07/17/2005: A new Devil's Dictionary
Katrina vanden Heuvel, in The Nation's blog "Editor's Cut". launched a project where she attempted to start the project of building a Republican dictionary:
At least until the draft comes, progressive Americans will not be fleeing en masse to Canada, despite the charming offer of so many compassionate Canadians to sacrifice their singlehood to save us from the "cowboy" Bush. (As the New Yorker 's Hendrik Hertzberg says, the Canadians make us proud to be North Americans.)Over at Bush Watch, they reprinted Ms. vanden Heuvel's original blog post, and collected some of the best of her reader submissions. Just to give you a taste of the project, and to encourage you to join in the fun, below the fold I've collected a few of "the best of the best".... The first few are Ms. vanden Heuvel's originals (those are uncredited), while the others are reader submissions (credited).
After all, who is to say Canada is safe from a preemptive strike? Canada's leaders are a bunch of socialists hostile to our president just like the Baathists were, Canada might have hidden stockpiles of WMD, it possesses a natural resource-- cheap prescription drugs--critical to our people's security, and historically-speaking it would be a really bad idea (see Quebec, Battle of; 1812, War of).
No, alas, we will stay and fight to retake our country from the forces of extremism, corruption, and incompetence that have set up shop in the White House, Capitol Hill, and K Street. Taking our cue from the venerable military strategist Sun-tzu, the first stage of this battle is to understand our opponents, who are as bold as they are devious.
Nowhere is their deception more in need of debunking than in the realm of political discourse, where they have over the last several decades created a veritable Orwellian Code of encrypted language. The key to their linguistic strategy is to use words, which sound moderate to us but mean something completely different to their base. Their tactics range from the childish use of antonyms, i.e., "clean" = "dirty" to the pseudo-academic use of prefixes--"neo" is a favorite--to the pernicious (and very expensive) rebranding of traditional political labels-- "liberal"--as an insult.
We need to break the code by building a Republican dictionary.
BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.
CLARIFY, v. Repeating the same lie over and over again.
FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.
FAITH COMMUNITY, n. Evangelicals, because they are saved, and hawkish conservative Jews, because they are useful. Israel is the bait-on-the-hook just waiting for God to take that Rapturous bite.
FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, n. A Republican who is in the minority.
FREEDOM, n. What Arabs want but can't achieve on their own without Western military intervention. It bears a striking resemblance to chaos.
GROWTH, n. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. What happens to the deficits when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.
HONESTY, n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences: "Freedom is on the march."
MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.
MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.
THE MEDIA, n. Immoral elitist liberally-biased traitors who should leave Republicans alone so they can complete God's work on Earth in peace and quiet, behind closed doors.
PHILOSOPHY, n. Religion.
ACCOUNTABILITY, n. Buck? What buck? (Martin Richard, Belgrade, MT)
ACTIVIST JUDGE, n. A judge who attempts to protect the rights of minorities--most especially homosexuals--against the tyranny of the majority. (Amy Mashberg, Austin, Texas)
ALLIES, n. Foreigners who do what Republicans tell them to do. (Gary Schroller, Bellaire, Texas)
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES, n. New locations to drill for oil and gas. (Peter Scholz, Fort Collins, Colorado)
BALANCED, adj. 1. favoring corporations (a more balanced approach to the environment.); 2. favoring conservatives (fair and balanced reporting). (Scott Davis, Grand Prairie, Texas)
BIPARTISANSHIP, adj. When Democrats compromise. (Justin Rezzonico, Keene, NH)
