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March 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DEMOCRAT PARTY....Now that we've got the whole "mouth breather" thing out of the way, Mark Kleiman Andrew Sabl brings up another etymological gripe:

One of the least substantial but most annoying things about the Republicans' repetition machine is how well they succeeded with their schoolboy prank of changing the adjective "Democratic" to "Democrat." They've been so successful that many nonpartisan radio and TV journalists and even some party activists now say "Democrat party" or "Democrat primary" and some young people probably can't remember a time when our party got to choose its own name.

I agree that this is a juvenile and irksome habit, but I don't think it's a new one. Republicans have been calling us the "Democrat Party" since at least the 30s, haven't they? And maybe longer than that.

Or am I off base on this? Does anyone know how long this has been going on?

UPDATE: Nexis, which only goes back to the 70s, quotes Ronald Reagan referring to the "Democrat Party" in 1976. However, last year Geoffrey Nunberg traced its origins back quite a bit further:

The bleaching of democracy made small-d democrat irrelevant as a political label....That's what allowed the Republicans of Hoover's era to start referring to their opponents as the Democrat Party....By mid-century, "Democrat Party" had become the routine tic that it is for modern Republicans, though nowadays it probably has less to do with undermining the Democrats than simply irritating them.

In a footnote he provides some further references:

In a 1984 column, William Safire located the origin of the phrase in 1940:

Who started this and when? Acting on a tip, I wrote to the man who was campaign director of Wendell Willkie's race against Franklin Delano Roosevelt. ''In the Willkie campaign of 1940,'' responded Harold Stassen, ''I emphasized that the party controlled in large measure at that time by Hague in New Jersey, Pendergast in Missouri and Kelly Nash in Chicago should not be called a 'Democratic Party.' It should be called the 'Democrat party.' . . .''

But in fact you find instances of "Democrat Party" going back at least to 1923, when H. Edmund Machold, the Republican Assembly Speaker of NY State, was quoted as saying:

The people of this State have chosen the Republican Party as the majority party in this House, and the representative of the opposite party, the Democrat Party, for the place of Chief Executive of the State. (New York Times, Jan. 4, 1923.)

And Hoover used the phrase in the 1932 campaign -- for example in a speech in St. Louis on November 4, 1932:

Many years ago the Democrat party undertook to remedy that whole question of booms and slumps by the creation of the Federal Reserve System. (New York Times, Nov. 5, 1932).

There you have it. It sounds like the primary motivation at first was to draw attention to the undemocratic nature of the urban Democratic machines of the era. In that way, it was perhaps one of the earliest and least inspired attempts at Lakoffian reframing.

Kevin Drum 11:27 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (105)

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Comments

It was Bob Dole who really pushed this the most, particularly during his run for VP in 1976. That's when it really entered wide spread conversation.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on March 23, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I could swear I read one that the GOP had some polling that found people less sympathetic to "The Democrat Party" than "The Democratic Party," so they put out the word that this ought to be the official lingo.

Dunno if Frank Luntz had something to do with it .

Posted by: Bill Camarda on March 23, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

So I guess we should say the Republic Party?

Posted by: Rick DeMent on March 23, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Another way of asking Kevin's question is: how long have Republicans been trying to be annoying pricks?

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

So I guess we should say the Republic Party?

How 'bout calling them the Republicrats? Which reminds me of this really dirty joke...

Posted by: gondol on March 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Kleiman claims that some on the left have even internalized the term, but I don't recall seeing many examples. I still say that use of the term "Democrat party" remains a useful tipoff from right-wing posers claiming to post here as "a long-time Democrat" who, by some astonishing coincidence, now decide to post comments in sympathy with GOP talking points.

I suppose they judge, rightly, that prefacing the same comments with "As a long-time Rush Limbaugh groupie..." would diminish their credibility, but the joke is that using such an unmistakable verbal tic has the same effect -- as Charlie/Cheney keeps discovering.

Posted by: Gregory on March 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Al Franken has suggesting "Pubican."

I want to debase conservative! No more I'm a "fiscally conservative" Democrat.

Let's say "fiscally responsible."

