November 15, 2009
The AT Readers' Complete Lexicon of Political Speech
By Lee Cary
Numerous AT readers suggested additions to a recently posted partial lexicon of political speech.
We'll call it "complete" for now, but there are, no doubt, still some oft-used terms missing. Contributing AT readers are noted [in brackets].
- 1. Affordable: A word that, when attached to a proposed piece of federal legislation, signals that anyone with an ounce of economic common sense recognizes the venture as unaffordable.
- 2. All economists agree that...: Introductory language to a false citation proposing the credibility of an economic assertion made by someone who is clueless about reference economics. All economists don't agree on anything.
- 3. Astroturf: "A dodge to mislead the serfs that actual grass is not real." [rickhb]
- 4. Bailout: Most commonly refers to removing water from a sinking boat by use of a pail or similar receptacle, or to exiting an airborne craft via a parachute. Since late 2008, it refers to the federal government bailing money into sinking enterprises so as to redistribute their assets to political friends and supporters. Hence, it really means "bail-in," as in pouring in taxpayer money for political gains.
- 5. Big tent: A phrase used by liberal media commentators, bloggers, and presenters to impose their belief and influence on an opposing ideological demographic/party. It's intended to populate an opposing party with "moderates" that will (a) make this opposing party ideologically blurry and therefore weak, (b) make this party pliable and susceptible to Democrat influence, or (c) effect 'change.'" [Tel...]
- 6. Bipartisan: A situation when one to three "moderate" Republicans vote with Democrats. "It does not apply whenever a significant number of Democrats join with Republicans in a close but losing vote." [A Citizen]
- 7. Bitter: "A word used by liberal elitists to describe rural Americans to other liberal elitists." [Tel...]
- 8. Blue dog Democrats: "People who will lie down with dogs and accept the fleas if paid enough." [Mike Brafford] Also, "A person who runs as a fiscal conservative and then votes the party line once elected." [Zoltan]
- 9. Bold and swift action: "A phrase used when cumbersome, expensive, poorly formulated, and questionable legislation is desired to be rushed, pushed, rammed, and imposed on a country without scrutiny, debate, or examination." [Tel...]
- 10. Budget-neutral: "A never-realized accounting gimmick used to hide cost projects in years that fall outside the budget time period and, coupled with immediate tax increases and faux savings, perpetuate a fraud on the taxpayer." [rickhb]
- 11. Bush's fault: A cause deployed to explain all "socio-economic-politico-enviro-religio-militaristic ills." [SierraBear]
- 12. Climate Change Bill: Translation: Global Warming Bill. [Russell C]
- 13. Comprehensive: "The battle cry that signifies an assault on the constitution and liberty, as in comprehensive health care reform, comprehensive immigration reform, etc." [B'ham]
- 14. Compromise: "Arriving at an acceptable solution to a problem by capitulating totally to the liberals' position and doing exactly what they want done." [NaperBille]
- 15. Consensus: "Some agree with me, so therefore [some] represents the sum." [Vaughan]
- 16. Conservative talk radio: A term that, when used by liberals, refers to "a small group of dull, uneducated, and misinformed Americans who have used shameful propaganda, false statements, and general sorcery to control the nation's airwaves -- in addition to the opposition party -- and espouse outdated policies like individualism, capitalism, lower taxes, and deregulation that have wreaked havoc on this country." [rickhb]
- 17. The debate is over concerning...: Used by a politician, e.g. Al Gore, to indicate that the debate over some topic (say, global warming) isn't really over, but the speaker would like to end. [Tel...]
- 18. Engage in dialogue: "Talk to our enemies and try to win them over to the exact opposite of their long-held positions since we are so wonderful and enlightened and not the go-it-alone, cowboy, war-mongering Bush administration." [steve_b]
- 19. Experts: Persons affiliated with liberal think-tanks. [djaymick]
- 20. Fairness: "[P]romoting the political preferences of the speaker/writer." [Miguel Guanipa]
- 21. Fiscally responsible: "A bribe to buy votes in the short term for Democrats, but that will be paid for in the future by taxpayers using a shell game of cost-shifting and hidden taxes/fees that are downplayed when the bill is first proposed." [steve_b] It really means "fiscally irresponsible."
- 22. Government-run health care: This is referred to variously as "the government option," "competitive option," "healthcare reform," "healthcare co-op," "health insurance reform"...nearly any combination of words that include government health care, system, option, consumer, single payer, and public. [Tel...]
