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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush Drops the "ic" from "Democratic" During Speech

I wasn't able to see the speech. If you did, what did you think? The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports:

From the President, a Two-Letter Jab at the Democrats, Washington Wire: President Bush departed from the prepared text of his State of the Union ... to take a jab at Pelosi and the rest of the new Democratic majority of Congress.

In the prepared text of the speech, ... the president was to say, “Some in this Chamber are new to the House and Senate – and I congratulate the Democratic majority.” When Bush delivered the line, however, he paid tribute to the “Democrat majority.”

Dropping the “ic” from the word “Democratic” may seem insignificant, but it was almost certainly a deliberate move by Bush, who has used the phrase “the Democrat Party” for months as a way of needling his opponents.

Republicans have periodically referred to their opponents as belonging to the “Democrat Party” for many decades, and the phrase was a particular favorite of former Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy. A recent Washington Post column filled in the backstory: according to the Columbia Guide to Standard American English, McCarthy “sought by repeatedly calling it the Democrat party to deny it any possible benefit of the suggestion that it might also be democratic.”

The phrase lay largely dormant for years, however, until President Bush resuscitated it during last fall’s midterm election season and made it a mainstay of his public remarks about the opposition party. It has since been widely adopted by many Republican lawmakers, conservative political activists, and conservative commentators and pundits at media outlets like Fox News.

For all of Bush’s talk tonight about crossing party lines to work with the new Democratic Congress, it is the missing two letters that may offer the clearest indication of whether partisan tensions are really like to fade in the waning years of Bush’s presidency.

    Posted by on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 07:45 PM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (34)

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