Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and metanarratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, September 25-Oct 2, 2014

the Age of Entitlement: what the Tea Party wants to repeal (aka, The New Deal)

arcane statistical analysis: Any Dem policy argument using numbers as an analytical tool. For example, “disparate impact”

bloated welfare state: part and parcel of the “Age of Entitlement” (see above). By definition, any welfare is too much, so any social safety net leads to “bloating”.

bromides: any Dem defense of principle or ideals, especially racial justice, etc.

a dangerous world: perennial justification for a foreign policy of confrontation and intrasigence; the  “peace-through-war” paradox

crisis-mongering: artificial social constructs of Dems, e.g., global warming, the war on women, gendered wage gaps, etc.

feminist-industrial complex: the nefarious modus operandi and motivation for feminism; a politically-correct cabal that censors free speech, protects their own and villifies others, challenges male power, and in general pursues an orthodoxy of vendetta.

honest elections: euphemism for voter suppression.

intrusive: any government regulation.

lifting the world out of darkness: what the US has been doing for 200 years. Not to mention deciding what constitutes the “darkness”.

retainers: any Dem political ally or aide–especially used for rich Dem donors.

politics trumping the law: what happens when Dems get their way legally. When the GOP prevails legally it’s called “original intent”.

safeguarding democratic integrity: another euphemism for voter suppression.

tendentious: any Dem argument, study, legal opinion or position paper

Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and metanarratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Aug 19-28, 2014

boundless opportunities: the infinite promise of America, which minorities (“takers”) fail to realize because their culture of dependency is “transmitted” (see below) like a virus.

earned success: the Protestant Ethic is alive and well. Worldly success must be “deserved” and “earned”, not bestowed by charity or statist governments.

fanning the flames: what anyone does who still talks about race (see “real racists,” and “insulting whites,” below).

higher education accountability: how quickly and thoroughly a college major “pays for itself.”  If anthropology can’t be shown to have any “cash value,” then who needs it? 

insulting whites:   what anyone does who still talks about race (see “real racists,” below).

making race irrelevant: theoretically the outcome of the free market, in which all boats rise on a surging tide. Actually, what the GOP devoutly wishes for, thus avoiding having to pretend to care about minorities.

mindless martinets: aka, “radical utopian statists”.

nihilism:  the underlying basis and ultimate outcome of Obamaian “idealism”, which is  really a form of totalitarianism.

nobility: a master-trope of right-wing rhetoric, summarizing everything Obama is said to be lacking: dignity, courage, honesty, steadfastness, patriotism.

opportunist: anyone who still talks about race or accepts any government “handout”.

race-traitors: any white people defending Michael Brown or criticizing the Ferguson police.

real racist: anyone who still talks about race.

shakedown: any fine on big banks, real estate mortgagers or brokerages.

transmitted: how the “culture of dependency” spreads. Equates social assistance and safety net  programs with a disease.

voter turnout: a Democratic “trick” or “stunt”.

worship of creation: what the “secular leftist” climate change believers do instead of praying to “the God of creation”.  The last refuge of atheistic, heathen haters of the free market.

Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and metanarratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, July 23-28, 2014

albatross: a “taker”; anyone getting any social safety net support. (See also “deadbeats,” below.)

altruism: liberal innocence and idealism; well-meaning but clueless responses to political issues. Also represented as a cover for Dem hypocrisy and corruption. Always used as a smear.

cocktail-hour convictions: another sneering characterization of Dem idealism and cant. A clever, catch-all phrase insofar as it encapsulates Dem elitism, hypocrisy, self-indulgence, and lack of any core moral beliefs.

contracts: part of Paul Ryan’s paternalistic “opportunity grants”; a new level of government monitoring of anyone receiving any form of public assistance.

craven: any Obama foreign policy response short of either armed invasion or massive supplies of weapons. (See “dithering” , below.)

deadbeat: anyone on any form of government financial assistance. The takers.

dithering: any Obama foreign policy response short of either armed invasion or massive supplies of weapons. (See “craven” above)

drive-by shooting: any regulatory or judicial policy or decision opposed by the Tea Party.

low-information voters:  Condescending dismissal of Obama supporters in 2008 & 2012. Easily swayed by race-baiting and promises of handouts. After all, anyone with enough information would vote GOP.

magnet:  Obama’s masterplan to grant blanket amnesty to Central American refugees, thus creating a whole new generation of Dem voters.

