Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, dog-whistles, canards, shibboleths and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, May 13-18, 2015

Al Gore’s climate porn: any claims of climate change/global warming and, of course, any calls for responses to climate change.

blood and treasure: typical Tea Party patriot-speak.  In its weirdly antiquated wording, conjures up images of empires won and lost, noble heroism and sacrifice, etc. Implicitly serves as a call to arms, and also used to belittle Obama as not a worthy enough Commander in Chief to call for sacrifice.

a dangerous world: Tea Party-speak for an aggressive foreign policy, unilateral, armed interventions, bloated defense budgets, and uncompromising neocon “American exceptionalism”.

emboldened: what “America’s enemies” are, thanks to Obama’s feckless foreign policy.

feeling (experiencing) racism: reduces any black testimony to racist acts as “whim and fancy,” basically calling charges of racism made-up fantasies (actually, more like “pathologies”), lacking something called “public reason.” Treating racism as a false consciousness. (see “inconsequential jibes,” below), this meme explains it away.

green jihad: (aka, “Al Gore’s climate porn”, above). The alleged all-out liberal assault on American jobs and affordable housing. By conflating Islamic terrorists with climate-change scientists, this phrase neatly turns environmentalists into a group “waging war on the American people.”

handouts: any government aid to the poor, disabled, elderly, etc. When Tea Partiers get federal money, they call it getting getting own money back, even if it’s in the form of tax breaks or subsidies. In other words, the Dems always expect something for nothing.

identity politics: what the Dems get accused of whenever they mention race, class or gender. Alternatively known as playing the various “cards” (e.g., the race card), or “class warfare” or “the war on women,” but all Dem issues are ultimately trivialized as  mere “identity” issues. Somehow, a person’s very “identity”, a profound moral, ethical and cultural construct, is nothing more in this rheotical world than a “lifestyle choice,” as homosexuality used to be sneeringly characterized.

inconsequential jibes: anything Blacks call racist language or microaggressions. This is the Tea Party way of denigrating any complaints of racist language by belittling it or else saying that it’s “just part of human nature.” The basic message: get over it and end this “victim politics”. Explains away charges claims of racism as a “hoax” or “delusional discrimination fables.”

the land of the free: a Tea Party mantra, but isn’t it fundamentally false and contradictory for those in positions of dominance to proclaim universal freedom and the universal possibility of upward mobility, etc? This is an ideology whose function is to preserve the status quo by denying the poor any redistributive justice. Its continuing domination is inscribed in this claim of non-restricted freedom. The ideology of dominance is baked into the phrase itself when it is used by the Tea Party.

nurturing environment for investment: nothing says nurture quite like deregulation. “Investment” itself sounds neutral or even positive, but is actually a euphemism for profit, influence peddling, lobbying, and finding new ways around taxes and laws.

strategic atrophy: the net result of Obama’s foreign policy. Anything less than a muscular, confrontational form of American international aggression is thus framed as sapping the nation of its strength.

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