{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bush respectfully disagrees with the "Democrat Party"

The timing on this couldn't have been more perfect. Just finished watching the "Colbert Report" with guest Geoffrey Nunberg -- about his book "Talking Right," and how the right wing have successfully manipulated language to misinform and to control debate.

After which I flip channels briefly, and I hear Bush talking about Iraq and how "some in the Democrat Party would like to see us leave," etc. etc.

That may or may not mean anything to you, and probably seems trivial -- but it's actually pretty alarming, if you're familiar with this particular tactic.

If you don't get it, just think about it or look into it or whatever. There's a subtext there, and it's an intential insult. I'll just say that it's the equivalent of saying "Repuglickers" instead of "Republicans." The only people you normally hear use it -- and they use it consciously and consistenly -- are the really really extreme right-wing fundamentalist fascist types like Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, etc.

All of whom fit perfectly into the Bush Cabal -- true, so why am I surprised?

Good point. I guess I'd just never heard Bush use the term -- and he's been around for a while now.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that he'll start using it from now on -- or at least during election season. Keep your ears peeled.

According to Wikipedia, every Republican president has used the term; and "The context has usually been negative--but not always, as when President George W. Bush declared, during a visit to Georgia that he was traveling 'with proud members of the Democrat Party.'" (Gee, that's not biased or anything -- of course when Bush used it, he meant no harm -- He's Just A Good Ol' Boy, He Doesn't Mean Any Harm . . .")

But as MediaMatters recently noted:

"among those of the Republican persuasion," the use of " 'Democrat Party' is now nearly universal" thanks to "Newt Gingrich, the nominal author of the notorious 1990 memo 'Language: A Key Mechanism of Control,' and his Contract with America pollster, Frank Luntz." While Hertzberg noted that Luntz "road-tested the adjectival use of 'Democrat' with a focus group in 2001" and "concluded that the only people who really dislike it are highly partisan adherents of the ... Democratic Party," he also wrote that Luntz had told him recently that "[t]hose two letters ['ic'] actually do matter," and that Luntz "recently finished writing a book ... entitled 'Words That Work.' "

Do they "work" to manipulate and control people's perceptions? Dunno. If nothing else, it's apparently a fun way for Republicans to say "Fuck You, You Dirty Rotten Rat Bastards" without actually coming out and saying it?


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