opportunity grants: formerly known as block grants. Part of Paul Ryan’s plan to give the states the power to shrink public assistance to a drip

the Party of Ideas: the GOP. Principled, selfless, and objective. Dems, by comparison, are amoral, self-serving and selfish.

prosecutorial zeal: the root cause of any indictment of a GOP political official or a corporate executive.

a real President: what the US has lacked since 2009.  GOP commentators have never accepted Obama as a legitimate president.

root causes. Getting behind Dem hypocrisy to the basics. For example, the “root causes” of poverty are laziness, fraud, and promiscuity.

self-sufficiency: what the poor are accused of never “reaching” or even aspiring toward.

sexual moralism: liberal political correctness on any issues related to rape, birth control, or sexual harrassment. Moralism is not the same as morality, since the Dems are inherently amoral or immoral.


Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and metanarratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, June 16-20, 2014

abdication: all O admin foreign policy, which has conceded all moral and political ground to the jihadists, Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and Assad. This charge of pacifism is the binary in the false narrative that our foreign policy must either be muscularly interventionist or isolationist.

control: the only thing “liberals” really want–what the Tea Party incoherently calls “control over our lives.” This “control” is something that can only be “restored” after the Tea Party takes the White House in 2016. (see “restore,” below).

deviancy: the O admin’s determined crusade to make the “normal” seem “deviant” and the “deviant” seem “normal.”

Draconian: any O admin regulation or policy.

greed: the motivating urge of all Gays, who defy nature due to unbridled lust.

hard truths: anything the Tea Party believes in, and, thus by extension, everything the O admin can’t face or even perceive. Part of the GOP’s rhetorical masterplay of fashioning themselves as the “daddy party”.

intrusion: formerly known as “government”.

Munchkin Metternichs: everyone serving in the Obama  State Dept. or foreign policy advisory team.

restore: the Tea Party task after they win the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016: “restore America to itself”. Another doomed search for a lost utopia that never was.

reverse Robin Hood: the O admin’s determined crusade to “make the poor richer and the rich poorer”.

show trials: GOP term for any judicial action against bankers, CEOs, polluters, or Wall Street execs.

squandered freedom: (see “zombie ideas”, below). The entirely fanciful notion that we Obama has “lost” a war that we had “won” in Iraq. See previous incarnations of this meme: “who lost China?”,  “who lost Vietnam?”

world order: interpreted by the GOP as entirely dependent on American power.

zombie ideas: ideas that are are thoroughly discredited, but can’t seem to be killed off. For example, trickle-down economics; “we won the war in Iraq”; “global warming is a hoax”; “our health care system is the envy of the world”, or  “the more unregulated financial markets are, the better they will perform”.


Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and metanarratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, June 9-15 2014

anchor of stability (Iraq): nostalgia for a lost world that never was; the fleeting phantom of Middle East peace and stability, rooted in Baghdad

the approved victim scorecard: part of the so-called “victim industry,” this meme is just another version of what used to be sneeringly called “political correctness”. Implies that every liberal position is politically calculated and has no moral center.(See below, “privilege of sexual assault victims”).

crusaders: mocking, belittling term for anyone with a strong belief, taking a principled stand. Thus those who support the free market are said to be taking a common sense, moral stand, but anyone “supporting” (as if it’s a matter of opinion) climate change or inequality, is a crusader. This also implies that such liberals are fighting a holy war.

cronyism: what Dems do when they govern, only “ladling out” (or, see below, “funnel”) benefits to their politically-correct friends. When Republicans do this, it’s just called governing.

frivolity (self-indulgence, silliness):increasingly, almost any policy position or initiative the Obama administration undertakes. Implies that they are amateur and childish.

funneling: what cronys do.

hacks: any Congressional Democrat, administration official, or member of the “lame stream media”.

post-American world: assuming that America has abdicated its position of dominant world power, this is the GOP version of a Hobbesian world where either power or religious fanaticism rule. America as a “pitiful, helpless giant”. This is yet another false GOP binary: either intervene forcefully in Syria, Egypt, Libya, the Ukraine, Iraq, etc. or cravenly disengage. This lack of a middle ground of constructive engagement implies that everyone else in the world is “other”.

privilege (of sexual assault victims): George Will’s particularly vile column suggesting that college women bring sexual assault charges to gain instant social and political prestige and advantage. How long will it be before the GOP starts insinuating that “charges” of slavery are used for political privilege?

trampling: what Dem policies do to democracy, speech, religious freedom, the free market, etc.


Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, and innuendos in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, March 21-26, 2014

Bambi: Obama, over matched by Putin. Aka, wimp, eunuch, Neville Chamberlain, a “shrinking violet”.

cakes for gay weddings:just the start of Obama’s state-sponsored coercion and terrorism aimed at the religious right.

culture of license:what elite America has been fighting since the Mayflower; the essential licentiousness that threatens to undo American resolve and hard work. Also linked to the hippies in the 1960s; part of the general theory that the advent of the birth control pill hijacked rock-ribbed Republican America. We are now said to be entirely given over to “the political-sexual whims of those who hold power”.

hordes:never a good thing–always has a kind if “barbarians at the gates” feel to it. The latest manifestation is Paul Ryan’s obsession with hordes of black youth just hanging around, aka “a culture of license”.

innovation and entrepreneurship: the animal spirits of capitalism. Terms reserved for the kinds of business and industries the GOP approves of. When it comes to alternative energy startups for example, the “innovation” becomes “hoodwinking” and “entrepreneurship” becomes “crony capitalism,” and a “boondoggle”.

mandate for social justice:non-existent in the US Constitution, yet wrongly assumed to be a fundamental driving force in government, at least in Obamaland. The rallyoing cry of “the noble deserving”. (see below)

the noble deserving:always used ironically to describe the “takers,” the sanctified poor who, as beneficiaries of redistribution policies, are to blame for the financial/housing bubble, Benghazi, Crimea, and probably even Flight 370.

overweening:mandatory modifier for “state”; in Obamaland,  all government actions and policies are by definition smug, presumptuous, arrogant, and excessive.

 property rights: the bedrock American rights. Always said to be “freedom-advancing”.

prosperity by trade and contract: what the government exists to guarantee. The business of America is business.

the supposedly benevolent state:maybe they’ll just start using “supposedly” instead of air quotes to establish irony.

willful:(see also “overweening,” above): any principled stand or policy of the Obama administration. The alternative to being “willful” is capitulation, aka, “putting aside partisan political bickering”.


Parallel GOP Universes: Hyperbolic and Counter-Intuitive Myths, Claims and Canards, September 27-30 2013

1. There’s a new front-runner for the gold medal in hyperbole surrounding the Financial Meltdown. In a recent Wall Street Journal posting, former AIG CEO Robert Benmosche compared the national outrage about AIG’s bonuses to the lynching of blacks in the South

The uproar over bonuses was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that-sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

This is another triple dog-whistle, combining racism, class warfare, and martyrdom memes.

Matt Taiibi, Rolling Stone offers a particularly Twainian spin on this vile callousness.

Benmosche takes over the top spot in clueless hyperbole from Warren Buffet’s partner, Charlie Munger:

the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., defended the U.S. financial-company rescues of 2008 and told students that people in economic distress should “suck it in and cope.”

“You should thank God” for bank bailouts, Munger said in a discussion at the University of Michigan on Sept. 14, according to a video posted on the Internet. “Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies.”

Bloomberg, 9/20/2010

2. ObamaCare continues to generate alternative rhetorical universes, the latest of which is the stupendous GOP claim that:

This is a President who is eager to negotiate with dubiously elected Iranian mullahs but can’t abide compromise with duly elected leaders of Congress.

Wall Street Journal, 9/30/13

Another Journal editorial repeats the canard that, under the ACA, Americans will no longer be able too specialists, but will have to get wait-listed at dreaded “community hospitals”.

Obamacare Arrives, WSJ, 9/30/13

Yet a third counter-intuitive ACA claim comes from the National Review‘s Mark Steyn

In America, “insuring” against disaster now costs more than you’d pay in most countries for disaster….

followed by a launch into rhetorical hyperspace:

 Obamacare is something new in American life: the creation of a massive bureaucracy charged with downsizing you — to a world of fewer doctors, higher premiums, lousier care, more debt, fewer jobs, smaller houses, smaller cars, smaller, fewer, less; a world where worse is the new normal. Would Americans, hitherto the most buoyant and expansive of people, really consent to live such shrunken lives? If so, mid-20th-century America and its assumptions of generational progress will be as lost to us as the Great Ziggurat of Ur was to 19th-century Mesopotamian date farmers.

“Worse Is the New Normal

A further low point in GOP race-baiting came with the brilliantly -perverse rhetorical  double word score from a Republican state representative, conflating health care and racism:

In what may be the party’s lowest moment throughout this debacle, Republican state Rep. William O’Brien of New Hampshire said Obamacare is every bit as bad as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. President Obama naturally scoffed at the very idea, but O’Brien defended the analogy. “Just as the Fugitive Slave Act was an overreach by the federal government,” he told the Manchester Union Leader, “so too we understand that Obamacare is an assault on the rights of individuals.” That claim explains a lot about right-wing thinking, where callousness toward universal healthcare is exceeded only by ignorance of slavery.

