Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, phrases, canards, shibboleths and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOTP language factories, Jan 24-Feb. 9, 2015

(GOTP= Grand Old Tea Party)

consumers: “the consumer is king,” but only as far as the “free market” allows. So when it comes to a regulatory crossroads such as “net neutrality,” (see “hoary regulations”, “innovation” and “micromanaging,” below), consumers are said the be the ultimate victims of government regulation. However, when it comes to tax breaks, set -asides, subsidies, lobbying, and the hobbling of financial reform, all the power flows to the corporations. The “consumer” card is only played when consumers are at the most risk from the private sector.

crony capitalism: how government works under the Dems, who are portrayed as totally corrupt. When the GOTP does it, it’s called “public policy” or “regulatory reform” or “tax reform.”

gambit: any Dem strategic move or policy statement. Worse than a “talking point.”

hoary regulations: any existing statute or policy that “throttles” the “animal spirits” of the “free market.” Regulation is thus seen as the old model of governance, deregulation as the future of governance.

innovation: in the GOTP rhetorical imaginary, a sanctified term, standing for everything that the guvment wants to either control or stifle. Innovation only happens when individuals are left alone–never mind the advent of the internet, the space program, the federal highway system, etc.

micromanaging: any statute or regulation that affect business. Guvment cannot “manage,” but only “micromanage,” because it simply wants to run (=ruin) everything.

nebulous: any Obama statement of idealism, hope or social justice. To believe the GOTP, Obama is incapable of making a principled or idealistic statement that has any coherence whatsoever–he lives in a fogged-in rhetoricalĀ  fairy land.

the political class: any Dems in power or in the public eye. GOTPers in the public eye are called “reformers” or “political leaders.”

populism, Koch-style: like “consumers” (see above), in the topsy-turvy world of GOTP rhetoric, words mean the opposite of what they’re assumed to mean, and the very people meant to be protected are left at the mercy of the corporations and super-rich. So, for example, the Koch Brothers have the audacity to claim the mantle of “populists” when they talk about how they’re going to spend a billion dollars influencing the 2016 Presidential election because they speak “for the people” and “free speech,” (though obviously paid political speech is obviously far from “free” in any sense of the word.)

power grab: any Dem law or regulation

unending spectacle: shorthand for the ragtag combination of unending scandals and ineptitudes of the Obama administration that the GOP has invented as a kind of general miasma that envelopes everything Obama does. This universal field theory links uop everything Obama does or that has happened in his administration. It gets recited as an ever-growing inventory: from Fast and Furious to Benghazi to the :reset” with Putin.

weakened US security: anything Obama says or does, especially any foreign policy. By definition, he can only do damage to America as Commander in Chief because he is on a perpetual “apology tour.”

weird and unbecoming: any criticism of America, persecutions by Christians, etc. Obama is thus “othered” in exact proportion to the severity of his criticism of any so-called “core American values.”

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