|Photo: Lisa Golden (has nothing to do with post)|
Last night MathMan and I went to bed with the TV on. Before we turned on the Foyle's War DVD, we'd been watching MSNBC and listening to the day's political spin.
As I listened to the cadence of words, the repetition of phrases, I thought about Sherry's post at A Feather Adrift. She pointed out a couple of new buzz phrases that have become part of the conversational stew surrounding the U.S. budget, the debt ceiling and the deficit.
The American People.
There is no American People the way it's used by politicians. Hell, you can't even get The American People to agree on Coke or Pepsi, but if you ask politicians why they're doing something, they'll you that The American People sent them to Washington to do xyz. What they should say is that they won an election and now they're going to carry out the wishes of their donors while pretending to give two shits about what the people who elected them want them to do.
The phrase job creators is the perfect illustration of this. Republicans are using the phrase to cover the entire spectrum of business and the wealthy. Big business and small. Job Creators is code for People on whom we will not raise taxes.
The people they're referring to don't actually create jobs in any meaningful way. Tax cuts don't create jobs. Demand creates jobs. You can give businesses all the tax breaks in the world, you can hand them massive tax refund checks (which is a transfer of money from the taxpayer to the corporation in case you didn't realize that) and they still aren't going to create jobs if there isn't a critical mass of consumers who want and can buy their services or goods because they have money with which to buy those goods and services.
We've tried this tax cut experiment for over ten years and it's failed. The proof is in the unemployment line.
|Source: Think Progress|
By the end of the day yesterday, it became clear that another word had burrowed into the DNA of the American political lexicon. I really wish that we had some sort of app that could identify which talking head was the first to use it in the current context. Now that's the kind of app that could entice me to buy a smartphone.
There it is all over the television. There the word is, too, on my wall, smack in the middle of the list of adjectives I have taped next to my desk.
Intransigent. Intransigence. The words are being used to describe Republicans who are unwilling to compromise.
In today's political atmosphere, the word compromise no longer carries the air of maturity, but rather it's spat out as it's own euphemism. Only bed-wetting liberal pantywaists compromise. Pussies compromise. Real men, real Americans don't compromise. The American People don't want compromise. They're busy hollering yeehaw while riding their rugged individualist lawnmowers.
I zeroed in on this word and became obsessed with it because unlike Job Creators and The American People, this word is accurate. It's not code. It's reality. Republicans have dug in on the subject of taxes. They'll tell you that they're carrying out the will of The American People who know that the The Job Creators need to pay lower taxes so they can create jobs and that we need to cut government spending and cut taxes because taxes and Big Government are the problem.
Or shorter: We're all Grover Norquist now!!!
See how that works?
I'd been drinking and that brought everything into focus like when you suddenly notice the veins in your hands look like rivers on a map. "When we wake up in the morning and turn on the TV, let's see how long it takes for someone to use the word intransigent on Morning Joe," I said, mashing my pillow into place.
When I'm happily alcohol softened, MathMan justs lets me talk. "Okay," he said. He probably just wanted to get laid.
As I fell asleep, I pontificated on the Balanced Budget Amendment. "That's like if your car breaks down and you quit your job because you can't get there and you can't get there because you won't raise revenue to fix your car."
Then everything went black.
The alarm went off at 6:10a.m. I opened my eyes, assessed my level of hangover. Nothing. Excellent. I reached for the remote, pushed the power button and glanced at the clock next to me. 6:11. MathMan bailed out of the bed and headed to the shower.
"blah, blah, blah, instransigent....." said Pat Buchanan to the roundtable on Morning Joe.
"One minute! It took one minute!" I laughed and threw the covers back. I was free to get on with my day.
What are your favorite political phrases, euphemisms, codes?