Let's make "conservative" = "big-spending cronyism".

Posted by: abe on March 23, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

So I guess we should say the Republic Party?

You could use the Publican Party, too.

I think (if you're interested in how this got started in my little corner of the internets) Che's Lounge and I were talking about this a couple of years ago over at Talk Left.

I personally prefer using the Repugnicant Party. It just sounds so right...

Posted by: (: Tom :) on March 23, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Bigotry always seems to begin by denying people the right to be called what they wish to be called. Some playground forms of this are milder than others, but it gets the ball rolling on all the epithetic truth-mangling that follows.

Lately we've seen this turned on its head, where neo-cons pretend to be affronted by being called what they call themselves.

Silly, ain't it?

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on March 23, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Drum's post is just another example of the self-esteem issues today's Democrats have.

"Waaaah! Somebody said 'Democrat party! Waaaah!"

Posted by: Paddy Whack on March 23, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

It never occured to me to be annoyed by this. I always felt that the use of Democrat to describe the party sounded ignorant, almost evoking pity. It sounds like they can't quite realize that there's a seperate form for the individuals (Democrat) and the party itself (Democratic).

Posted by: jhm on March 23, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

As someone once noted elsewhere - "Democrat party" rolls off the tongue in the same way "Jew banker" once did for some people. I think we ought to make that point as often as we can - noting that the best the Republicans can do is childish name calling.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on March 23, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

The point of saying "Democrat Party " is to change the subject. It's a schoolyard taunt. You either let it go or look petty by arguing.

Of course, by saying "Democrat Party" you annoy people who might have agreed with you.

Posted by: abe on March 23, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

'Dummocrats' and 'Dimocrats' seem to have a good number of hits too.

Say, here's an interesting article:

english.epochtimes.com/news/6-3-17/39430.html

We've got tens of thousands of foreign citizens marching in our streets demanding rights to which they aren't entitled.

And, they're getting support from members of the Democratic Party. Just so everyone is using the correct term, those foreign citizens who are agitating inside our country are fully supported by the Democratic Party.

Posted by: TLB on March 23, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons, neocons!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 23, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

But, Kevin, what's the "Democrt" party? :)

(Soon Kevin will edit his post and then this will make no sense whatsoever.)

Posted by: Alek Hidell on March 23, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

"Democrat Party" is just another one of the irritating things the fascisti do, always a sign of a brainless robot, so therefore to be valued as an avoidance signal, much like the stink on a skunk.

Posted by: MadBlogger on March 23, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Paddy Whack, what sort of self esteem problem leads you to post on a blog where you are widely despised?

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 23, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Soembody should go back and look at the speeches given by Democrats over the past couple of generations.

I bet Democrats themselves have said "Democrat party" tens of thousands of times.

Sheesh, you Dems need to grow the hell up.

Posted by: BigRiver on March 23, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Great research Kevin, and it illustrates a basic point Karl Rove has been pretty successful by using some old tried-and-true tactics. Just because it was old and obvious doesn't mean he wasn't willing to use it.

And of course, it now gives the Dems a bit of an opening if they want to use it. Arguably the GOP's biggest challenge right now is that fewer and fewer people believe what they say. Their credibility is shot.

On this one, Democrats could counter-attack each time they hear "democrat party" and respond, you and "that's not right - the official name is democratic party. It's a detail, but governing works when you take care of the details and fails when you don't. Just look at Iraq, Katrina and out debt."

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 23, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

There's also the subliminal aspect of ending the word with "rat."

I humbly suggest "Republicunt"

C

Posted by: C on March 23, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

So who came up with "IslamoFascist" to describe either the theocracies or monarchies in the mid east?

Posted by: MonkeyBoy on March 23, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I bet Democrats themselves have said "Democrat party" tens of thousands of times.

I'll take that bet. And then I'll take your house.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I humbly suggest "Republicunt"

Ding! Ding! This thread is officially closed!

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

After reading Kevin's post, as well as the comments, I think the name of the party should be changed to "The Whiner Party."

Posted by: FrequencyKenneth on March 23, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Repugnican Party.

