: The ascendancy and domination of Tea Party rhetoric. This favorite phrase of Paul Ryan’s appears to champion free debate, with the best ideas winning out. In But there actually is no debate in the sense of presenting evidence and counter arguments, only dismissal of  straw-man liberal ideas. Nothing is “contested” because the fix is in.

haters: Trump’s critics. As Wesley Morris recently argued  in the New York Times:

Trump has taken “hater” further than any rapper, because he’s attained a power no rapper’s ever had. He can exploit the concept of hateration against investigative journalism, the legal system, pollsters, facts and establishment Republicans, while also being a practicing hater who can deflect the charge by making haters of his critics. He’s rubber; the rest of us are glue.

identitarians: see “race realists”, below.

justified: what the police are called when they are exonerated for committing “justifiable” homicide when killing unarmed or retrained suspects. These killings are judged to have been “by the book.” Why is it then that Hillary Clinton is not considered exonerated, or her acts “justified,” even when she is cleared by the FBI, Congressional committees, special prosecutors, etc., thus in essence determined to have gone “by the book” in terms of the rule of law?

kababs: Muslims. Aka, “rat people”.

national decline: the erosion of family values, patriotism,  respect for the sanctity of life, sexual restraint, etc. (see “personal character,” below). Also, America’s loss of respect around the world.

Negroid gun thieves: Black Lives Matter. Prehistoric cop killers.

persecution: (see “haters,” above). The establishment’s default attitude toward Trump.  Trump, acting as the persecuted, actually becomes the persecutor; posing as the victim, he becomes the bully; posing as the wronged, he becomes the avenging man on the white horse setting things right. Playing what Bill Maher calls the “whiny little bitch,” he becomes the attack dog, the insult king.

personal character: a rapidly declining quality, thanks to attitudes of victimhood, therapeutically-induced  self-justification, sloth, “identity” politics, political correctness, etc. Goes part and parcel with “national decline” (see above.)

public health threats: pornography, according to the GOP  Platform. Somehow, though, coal mining, carbon emissions, and military assault rifles are not considered threats to public health.

race realists: white supremacists.

socialist statist collectivism: life and rule under the ObamaClinton regime.

thugs:  both black teenagers and government; “thuggish government” is a redundancy, much like “legitimate government powers” is an oxymoron.