Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and meta-narratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Oct 29-Nov 7, 2014

arcane reporting rules: almost any language attached to regulatory oversight, especially in the much-despised compliance guidelines of Dodd-Frank or any challenge to what Paul KrUgman calls “the sacred pursuit of profit”.

the Democratic base: NARAL, ACORN and the media.

the deserving party.  Believing themselves to be harder working and more virtuous than Dems (especially minorities), the GOP feels that it deserves to rule.

fiscal responsibility: in Tea Party/GOP scripting, this always means tax and spending cuts. By this logic, the main responsibility of government is NOT to spend–a curious paradox. An alternative view would be that government’s fiscal responsibility is to stimulate the economy and make sure there is full employment and massive investments in the future (i.e., education & infrastructure). As in most of these rhetorical impasses, it comes down to rights vs. duties: is government defined by freedom from spending or the freedom to spend?

getting things done in the Senate: blocking Obama (see “poisoning the well,” below)

inescapable conclusions: the culmination of a whole chain of tortured GOP reasoning. So, it’s inescapable that Obama’s is a “failed Presidency” because of low poll numbers, driven by a “feckless” foreign policy, a listless economy, a “hated” health care program, an animus against business and finance, a foolish obsession with mythical “global warming,” and “racial divisiveness”. If any of these cartoonish oversimplifications were evn half true, then there might be grounds for debate, but, collectively, their logic hardly seems “inescapable” or even coherent.

a law of necessity: something considered so obvious and inevitable that it is taken for granted: that unregulated markets do best; that only low taxes spur growth; Manifest Destiny”; the City on a Hill”; rugged individualism. If you are a true believer in the necessity of your cause, then it’s your duty to push that cause whatever the method. The ends justify the memes. Thus the ardor of orthodoxy.

moral posturing: having a moral position inimical to Tea Party orthodoxy; any hint of idealism or principle in Democrats, always suspected to be “political correctness,”–self-advancement  posing as moral rectitude.

outdated Democratic policies: minimum wage, equal pay for women, anti-discrimination laws, access to contraceptives.

poisoning the well: in post-midterms rhetoric, to the Tea Party/GOP this means any Obama executive action, even if lawful. They might just impeach him for being President.

political mistake: in Tea Party sarcasm mode, making a profit is seen as the most politically incorrect thing of all. Part of Obama’s “war on business,”–you know, the Kenyan socialist’s secret agenda as proven by record high corpoRate profits and stock valuations.

social engineering shakedowns: any government regulation. The midterm tsunami has trumpeted the doom of redistributionism, Big Government, social engineering–all the sneers that the GOP/Tea Party has used to characterize Democratic politics & policy.

unproductive: pretty much any regulation the Republicans don’t like.

unseemly: any Dem attack on Tea Party positions or principles, or, more broadly, any Dem show of “partisanship,” itself a devil word in this context. For instance, it’s unseemly for President Obama to bring “partisan” perspectives to racial issues such as Ferguson or Trayvon Martin. Synonyms include “ungracious” and “grubby”. This family of “scold” words is Peggy Noonan’s habitual arsenal when she’s excoriating Obama.

Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and meta-narratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, October 22-28, 2014Tea Party
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