Monday, July 17, 2006

Dictionary of Republicanisms

We all know that think tanks like the Cato Institute have labored hard to hijack the English language, putting a new spin on familiar words and concepts. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of "The Nation" magazine, challenges Republicans to say what they mean and mean what they say. "Dictionary of Republicanisms" is a compilation of definitions provided by the author and the participants of an internet campaign for some of the terms used by Republicans and the current Bush administration.

We won't win back the hearts and minds of the nation until we dispel some of this twisted wordsmithing. To wit:

abstinence-only sex education n. Ignorance-only sex education

alternative energy sources n. New locations to drill for gas and oil

bankruptcy n. A punishable crime when committed by poor people but not corporations

Cheney, Dick n. The greater of two evils

China n. See Wal-Mart

class warfare n. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage

climate change n. The blessed day when the blue states are swallowed by the oceans

compassionate conservatism n. Poignant concern for the very wealthy

creationism n. Pseudoscience that claims George W. Bush's resemblance to a chimpanzee is totally coincidental

DeLay, Tom n. 1. Past tense of De Lie

democracy n. A product so extensively exported that the domestic supply is depleted

dittohead n. An Oxy(contin)moron

energy independence n. The caribou witness relocation program

extraordinary rendition n. Outsourcing torture

faith n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary

Fox News fict. Faux news
free markets n. Halliburton no-bid contracts at taxpayer expense

girly men n. Males who do not grope women inappropriately

God n. Senior presidential adviser

growth n. 1. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. 2. What happens to the national debt when Republicans cut taxes on the rich

habeas corpus n. Archaic. (Lat.) Legal term no longer in use (See Patriot Act)

healthy forest n. No tree left behind

homelandism n. A neologism for love of the Homeland Security State, as in "My Homeland, 'tis of thee, sweet security state of liberty..."

honesty n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences--e.g., "Freedom is on the march" [Katrina vanden Heuvel, New York, NY].

House of Representatives n. Exclusive club; entry fee $1 million to $5 million (See Senate) [Adam Hochschild, San Francisco, Calif.].

laziness n. When the poor are not working

leisure time n. When the wealthy are not working

liberal(s) n. Followers of the Antichrist

Miller, Zell n. The man who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton after a particularly tough interview on Hardball

neoconservatives n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes

9/11 n. Tragedy used to justify any administrative policy, especially if unrelated (See Deficit, Iraq War)
No Child Left Behind riff. 1. v. There are always jobs in the military [Ann Klopp, Princeton, NJ]. 2. n. The rapture [

ownership society n. A civilization where 1 percent of the population controls 90 percent of the wealth

Patriot Act n. 1. The pre-emptive strike on American freedoms to prevent the terrorists from destroying them first. 2. The elimination of one of the reasons why they hate us

pro-life adj. Valuing human life up until birth

Senate n. Exclusive club; entry fee $10 million to $30 million
simplify v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors

staying the course interj. Slang. Saying and doing the same stupid thing over and over, regardless of the result [

stuff happens interj. Slang. Donald Rumsfeld as master historian

voter fraud n. A significant minority turnout

Wal-Mart n. The nation-state, future tense

water n. Arsenic storage device

woman n. 1. Person who can be trusted to bear a child but can't be trusted to decide whether or not she wishes to have the child. 2. Person who must have all decisions regarding her reproductive functions made by men with whom she wouldn't want to have sex in the first place


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