Perhaps the phrase “just as” can be used as an incantation in Tea Party rhetoric, magically tying their own narrow political goals to universal values. But in the real world – the one informed by actual history and human experience – there is no meaningful similarity between slavery and health insurance (apart from the fact that both have been the subject of federal legislation). The very comparison is deeply insulting to human rights. Slavery was an evil system of unspeakable brutality, while national health insurance, at the very worst, involves a little bit of additional bureaucracy.

According to O’Brien, the Fugitive Slave Act violated states’ rights “to determine their policies as to slavery,” as though that was the greatest problem with the law. Completely missing from his tone-deaf analysis was any consideration of the impact on the fugitives themselves. Black people, not states, were the real victims of the Fugitive Slave Act

Salon, “GOP’s Most Shameful Shutdown Moment”

3. Over at Red State, the canard that Obama has “downsized” and diminished America continues in another key, again stigmatizing the poor by saying that they couldn’t even feed themselves without government help:

Current liberal theories say there’s no way America could possibly survive the hellish conditions of relatively modest government and broad economic liberty that existed just a few generations ago.  In fact, they tell us Obama’s America would die under the comparatively small government of Bill Clinton.  We are not the people we once were.  We’re weak and foolish.  We could not be trusted with the hammers and drills out Greatest Generation used to rebuild the world after the defeat of the Axis.  We can only be properly nourished and protected if the government spends far more money than it actually has, on a permanent basis.  A rapidly growing portion of the American population cannot even be trusted to feed itself without government assistance.  The number of important issues we’re even permitted to vote on is dwindling as quickly as the sphere of personal liberty.

If we didn’t buy all that hogwash, we could throw off the weight of Big Government, patch the leaky pipes of corruption, put a stop to absurd government waste, burn off the strangling vines of regulation, and restart the economy in fairly short order.  But we do buy it.  At least, a critical Dependency Class buys it enough to keep the Ruling Class in power.  This didn’t happen spontaneously.  Decline was pushed a few inches at a time, across the span of a century, until American confidence rotted away enough to let them push for feet instead of inches.  We were not willing to sacrifice our pride all at once.  It took a while to make us forget what we were once capable of.

We didn’t really get the government we deserved.  We got what we no longer had the strength to refuse.  We gave up what we no longer valued enough to defend.  And we didn’t pay enough attention to how the process was changing us.  The great remaining question is whether we can re-discover enough trust in one another to be great again. The Ruling Class is skeptical.

“We Get the Government We Submit To”, Red State.

4. Hyperbole alert: In one of his classic end-of-the world jeremiads on the National Review website, Victor Davis Hanson claims that Obama calls his opponents “veritable” terrorists and Romney a “veritable ogre” (“veritable” used as a weasel word to soften the harshly hyperbolic nature of his claim):

In his political style, Obama seems to operate on the medieval concept of exemption. Through lofty spoken abstractions, he excuses low behavior. Praising “civility” allows you to call your opponents veritable terrorists; talk of unity means energizing supporters to get in their opponents’ face; advocacy of a campaign of principles reduces Romney to a veritable ogre. Plenty of presidents have proved vicious, but few so adept in attributing their own base behavior to others.

Not stopping there, Hanson goes on to counter-intuitively claim that that it’s Obama’s fault that America is more racially divided than ever, even though Obama has done everything he can to lower the racial temperature:

The result is that race relations have become more polarized than at any other time in the last 30 years. Under Obama’s leadership, celebrities, political analysts, and politicians traffic more in racial animus than at any other time in our recent history. Obama has had an uncanny ability to energize the Black Caucus to voice unusually inflammatory charges. How did it happen that suddenly Chris Rock and Jamie Foxx sound racially biased? When did the post-election commentary of pundits (e.g., “too old, too white, too male”) become so race-based?

As a cherry on top of this rhetorical sundae, he also uses the canard that buying guns is harder than ever:

There is no new restrictive legislation on firearms; and yet never has the ability to buy reasonably priced ammunition and firearms in quantity been more curtailed. In loudly threatening to enact more gun control after each publicized tragic shooting, the Obama administration has created a climate of fear, which has prompted hoarding, shortages, panic buying, and paranoia, which have accomplished what the federal government could not.

“Obama Transforming America,” Victor Davis Hanson, National Review