Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, phrases, canards, shibboleths and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOTP language factories, Dec. 29, 2014-Jan 6, 2015

note: GOTP=Grand Old Tea Party

adherence to the rule of law: like “Constitutional originalism” or “American exceptionalism,” this is a GOTP appeal to so-called natural law.  By definition, any GOTP law or policy is orderly and supportive of “common sense” values, whereas any Dem law or policy is by definition unruly, irrational, and socially destructive. Just another instance of “how the GOTP saved civilization” rhetoric.

balancing : lip-service phrase for seeming to compromise when you actually have no intention. Somehow, the “balance” always seems to tip in favor of the GOTP. For example, fracking proponents argue that they are willing to “balance” (or “take into account”–another weasle phrase) their position against “environmental concerns.” But they always have their finger on the scale: when the “balancing” is done, the fix is in.

first principles: GOTP bedrock: Constitutional originalism (always “strictly adhered to”), limiting the federal government, and protecting individual liberties. Dems, by contrast, don’t have “principles” so much as “dogmas” or “ideologies”. GOTP “first principles” serve “the people,” whereas Dem policies serve “cronies and special interests.”

gridlock is a good thing: only GOTP Congress members–people with government jobs, being paid with taxpayer money–has the audacity to say that Washington gridlock is a good thing because it means no governmental acts are taking place.  Using their usual form of reverse English, where everything means its opposite, their highest principles are thus realized when they get paid for doing nothing.

judicial engagement:  when the GOTP agrees with court decisions; judicial “activism”, on the other hand, is when courts implement Dem laws & policies, or overturn GOTP laws & policies,. (see “adherence to the rule of law,” above)

malign: what libs do when they criticize the police.

market-driven and patient-centered: the paradox at the heart of the GOTP’s Obamacare alternatives. This mythical creature could also be called a griffin, minotaur or dragon: pure fantasy. As if anything that is purely “market driven” can be anything other than that.

mob: any public gathering opposing GOTP policies or positions. Sometimes, in a nifty bit of thinly-veiled racism, it’s called a “lynch-mob mentality”. When Teabaggers gather, it’s simply called a “crowd.”

self-government: since any government is axiomatically nothing but “meddlesome,” it’s useful for the GOTP to enforce this dichomy netween “free people” somehow governing themselves, and “Washington — its officeholders-for-life, its strangling bureaucratic sprawl, its incestuous network of staffers and lobbyists, its naked cronyism, and its invested media.” Apparently, every person is to be a government of one; radical self-reliance without any mitigating mutuality; freedom without responsibility.

the time for debate is over: what either side says when they are losing the argument.


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