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Word-play

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted August 17, 2009

It has been difficult to decipher some of the Beltway buzzwords in use now that Democrats are in firm control of our national government. Of course it's understandable that in attempting to sell their socialist platform they must verbally cloak their agenda, as the great majority of Americans continue identify themselves as moderate to conservative. But this has happened before. During the Clinton Administration, and in particular amid the battle over his impeachment, we were daily treated to treatises on the definition of words like, is.

But, coming so quickly as they do on the heels of the George W. Bush years--where the president's every word was parsed for accuracy as well as pronunciation--in the Obama Era, words and phrases that were applied one way for Bushies, have acquired whole new meanings now. And so, in an attempt to straighten this out, I offer the following list of terms and catchphrases along with their current definitions, instances of popular press corps usage and sometimes the truth:

Herbert Hoover: The 31st president of the United States, whose economic failures were held up for ridicule and endlessly linked to those of President Bush. Mysteriously, the keys necessary to type his name have apparently vanished from the word processors of the mainstream media during the current recession with its nearly double-digit unemployment rate.

Lagging Indicator: An economic term that GOPers tried unsuccessfully to apply to unemployment statistics during the George W. Hoover years.  This tactic is being resuscitated by Democrats, but look for it to be applied to Obama's poll numbers.

Dissident: This word was, in the past, most usually associated with those in the Soviet Union who were unhappy living under the tender mercies of Communism. In the world of mainstream punditry, this now refers to those who express their unhappiness with the prospect of living under the tender mercies of socialism. These dissidents are also viewed as possible terrorists.

Community Organizer: Up until only months ago, this was deemed a noble and even patriotic calling. Yet in a short span, these folks are now considered un-American dissidents and extremely unpatriotic.

Patriotism: This is a term that no longer denotes pure love of country, but rather, love of how a particular political ideology might benefit that country. President Obama gave us a clue on the campaign trail explaining, "I decided I won't wear that [flag] pin on my chest, instead I'm gonna try to tell the American people what I believe what will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."

Patriotic Debate: Discussions that lead to shrieking denunciations of Republican policies, as so ably demonstrated by Hillary Clinton's demure proclamation: "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say, we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!" However, those who disagree with the present administration are not considered Americans, but Nazis.

Nazis: Formerly members of the National Socialist Party in Germany; this is naturally now used as an epithet for those opposed to socialism.

Racism: Once defined as prejudice or animosity against people who belong to other races, this is now looked on as a desired qualification to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Racists: Those who refuse to believe the above.

The Good War: A term which in antiquity referenced World War II, but has been used more recently by liberals to refer to the conflict in Afghanistan, as opposed to Bush's bad war in Iraq. Now that this conflict is owned by them, it is unknown if it will continue to be called good, but it will most certainly not degenerate into a quagmire.

Quagmire: The Webster definition reads: "a soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot, or a difficult, precarious, or entrapping position." In the real world, an almost perfect description of Democratic healthcare reform.

Healthcare: A quaint term that used to refer to the American system of medical coverage that was once considered among the best in the world. Now of course, it is broken and needs to be reformed in order to safeguard and protect our most precious resource: our children.

Reproductive Healthcare: The means to kill those children.

Confused? Of course you are, and that's the point. But if all this sounds vaguely familiar, it's been in the big-government playbook for decades. Let's let George Orwell explain the usage of this "doublethink:"

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. ESR

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

 

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