- 23. Green jobs: Refers to the recently unemployed who have, by virtue of their unemployment, reduced their carbon footprint. Satire from [Whodini].
- 24. Fairness: "Fair to me, unfair to you." [GFox]
- 25. Free: Costly. [Rob]
- 26. Freedom of the Press: "Whatever the Obama administration deems fit for 'journalists' to print." [twoiron]
- 27. Freedom of Speech: "Whatever the Obama administration deems fit for 'reporters' to say." [twoiron]
- 28. Fees: "New taxes, as opposed to the actual increase that will occur in our present taxes." [floridaconservative]
- 29. Folks: Used to refer to "you stupid serf suckers out in flyover country." [Emily]
- 30. "...for the American people": Usually coming at the end of the sentence, it's a prepositional phrase that signals that the American people are about to get hosed again.
- 31. "...for the children": Used by liberals to justify anything particularly outrageous. Works so well that 99% of the population automatically believe it, even when it is either completely inapplicable or even contrary to the interest of children." [NaperBille, A.L.Byers]
- 32. "...for too long": Obama's "favorite three-word phrase to incite class warfare." [Ilr]
- 33. Give back to society: "Give me your money." [GFox] Very similar to "for the common good." [GFox]
- 34. Hope and Change: These are classic comfort-words coupled together to enable the hearer to attach his or her personal fond wishes for the future onto a superior being's ability to deliver an arbitrary definition of "hope and change." The actualization of hope and change lies somewhere over the rainbow, next to the pot of gold and inside the Lost Dutchman's mine, which is next to the Holy Grail.
- 35. Inexplicable: As it was used in President Obama's comments on Ft. Hood, it means "the truth is simply too frightening for me to handle, and acknowledging the truth would, in fact, turn my worldview on its head." [california patriot]
- 36. Investment: When applied to government spending, it refers to government expenditures that will multiply the spending party's power and influence with minimal return-on-investment to the taxpayers.
- 37. "I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.": When said by President Obama, it means "I have carte blanche to spend as much money as I want and still blame it on GWB." [Leman Russ]
- 38. "I support the troops...": "Usually followed by an anti-war rant or public smear of the commanders or mission in order to make political gains." [rickhb]
- 39. "I won.": When used by President Obama, it means "Shut up and do as I say." [Leman Russ]
- 40. "I'm busy and Nancy's busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else's mess. That's a socialist mop.": Translation: "People are starting to figure out I am a socialist so I will attempt to deflect criticism with humor." [Leman Russ]
- 41. Islamophobic: "Tending to believe that some parts of the Quran actually mean what they say." [Call me Lennie]
- 42. Jobless recovery: An oxymoron used to explain why the unemployment rate continues to climb while a "recovery" is allegedly underway. Like touchless sex (e.g., Bill Clinton's phone sex with Monica), it is existential foolishness that relies for credibility on the reasonable notion that unemployment is a lagging indicator of a recovery. But as most often used by politicians today, it's like saying, "I'm not sick anymore, but I'm still vomiting an awful lot."
- 43. Learning moment: "Is when you have screwed things up so badly that even an apology wouldn't work. But once you call it a 'learning moment,' the MSM will give you a pass on it and it will never be mentioned it again." [wbhickok] See Obama's "stupid police" comment for an example.
- 44. "Let's not jump to conclusions.": "I can't handle the truth." [Ilr] Similar to "We can't jump to conclusions," which means "We didn't connect the dots that we should have connected months ago before something terrible [Ft. Hood] happened, and we don't want to look ignorant to most of the country." [Jon W] It can also mean "failing to withhold judgment before the necessary facts are distorted." [Call me Lennie]
- 45. Liberal: "Someone who uses the government to restrict liberties in every aspect of American life except abortion." [JR]
- 46. Living Constitution: Refers to the murdered Constitution rearranged in effigy. [Sam]
- 47. Lower costs: When applied to federal government expenditures, it means higher costs.
- 48. "Now, let me be clear...": It means "I'm lying." The truth of what follows is the opposite of what's said and intends to confuse and fool the listener. [Leman Russ, Becky, and JQAdams]
- 49. "Make no mistake...": "When used by Obama, means you should do the mistake he says you should avoid." [JQAdams] In other words, believe the opposite to be true.
- 50. Man-caused disaster: "A phrase used to describe an actual terrorist act, but with the desire to not insult the sensibilities of terrorists, or potential terrorists, or officials, or populations [where terrorists hide] in their safe havens." [Tel...]