It's catchy and true.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 23, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

There's also the subliminal aspect of ending the word with "rat."

Yes. This "Democrat party" thing has bugged me for years, because its etymology seemed so vague and its use seemed so pointless. What's the rhetorical effect the reactionaries are aiming at when they use it?

One of the better explanations I've heard is that using "Democrat" as an adjective points to a subtle linkage with other words with a "-crat" suffix which have negative associations: "bureaucrat," "aristocrat," "autocrat," and so on.

But many of today's Republicans don't even seem to be aware that they're using the term, or why.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on March 23, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

I always assumed that it developed out of symmetry. Republicans are members of the Republican Party, so Democrats are members of the Democrat Party--English tends to drop adjectival endings (rubber baby buggy bumpers).

Posted by: SamChevre on March 23, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

FrequencyKenneth: After reading Kevin's post, as well as the comments, I think the name of the party should be changed to "The Whiner Party."

That name has already been taken by the GOP as an aka.

And "Whiner Troll" has already been taken by FrequencyKenneth.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 23, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

After reading Kevin's post, as well as the comments, I think the name of the party should be changed to "The Whiner Party."

What, you mean the GOP is going to sell us the rights to it?

Posted by: Alek Hidell on March 23, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

BigBiver, FrequencyKenneth (how dare you ruin that song for me) and PaddyWhack all come out to play at the same time...again. Where's MountainDan? Still "having coffee" with Jay?

Okay, no more troll baiting from me. I'm sorry, Alek!

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Nice to know that the modern GOP still hews to the legacy of Hoover, Willkie, and Pendergast.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on March 23, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Aside from the annoyance factor of Republicans misstating the official name (ever notice how much easier it is to say "Democrat Party" in a sneering tone than "Democratic Party"?), it's always seemed to me that the connotation of Democrat Party, as in "a party of democrats," is preferable to that of Democratic Party, as in "a party that is run democratically." The former is more expansive, suggesting that democracy for all is the goal of the party members, as opposed to simply being concerned with running their own party in a democratic manner.

I guess it's too late to co-opt the sneer, though.

Posted by: Swift Loris on March 23, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

republikkkan party

Posted by: lib on March 23, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop! back to work! This ain't no disco!

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Big River writes:

"I bet Democrats themselves have said "Democrat party" tens of thousands of times.

Sheesh, you Dems need to grow the hell up."

Actually, Big River, I'll bet they haven't. A few may have said "Vote Democrat," or something like that. But you will not find major Democratic Party candidates or leaders using the term "Democrat Party." That trick is too well known within the party.

And it's not immature to want your group's name pronounced correctly. Immature would be calling you "Pig DRiver" over and over again and then saying, "Sheesh, you really need to grow the hell up."

Posted by: Sean on March 23, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around."

Posted by: Gregory on March 23, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Call them 'the R's party'; a subtle slur in the pronunciation sounds like 'the arse party'.

And then if they complain, they look petty.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on March 23, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

No Sean it's Big River SHALLOW mind

Posted by: Neo on March 23, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I always liked Republicon party--and now more than ever.

Soembody should go back and look at the speeches given by Democrats over the past couple of generations.

Yes, always easier to mindlessly speculate, as opposed to actually doing some rather simple research yourself.

Posted by: Ringo on March 23, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

When I was working for a Democratic state senator in Sacramento, we sometimes called the Republicans "Reeps".

Posted by: Zeno on March 23, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

This ain't no disco!

You said it. I ain't got time for this now.

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

If Republicans were whinners as children then I believe Democrats grow up to be whinners.

The term "War Democrat" was used by during the civil war to describe those Democrats supporting the war but objected to Republican economic policies and to President Abraham Lincoln's abrogation of civil rights.

Merriam-Webster: Democrat
1 a : an adherent of democracy b : one who practices social equality
2 capitalized : a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.

Democrat is not a derogatory word, it is descriptive.

Posted by: berlins on March 23, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Western PA, heavily Republican, and I've never heard the term. If someone said something like that, I'd just think they were stupid.

