Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, and innuendoes in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Jan. 30–Feb 3, 2014.

America’s calming presence: it’s worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan–both part of the new Pax Americana.

bureaucrats: formerly known as public servants. Always an invidious condemnation in GOP rhetoric.

democratic freedoms: invoked as being endangered any time Democrats call for new laws on guns, voting rights, right to life, women’s health care, or campaign finance. (See “rights, liberty and justice”, below).

efforts to improve competition: any GOP reform that shield business from competition, regulation, scrutiny, or litigation.

evidence-based science:  any study that undercuts the ‘theory” of climate change. Doesn’t matter what the quality of the evidence is, just that there be the whiff of some.

extreme and muddled beliefs: climate change, women’s rights, voting rights, financial and environmental regulation, workplace safety, Endangered Species Act, immigration amnesty. “Extremism” is always portrayed as “muddled”, as in not clear or “rational”.

green indulgence: any environmental protection regulations or legislation. “Indulgence” does double rhetorical duty here, suggesting both naivete (as in indulging a child), and a nefarious payoff.

imperial presidency: Any attempt by Obama to act by executive order. Never mind that he has issued fewer executive orders or signing statements than any recent President.

private investment: doing anything to undermine this is always absolutely unacceptable.

protectionism (and poison pills): labor rights and woprkplace safety, environmental laws, minimum wage, childhood labor laws.

rationally balancing risks and benefits: hint: in this “rational” exercise, the benefits of deregulation always outweigh the risks. When the GOP uses the word “rational,” they have their thumb on the scale.

reform:  used to mean protection against harmful effects of unfettered capital markets, now, in GOP/Tea Party parlance, means removing those protections.

rights, liberty and justice: the core sustaining rhetoric of the libertarian-leaning, “don’t tread on me”  Right. Includes “freedom from” being told what to do and “freedom to” do whatever you want. No implicit sense of obligation, communitarianism or social contract. The “justice” dimension is derived from getting what is due you, not from a Rawlsian theory of distributed and balanced outcomes. Sometimes called “democratic freedoms”.

sacrifice: what the GOP pays lip service to but only the poor and middle class seem to actually have to make.

unilateral action: any Obama policy; the only way an “Imperial President” can govern.

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