- 51. Middle-class tax cut: "A host of fees and regulations hidden in laws we don't read, and so they are not really taxes." [rickhb] It should be a warning to middle class taxpayers that tax increases are on the way.
- 52. Misspoke: "Used when an intentional phrase or thought is actually questioned, examined, and found suspect." [Tel...] It can also mean, "I got caught in a lie."
- 53. Moderate: Politician with no discernible or consistent political philosophy, although they tend to break Left when not drifting with the wind. Most often used to refer to Republican In Name Only (RINOs). (See Senators Snowe, Collins, Graham, et al.)
- 54. Moral imperative: "This phrase is used to ferment guilt among Christians and Jews who question a government-run health care system's cost and effectiveness. It is invoked by professional campaigners when all constitutional means have been exhausted in trying to pass it." [Tel...] The phrase "47 million Americans are uninsured" is used for the same purpose.
- 55. Open-minded: "When used by liberals, it means that the opposition should agree with their position, but the reverse is not true. What liberals refer to as "open-minded," conservatives refer to as "empty-headed'." [Syrin] Also, it means as you think like me. [GFox]
- 56. Options, choices: As it pertains to the proposed health care bills, these often-interchangeable words signal a concerted effort to minimize, and eventually eliminate, options and choices.
- 57. Pay-go: A hyphenated word that purports to be a linguistic promise of a balanced federal budget when it actually means the taxpayers will continue to "pay" through the nose, and if they don't like it they can "go" fish.
- 58. Political correctness (PC): "A seven-syllable, two-word term which can be better expressed in a one-syllable, one-word term: 'lie.' Example: All the 'politically correct' explanations of the Ft. Hood shooting are nothing but lies to avoid the truth about the Islamic death cult and Islamic jihadism." [altalena]
- 59. "Reevaluating the conditions with regard to sending additional troops to Afghanistan...": It means, "I'm clueless and don't know what to do." [Cincinnatius]
- 60. Republican Strategist/Democrat Strategist: Underemployed partisan thirty-somethings who remain on standby to appear on cable TV news shows, where they enthusiastically share their vast political wisdom with the ignorant public before returning to their pizza-delivery jobs or entry-level positions in marketing firms.
- 61. Save or create jobs: "A phrase used when someone wants to appear to have saved or created jobs that cannot be proven to have been saved or created." [Tel...]
- 62. Saved jobs: "A term which makes it easier to claim one's initiatives have mitigated further calamity when there is no other sign that any measurable progress has been achieved." [Miguel Guanipa]
- 63. Share the wealth: It means to confiscate wealth from some in order to give it to others in the expectation that the others will express their gratitude to the party executing the transfer, or wealth-sharing, during the next election. It's somewhat similar to "redistribution of income" and is a cousin of "fair." Also, it means "keep the poor people poor and voting for" Democrats. [clarissa]
- 64. Teabaggers: A negative double-entendre used to refer to those who oppose Obama socialism and show that opposition by attending one or more T.E.A. Parties. According to the Urban Dictionary, one meaning of teabagger is of "a man who squats on top of a woman's face and lowers his genitals into her mouth during sex." The term was recently used by former President Clinton when speaking to Senate Democrats. [LDC]
- 65. Transform: In the current political environment, it means to socialize, or collectivize, by placing authority to manage the venture in question under federal government control. It's often used interchangeably with "reform."
- 66. Transparency: It's what happens "behind locked doors at 2:00 Sunday morning." [Ralph Davis] Also, "whatever the Obama administration deems fit for 'the people' to know." [twoiron] It is "a sleight of hand, used in repetition, meant to convince the public that all is open and above-board when in fact it is shrouded in secrecy." [missbosslady]
- 67. Unemployment rate: This is a virtual number roughly equivalent to half the actual number of people who are unemployed.
- 68. Unsustainable debt: This refers to the debt level immediately before additional debt is incurred, which becomes post-unsustainable debt, and eventual bankruptcy. (See California and New York.)
- 69. "We all know...": "Used most often by liberals to change the center of the field of debate. By using these expressions [including "Everyone agrees..."], they change the debate from 'Is global warming a problem?' to 'What do we do about the problem of global warming?'" [UA]
- 70. "We must act now to...": It means we must pass this legislation before "anyone has a chance to read what we are about to impose upon them." [Syrin]