Tag Archives: political parties

What Republicans want

POSTED BY ORHAN

Here’s another quote from the article by Mike Lofgren referenced earlier by Moe.  It’s significant because Lofgren was a longtime Republican operative and Congressional staffer with a lot of street cred:

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

So there’s method in the madness.

Write this 100 times on the blackboard: language matters

In a thread downstream, ojmo linked to an article by Mike Lofgren, a 30-year Republican congressional staffer. Lofgren doesn’t like what’s become of his party and chronicles their 40-year cynical campaign to discredit government for political advantage.  And he doesn’t see Democrats stepping up either.

He touches too on something I’ve despaired about:

Democrats . . . do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The what? – can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?

You know that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy when even Democrats refer to them as entitlements. “Entitlement” has a negative sound in colloquial English: somebody who is “entitled” selfishly claims something he doesn’t really deserve. Why not call them “earned benefits,” which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them? That would never occur to the Democrats. Republicans don’t make that mistake; they are relentlessly on message: it is never the “estate tax,” it is the “death tax.”

With one hand tied behind his back . . .

Rush Limbaugh can claim success with an attack upon the language; he’s managed to change the name of a major political party. His efforts have been so successful that US Senators are now saying ‘Democrat’ Party on the very floor of the Senate, and no one – not even our dim Dems – is noticing, let alone objecting. Mr.Limbaugh of Palm Beach is very very good. Very good indeed.

He began some years ago referring to the Democratic Party as the ‘Democrat Party’. It was meant of course as an insult – Democratic described a benign admirable philosophy while ‘Democrat’ played on ‘Dixiecrat‘, an infamous and historical pejorative used to refer to Southern Democrats who still supported segregation; when the liberal wing of their own party passed the Civil Right legislation in the 1960’s, the Dixiecrats moved en masse to the Reublican Party. Today’s modern Democratic Party, by its actions, has redeemed itself from that past.  But Rush saw an opening and he jumped in. In so doing, he was no doubt also hoping to deflect racist charges leveled at segments of his own party.

I don’t think the association of  ‘Dixiecrat’ with ‘Democrat’ has taken  hold in the larger society, but the use of the denomination “Democrat Party’ in place of ‘Democratic Party’ has indeed taken hold.

Like I said above, Mr. Limbaugh of Palm Beach is very very good. Very good indeed.

A new voice – to me at least

John Avlon. Apparently a well known columnist and author. Saw him on CSpan this a.m. What a refreshing guy. His beat seems to be wingnuttia – on both sides (acknowledging that this year it tilts mostly one way).

From his Amazon page for the book “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America”:

The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties’ increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are helping the fringe blur with the base, making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before. (There are three faces on the book jacket: Palin, Beck and Olbermann.)   

This morning he was mourning the loss of the middle, the dangers of moderation and what it means for all of us.

interestingly, Avlon was an intern for Bill Clinton (with Monica!) and a speech writer for Gulianni (as mayor). Interesting guy.

Emerging meme – the Replicrats

A hell of a lot of talk time, blogsphere and column time suddenly being devoted to the idea that there is no serious difference between the political parties. In spite of the sputterings of the endlessly annoying Dick Cheney.

So let me jump aboard. Since they rinse and repeat each other’s hair, let us call them all . . . the Replicrats!