an anatomy of key memes, phrases and obsessions in Wall Street Journal editorials and other precincts of the GOP blogosphere, April 20-27, 2013
blinking: any perceived Obama weakness or wavering. His two biggest recent “blinks” included chemical weapons in Syria and sequester-related FAA furloughs.
failed second term: Noonan and Krauthammer chime in on the same day that Obama’s second term is over—that Obama fatigue has set in. Never mind that Noonan has been saying this weekly for about three years.
harm offensive: any unpopular sequester-related cuts. The meme is that Obama “will even out the American public in physical danger to make cheap political points.”
permission structure: any GOP agreement to anything proposed by Obama. Permission is to be withheld at all times on all fronts. As Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) put it after the failure to pass a background check bill, “In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”
productive investment: private sector investment. Any entitlement spending is considered an unproductive form of redistribution. A variation on the “makers vs. takers” meme.
restraint: government regulation. According to GOP fiscal orthodoxy, less restraint translates into faster growth, even though it was the lack of regulatory restraint that led to the financial meltdown and recession.
risk-taking: almost always paired with “restraint”. The logic again is that the more unfettered the “risk takers”, the faster the economy grows. With their panoply of subsidies, tax breaks & shelters, legal immunities, barriers to entry, and de-unionization legislation, the “risks” seem pretty well hedged these days.
terrifying: the current mandatory qualifier used with Obamacare.
union teachers: never just “teachers”.