[star]The American Mind[star]

August 25, 2006

Just Add Two Letters

A pet peeve of mine with Republicans is calling their opponents members of the "Democrat" Party instead of the "Democratic" Party. The latter is correct and more polite since it is the name of the party. Every time I hear it used by Republicans and their supporters I shake my head knowing how petty and childish it sounds. It's a form of disrespect.

What set me off was a statement from J.B. Van Hollen:

Statement from JB Van Hollen, regarding remarks made at the Democrat AG Debate in Milwaukee Thursday:

"The attorney general should enforce the law and should work with local and federal authorities to see to it that illegal aliens who come in contact with law enforcement are deported, after they serve any sentence imposed upon them," said Van Hollen. "It is an insult to justice that Falk and Lautenschlager attend illegal immigration rallies that celebrate lawlessness. In Kathy Falk's Dane County, she won't even let county employees, including law enforcement officers, inquire about the legal residency status of people they encounter. That's not liberal, that's ludicrous.

"My Democrat opponents are pandering to illegal alien advocates and are purposely blurring the line between legal and illegal immigrants. My Primary opponent favors sending illegal immigrant criminals back home before they've served their sentences. Neither approach provides justice to crime victims or is fair to those legal immigrants who obey the law.

"For Falk and Lautenschlager to criticize my stance on illegal immigrant criminals as race-based is an insult to law abiding Hispanics and legal immigrants of all races. I don't have anything against immigrants. I do, however, oppose those who break the law."


"Democrat" was used as an adjective twice. Once in the headline and once in the statement itself.

A Republican consultant tells me "it's a base thing, and we're in a primary." It's not been my experience that that GOP base routinely uses the term "Democrat" Party. The average conservative GOP voters I've been with will call their opponents, "Lefties," "liberals," and "left-wing wackos" but not members of the "Democrat" Party. Who uses that are the politicos: campaign workers and political staff who eat, drink, and sleep politics.

The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg calls "Democrat" Party a "slur" and notes its long history. It's not a slur. It's just some pointless needling that adds no value in political debate. It's just silly.

Van Hollen's campaign didn't do anything by nixing the ic's except to irritate Falk, Lautenschlager, and Wisconsin Democrats. The Republican operatives might have laughed a little, but all they did was egg on their opponents. Some people will be turned off at those such a petty game.

Let me steal some words from uber conservative William F. Buckley. One the use of "Democrat" Party he wrote, "It has the effect of injecting politics into language, and that should be avoided." Words are used for politics, but that doesn't mean our words should be political. The personal isn't the political, and we'll be a little more sane if we remember that.

I yearn more greater political civility and seriousness. A small step to improvement is using proper names. Two letters can mean a lot.

Do you use the term "Democrat" Party? Why?

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 01:57 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)