Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, and innuendos in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, March 27-April 3, 2014

abdication: any regulatory retreat by the Obama administration on an issue important to the GOP. Even though government and regulation are routinely demonized, they sometimes come in handy–most recently when it comes to internet registration.

“affordable housing”:  now always put in fright quotes, to denote the hypocrisy and nefariousness of anyone  supporting such a position. The “affordable housing crowd” is of course still being blamed for the financial meltdown.

broadened opportunity: prosperity for the few, by reducing opportunity for the many. See also, “upward mobility”).

creative destructionism: outsourcing, corporate takeovers, globalization.

crowd: any Dem interest group, however broadly defined. Not exactly a mob–more like a suspect group, with parochial self interests. A good recent example is  “the affordable housing crowd” (see above).

devolution: an oldie-but-a-goodie from the Thatcher era. The kissin’ cousin of privatization, its latest avatar is one of the centerpieces of the latest Ryan budget (aka, the race to adversity): devolving all safety net programs to the states, in the form of a lump sum payment. (David Cameron is also trying this one on for size in Britain).

disrespecting the citizens:apparently, according to Charles Koch, any form of government regulation. Government regulation, in the Koch Brothers’ universe, is nothing but a form of “collectivization,” always a pejorative term. In simple Kochean terms, “more government equals less liberty”. Why bother, then, to have any government at all?

effective safety net: as in the latest Paul Ryan budget, the only acceptable funding levels for social services presume draconian cuts in current budgets. “Effectiveness,” like its cousin, “efficiency,” is not defined by human well-being but by how little the government ends up doing or providing.

elites:educated, critical thinkers. (Thanks for that definition to Mike Lofgren, in his book “The Party Is Over”).

expeditions:semantically related to “fishing trip”, these are Dem forays into policy issues or initiatives, always with a hidden agenda.

fidelity to the law: what Obama, as Imperial President, is said to lack.

improving access to college: turning colleges and universities into voc tech institutes.

introducing competition and innovation into Medicare:a key element of the new Ryan budget. “Competition” in this case of course means privatization.”Innovation” (sometimes called “modernization”) in this case of course means new ways to get seniors off the federal budget. “Competition and innovation” together are the black hole at the center of the GOP political economy: they suck every human service into their vortex, never to be seen again as federal expenditures.

markets and merit: the only definition of, and way to, any concept of prosperity and well-being. Only made possible by “competition” and “choice” (though this is NOT a “pro-choice” position).

modernizing health care:  privatizing and deregulating.

one-sixth of the economy: an epithet, or mantra, for the Affordable Care Act. Most commonly used in the phrase “trying to transform one-sixth of the economy”, as if the very idea of trying to do so is laughable.

real world president: obviously not the space alien incumbent we have in the White House. of course, the last “real world” President we had got us involved in two “real” unwinable wars in the Middle East and supported po0licies that directly lead to a “real” financial meltdown.

restoring the value of work: assumes right off the bat that “some” Americans (Paul Ryan can tell you which ones), are lazy freeloaders and need to be “restored” to the American Dream.

state power: in the Tea Party world, it’s almost always better to let the “laboratories of democracy” decide national issues, except when it isn’t. For example, the Republican mantra of making it possible to sell insurance across state lines, thus taking insurance regulation out of the hands of the state. Of course, when you think about it, if the states can’t do and the feds shouldn’t do it, then maybe there won’t be any regulation at all! A pure experiment in Social Darwinism!

a straightforward matter of statutory construction: any legal position held by the GOP/Tea Party.

upward mobility: Ok for those who’ve got it. Made ever more impossible by Tea Party economic policies.

worker flexibility: if corporations are people, my friend, why not let Walmart run the Department of Labor? Then we’ll see just how “flexible” and Gumby-like US workers can be.

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