Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, and innuendoes in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Feb 4–7, 2014.

abortion: now rhetorically relabeled as an iniquitous “inequality”.

assortative mating: one of the reasons the poor stay poor, and why redistributionists are now called antimarriagists.

bonanzas: free trade pacts, Keystone, etc. Always treated as if there are no downsides, externalities, trade-offs, etc. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

“capitalists”: having some to see that this is now a pejorative term, GOPers are now starting to put it in scare quotes, as if to say, we aren’t mean old unfeeling capitalists, we’re just warm and fuzzy “job creators”.

cocoon: previously known as that benign, benighted thing called “the social safety net”, but now seen as a refuge for ne’re do-wells.

envy: the bedrock emotion underlying any calls for social justice or redistribution.

flake socialist: the new mandatory description of Mayor De Blassio.

the grown-ups in the room: in Congress, anyone opposing Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. The “grown-ups” are the only people you can “trust”.

“losing your job”: exactly what the CBO appendix in their Obamacare report did NOT say people were doing. On the contrary, people are giving up some or all of their jobs in some instances because health care (or, rather, the fear of losing health insurance),  no longer has the power make cowards of us all.

the New Class: rich and highly-educated people who didn’t vote Republican.

Obamafascism: No wonder they’re engaging in Perkins’ version of Krystallnacht. Also refers to the “mobs” who are giving Wall Street “the pitchfork treatment”.

parasitic and malignant: bureaucrats, who are also always modified by the adjective “stifling”.

political pluralism: the kind of inclusive, consensus building that the Obama admin supposedly has by-passed in all of its “imperial” hauteur. When the GOP says pluralism, though, they mean just always getting their way–their way to “compromise”.

wealth-shaming: see “envy”, above.

the workers’ party: the latest laughable GOP effort at re-branding. This time they align themselves with the workers because they want to do away with Obamacare, workplace safety, environmental regulation, financial reform and union rights–all of which are, of course, “job-killers”.

Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, and innuendoes in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, New Year’s edition, January, 2014.

agitprop: any Democractic policy statement or any op-ed piece criticizing Tea Party positions. Anything the Dems say is propaganda; anything the Tea Party says is public policy and common sense.

anticapitalists: environmentalists.

card: any Democratic moral position. Always a cynical ploy, as in “playing the race card”. which currently characterized as being in the same suit and hand as other Democratic “cards”: fairness, victimhood, equality, justice. Away to demean all of these moral claims, and demote them to self-serving propaganda status.

civic courtesy: the indecent lack of grace Democrats exhibit every time they criticize the GOP.

consequences: often used by the GOP as a pejorative term for outcomes. “Consequences” are almost always connoted as negative–as in the phrase, “truth or consequences”. Thus, for example, the ACA is said to have nothing but “negative consequences,” whereas tax cuts have nothing but stimulative effects and positive economic outcomes.

cooperation: the new euphemism for competition.

crowd: any Democratic or liberal advocacy group,  always a nefarious, corrupt, and self-serving. e.g.: “the global warming crowd”.

disincentivizing: the overall effect of any government aid programs the GOP opposes, from unemployment benefits to food stamps. Government “handouts” are the opposite of the only force known to truly incentivize: the “free” market. Only regulation and social welfare are holding back a truly Darwinian social, moral and economic golden age.

envy: the main motivating force behind any attempts to raise taxes, regulate markets, bring charges or fines against financial institutions, or offer any form of social welfare.

favoritism:  the main motivating force for any policies helping unions and teachers. Tax breaks for Big Oil, on the other hand, are seen as neutral or even rational ways to stimulate the “free” market.

gambit: any Democratic policy initiative. Dem public policy is always propagandistic, thus nothing but a ploy.

gliding:  the aloof, “lazy” trait of Obama (when he isn’t actively trying to overturn the capitalist system). In foreign policy, Obama is said to be “gliding” when he refrains from potentially counter-productive  interventions, as in “leading from behind”. In political policy terms. he is accused of this whenever he defers to Congress, takes a vacation, or uses any of the perks of office.