CIVIL LIBERTIES, n. Unnecessary privileges that you aren't afraid of losing unless you are a God-hating, baby-killing, elitist liberal who loves Saddam Hussein more than your own safety. (Megan Ellis, Bellingham, Washington)
CLASS WARFARE, n. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage. (Don Zwier, Grayslake, Illinois)
COALITION, n. One or more nations whose leaders have been duped, pressured or bribed into supporting ill-conceived, unnecessary, under-planned and/or illegal US military operations. (Michael Shapiro, Honolulu, Hawaii)
CONVICTION, n. Making decisions before getting the facts, and refusing to change your mind afterward. (Paul Ruschmann, Canton, Michigan)
DEATH TAX, n. A term invented by anti-tax zealots and referring to a tax used to prevent the very wealthy from establishing a dominating aristocracy in this country. (David McNeely, Lutz, Florida)
DEMOCRACY, n. My way or the highway. (Daniel Quinn, London, UK)
DEMOCRATIC ALLY, n. Any democracy, monarchy, plutocracy, oligarchy or dictatorship--no matter how ruthless--that verbally supports American diplomatic and economic goals. (L.J. Klass, Concord, New Hampshire)
DEREGULATE, v. To pursue greed and exploitation. (Nathan Taylor, Long Beach, California)
ECONOMIC PROGRESS, n. 1. Recession; 2. Rising unemployment; 3. Minimum-wage freeze. (Terry McGarry, East Rockaway, New York)
ECONOMIC RECOVERY, n. When three out of five software engineers who lost their jobs to outsourcing are able to find part-time work at Wal-Mart. (Rob Hotman , Houston, Texas)
ELECTION FRAUD, n. Counting every vote. (Sean O'Brien, Chicago, Illinois)
FAITH-BASED INITIATIVE, n. Christian Right Payoff. (Michael Gendelman , Fair Haven, New Jersey)
FAMILY VALUES, n. Oppression of women. (Nancy Matsunaga, Brooklyn, New York)
FOX NEWS, n. White House Press Office. (Donnalyn Murphy, San Francisco, California)
GOD, n. Senior presidential advisor. (Martin Richard, Belgrade, MT)
INSURGENT, n. Armed or unarmed, violent or non-violent Iraqi on the receiving end of an American rocket blast or bullet spray, regardless of age, gender or political affiliation. (Joey Flores, Marina del Ray, California)
MODERNIZE, v. To do away with, as in modernizing Social Security, labor laws, etc. (Robert Sean Roarty, Atlanta, Georgia)
OBSTRUCTIONIST, n. Any elected representative who dares to question Republican radicals on the issue of the day. (Terry Levine, Toronto, Ontario)
OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, n. 1. A society in which Republican donors own the rest of us. (Adrianne Stevens, Seattle, Washington), 2. A society in which no one ever needs to own up to their mistakes or the consequences of their actions. (Sharon Gallagher, New York, New York) 3. A society where you're on your own. (John Read, Ownings Mills, MD), 4. A society where one-half of society owns the other half. (Anne Galvan Klousia, Corvallis, OR), 5. The euphemism used by robber barons and their political lackeys to promote or justify the extreme concentration of wealth into the hands of a powerful few. Synonyms: PLUTOCRACY, CORPORATE FEUDALISM. (Ken Stump, Seattle, WA)
POLITICAL CAPITAL, n. What a Republican president receives as a result of a razor-thin margin of victory in an election. (Joy Losee, Gainesville, Georgia)
PRESS CONFERENCE, n. A rare event designed for the President to brag about his prowess as a leader while simultaneously dodging difficult questions. (Jim Nidositko, Westfield, New Jersey)
PRIVATIZE, v. To steal the resources of the national community and give them to private business. (Susan Dyer, Ottsville, Pennsylvania)
REFORM, v. To eliminate, as in tort reform (to eliminate all lawsuits against businesses and corporations) or Social Security and Medicare reform (to eliminate these programs altogether). (Darren Staley, Millers Creek, North Carolina)
TAX REFORM, n. The shifting of the tax burden from unearned income to earned income, or rather, from the wealthy elite to the working class. (Eric Evans, Gregory, Michigan)
UNITER, n. A Leader who brings together his followers by fomenting hatred for anyone who disagrees with him. (Larry Allred, Las Cruces, New Mexico)
VERY CLEAR, adj. Modifier used immediately before any preposterous explanation or rationale. (Lance L. Prata, Eastlake Weir, Florida)
Len on 07.17.05 @ 09:31 AM CST