Glossary: Key memes, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, October 2-6, 2015

America the Horrible:  the way that Obama wants the rest of the world to view America; started with his “apology tour.”

containment: short of a magical thinking solution of annihilation, the default Tea Party strategy for dealing with the  Iranians, Russians, Chinese, ISIS, etc. As our disastrous wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have proven, containment is exactly what you are guaranteed not to get with a strategy of belligerent intervention or occupation. Generally, it can be said that Republicans want to contain an increasingly complex, porous, globalized world, and so their foreign policy is stuck in a rigid Cold War mentality. Like a hammer, it thinks everything that it sees is a nail to be pounded back into its rightful place.

human tragedy: a magic incantation designed to ward off any government action proposed as a response to any horrific event or act. Evil exists in every human heart, and government only encourages more evil. The prime example of this is gun control legislation proposed in the face of school shootings. Any attempt to regulate gun sales is a fairy tale.

Iraqi stabilization: was “just around the corner” before Obama halted it. In actuality, this is every bit as much of a chimera as our ever-elusive victory in Vietnam, our defeating the Taliban, “Syrian moderates”, or the chances of Iran becoming a secular open society.

mental illness: another magic incantation used to ward off any gun control legislation. Never mentioned again after the latest gun control furor dies down.

national interest: national ego, as pointed out by Eugene Robinson.

radical turn: any Dem leftward policy proposal. Anything less than Tea Party doctrine.

the rest of us: Republican voters. Aka, “the silent majority,” “the real Americans,” “the average Joe,” etc. Anyone who doesn’t vote for the Tea Party is a member of the “elite,” despite the fact that the majority of voters in the past two presidential and congressional elections have voted Democratic. Apparently, by this Yogi Berra logic, an elite can paradoxically also be a majority. Also, presumably, this “rest of us” group would prefer as little government as possible.

social ills: the fictional bogeyman that causes all of America’s problems,  in the minds of all Dems.

stuff happens: The Jeb Bush approach to school shootings. Why not extend this callous and calculated blanket amnesty to epidemics, arson, or unsafe products?

taking personal rights away from the rest of us: the harm that government does because any government regulatory act  “violates our liberty.”  This is especially true with gun control.

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