Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, dog-whistles, canards, shibboleths and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, June 3-June 10, -2015

bait and switch: Tea Party characterization of all social science research. The conceit is that most social science research is “cooked”–inherently biased and fraudulent. Political assertion masquearding as empiricism. Such fraudulence enables liberals claiming research as objective science, and then substitute it for “reality”.

crackpot: anything to the left of Ted Cruz. Bernie Saunders could call for the universal right to access to food and water and he’d still be labeled a crackpot. Anything from a cracked pot is suspect.

cynical: any of Hillary’s policy positions or statements, which are all considered to be calculated. The more effective her campaign, the more cynical it is characterized as being. (see “overheated,” below)

flexibiity: the Tea Party defense of “block grants,” an insidious budgeting device which just transfers the pains of making cuts down to the local level. The only flexibility involved in block grants  is what to cut, and by how much.

left wing: any talk of human rights or income inequality. As Bill Moyers and Michael Winship point out:

The progressive agenda isn’t “left wing.” (Can anyone using the term even define what “left wing” means anymore?) The progressive agenda is America’s story — from ending slavery to ending segregation to establishing a woman’s right to vote to Social Security, the right to organize, and the fight for fair pay and against income inequality. Strip those from our history and you might as well contract America out to the US Chamber of Commerce the National Association of Manufacturers, and Karl Rove, Inc.

At their core, the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society programs were aimed at assuring every child of a decent education, every worker a decent wage, and every senior a decent retirement; if that’s extreme, so are the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.

massive expansion: any new EPA regulatory action.

Normative America: Normative America prized hard work, personal responsibility, individual merit, delayed gratification, and social mobility–all values that the Tea Partiers say have been supplanted by the liberal redistributionist state.

overheated: any successful Hillary policy or rhetorical thrust.

phony issue: any of the leading Dem positions: the war on women, voting rights (see below), climate change, racial justice, inequality, etc. The Tea Party always tries to undercut any Dem position first by claiming that it is largely fictional, and second, by claiming that the Dems are making it up because they are cynically manipulating the dumb Americans who keep electing them President.

“real live experiment”:   Sam Brownback’s characterization of his radical economic and social policies in Kansas, which have resulted in drastic tax cuts, leading to massive cuts in medical coverage (especially Medicaid), higher poverty rates, lower economic growth rates, higher jobless rates, and a downgrade in the state’s credit rating. Voodoo economics unleashed!

relitigate: any attempt to examine and even judge the root causes of the financial crisis or the Iraq War. Even if few of the key actors in either scandal were ever prosecuted (due to being “too big to fail” or  legal immunity), the presumption is that these issues were already “litigated.” Hardly the “Truth and reconciliation Commission” to approach to culpability and owning up to the past.

supine, flaccid and impotent: Obama’s foreign policy, especially towards Iran. Obama just can’t get it up for America. On the other hand, Rand Paul seems To be the only Tea Party candidate not panting for full penetration into the Middle East.

voting rights: one of the “phoniest of issues”–a phantom menace. Like counterfeit money, it looks like the real thing but has no value. Thus any claims about its mere existence are dismissed out of hand. For example, the fact that there have only been a handful of documented voter fraud cases is only because the Dems have been in charge of the investigations (Sort of like flyer saucer wackos who claim the government is suppressing the evidence.) Likewise, any claim of racism or the targeting of minorities is itself called racist.

wild and unsubtantiated: any successful Hillary claim about the effects of Tea Party policy or governance.

the world’s only superpower: Is it Fortress America, or what was known in the mid-60’s as a “pitiful, helpless giant”? You have to wonder where this anachronistic (not to say hubristic) term even came from in the first place. Comic books? Uncle Sam in a Caped Crusader leotard?

runaway government: basically, any government. or at least anything that entails any increase in taxes, redistribution, or regulation. This bedrock Tea Party definition of government guarantees Congressional gridlock.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s