an anatomy of key memes, phrases and obsessions in Wall Street Journal editorials and other precincts of the GOP blogosphere, May 7-16, 2013
and don’t forget the four people who died in Benghazi: insert in almost any story about the IRS, the AP, Obamacare, Iran, Syria, etc. Now the rhetorical equivalent of adding “in bed” to the end of a fortune cookie message.
concerns are rising: passive voice and passive-aggressiveness combined in one opening rhetorical gambit.
Hamlet: Obama’s Syria dithering.
I don’t mean to be negative, but….: a typical Fox News correspondent’s rhetorical move after savaging Obama for a minute or so. This is usually a transition to even more savaging. Beyond passive aggressiveness. See also “concern is growing”.
overreach: any Obama administration initiative. Anything beyond a libertarian view of extremely limited government.
real facts: whatever the prevailing GOP meta-narrative is about any given issue of the day. These are always concealed by Obama, and whatever he says he can never “come clean,” both literally and symbolically.
scandal: anything the GOP finds questionable about the Obama administration. Benghazi, for example, is now always called a “scandal”, even though—like Whitewater—there is no apparent crime.
skills-based immigration: state of the artHeritage Foundation dog-whistle term for screening immigrants by projected productivity & IQ. For a devastating chronology of how this term -basically a eugenics-based argument-has evolved, see Charles Blow’s 5/9/13 NY Times column, “Terms of Art.”