hand wringing: any criticism of aggressive, interventionist foreign policy, or of any “sentimental” attempts to help the poor or needy.

lesser mortals: always used sneeringly in reference to Obama’s  hauteur. Obama is always accused of aloofly “talking down” to us “lesser mortals” whenever he makes a moral assertion, especially when pointing out inequalities. Synonyms in this word family include aloof, grandiose, preening, and arrogant.

moral relativism: a perennial GOP rhetorical meme, still employed to attack government policies protecting free speech, religious diversity, and human rights. Thus, for example, the so-called “War on Christmas” is seen as a leveling attempt at relativism, whereas Christmas itself is an absolute–just as Santa is, of course, a white man. The current debate over mandating birth control insurance coverage by Catholic  employers is also contextualized as a form of moral relativism, as if a belief in a woman’s right to choose is not a “moral” position.

narcissism: one of academia’s main character traits, (along with “an obsession with victimhood” and the drive to reduce everything to race and class politics). Rhetorically linked to “moral relativism”. What society’s “takers”are indulging in when they try to redress “oppression”.

rogue: an adjective used to describe any deviation from Tea Party orthodoxy.

steadfast resistance, refusal: any principled moral stand on an issue opposed by Democrats. Called recalcitrance or a “gambit” or “hand wringing” or “agitprop” when the Dems do it.

unrestrained growth:   a very bad thing when it comes to things the GOp opposes (such as entitlements), but a very good thing when it comes to the “animal spirits” of corporate profits and unfettered market.

victimhood: said to be one of the main Dem rhetorical meme or “card” (as in, “the race card”).  Linked in a complex semantic web to “envy”, “redistribution, “oppression”, “grievance”, “obsession with race and class,” and “fairness”.

Post-Election Mythorializing At the Wall Street Journal

“The battle for liberty begins anew this morning.”

Wall Street Journal editorial, Nov. 7, 2012

It’s been a month or so now since the the Romney-Ryan-(Ayn) Rand ticket’s defeat. Ultimately, the Republicans were brought down by the moral Taliban, the Tea Party, and the plutocrats–the ranks of their party most out of touch with a changing America.

Since election night, undaunted and unchastened as ever, of course, the Wall Street Journal’s editorials have been doubling down on a few key themes left over, oh, let’s say, from the Reagan years: class warfare, ending all taxes if possible, unfettered free markets, and the inherent evils of government. Money quotations:

The great mistake of Mr. Obama’s first term was putting his social and political agenda above nurturing a faster economic growth. ( “Obama’s Real Fiscal Problem,” Nov. 30)

Mr. Obama has humiliated House Republicans and punished the affluent for the sheer joy of it. (“The Hard Fiscal Facts”, Nov. 11)

Imagine the gusher of revenue the feds could get if government got out of the way and let the economy grow faster. (“The Hard Fiscal Facts”, Nov. 11)

In this era when envy trumps growth, the government is raising taxes on thrift, investment and risk-taking in the name of fairness and to finance more government spending. No one should be surprised when there are fewer dividends and capital gains to tax. (“The Great 2012 Cashout”, Nov. 28)

“American prosperity is best served by letting business exploit as many opportunities as possible…” (“Energy Economics In One Lesson”, Dec. 6)

To be fair, there are a few more contemporary obsessions: fracking, school choice (“the great civil rights issue of our era”), teachers’ unions (“the Evil Empire”), and, of course, Obamacare.

One of the best Obamacare editorials (“Hope and Exchange,” Nov. 27) talked about Obamacare as the “re-engineering” of the health care system,” being “rammed” down the throats of the throats of Republicans. It especially extols Utah’s medical insurance exchange, organized around the trifecta of Republican dogma: defined contribution, consumer choice, and free markets. In other words, coverage caps, the end of all state insurance regulation, and no cost controls whatsoever.


The more these guys change, the more they stay the same.