Posted by: kgb on March 23, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

ReThuglicans

It describes what they are - Thugs

"...you cannot save your face and your ass at the same time..." - vachon@shadrach.net

Posted by: daCascadian on March 23, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I still think ReTHUGlican Party is the most descriptive.
.

Posted by: VJ on March 23, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK


Timing !

Posted by: VJ on March 23, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

While "Republicunt" is hilarious, one that might actually get the giggling Greek chorus to repaeat it on their talk shows is "Republican't." You know, as in "can't protect us from a Class 3 hurricane", "can't find Osama Bin Laden", "can't win a war against the remnants of an already wiped out third world army", etc., etc.

Posted by: brewmn on March 23, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

"When I was working for a Democratic state senator in Sacramento, we sometimes called the Republicans "Reeps"."

I guess that's more efficient than my GOP abbreviation of "dumbass". I still like mine better though.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on March 23, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

brewmn, that's fantastic. We must get that meme out into the world as quickly as possible.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ah! It seems we have an easy shibboleth for testing whether an individual may be a Republican.

Posted by: Dave Alway on March 23, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

berlins said:


"Merriam-Webster: Democrat
1 a : an adherent of democracy b : one who practices social equality
2 capitalized : a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.

Democrat is not a derogatory word, it is descriptive."

That's the NOUN form! Back to Schoolhouse Rock for you!

Posted by: i never post on March 23, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

The idea that Depression-era Republicans gave two shits about enfranchisement is a total laugher. Democrats were the biggest threat to voting rights in that era, but it was the terrorists of the South (who have now switched to the GOP), not the urban machines, that made our supposed democracy a sick joke until the civil rights era. And no Republican of the era proposed standing up to them.

Posted by: kth on March 23, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat is not a derogatory word, it is descriptive.

Democrat is a noun. Democratic is an adjective. Learn the difference.

Posted by: Stefan on March 23, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Waaaah! Somebody said 'Democrat party! Waaaah!"

What a maroon. It is absolutely germaine to look at the ways, large and small, that the Republics have been chipping away at us for more than three decades. They can't make it on merit, so it's all about spin.

Posted by: Kenji on March 23, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are indeed nitpicking. Democrat is a nouns and I haven't said it wasn't an adjective. By descriptive I mean it describes a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.,a nd is not derogatory in nature. Is that too much for you to understand you whinny bunch of Democrats.

Posted by: Berlins on March 23, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are missing the point. Referring to something by an incorrect name, even doing so consistently, is not uncommon. Even supplanting the correct terminology with fake one is not new ("normalcy" comes to mind). The change here is very different--it is organized and deliberate and uses mass media specifically to target the linguistic change. THAT part is unprecedented. Talking about the Red Menace is one thing. Getting the whole country to talk about it is quite another. I hope you can see the difference.

Posted by: buck turgidson on March 23, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Well I discovered this irksome little habit when I accidentally typed "Democrat" instead of "Democratic" in a comment on this blog one day. Until I was fileted and roasted by other commentors for my "pro-Republican" language, I had never realized Republicans did this sort of thing.

As to whether this is important or not...see my comments on the Domenech post above.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on March 23, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

"By descriptive I mean it describes a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.,a nd is not derogatory in nature. Is that too much for you to understand you whinny bunch of Democrats."

Well, I notice you at least got the party name right.

Honestly, I never really gave the phenomenon much thought. Most of the people that I've heard using the "Democrat Party" reference were Southern, so I figured it was just an artifact of the dialect down here.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on March 23, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised to have made it through so many posts from politically astute observers, and for no one to have mentioned the man who used this shortened-form most repeatedly: Joe McCarthy. "Democrat party" may have been coined somewhat earlier, but McCarthy is quite well-known for having put it into widespread usage. And of course, like most every word out of his mouth, it was meant to demean (I guess the staccato sound of it was thought to be offensive to the ear, unlike the more mellifluous "Democratic").

The recent adoption of the phrase by most mainstream Republicans indicates their continued acceptance of/descent into McCarthy-like tactics.

Posted by: demtom on March 23, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm an elitest, but I've always thought people who say "Democrat Party" were just dumb, not mean.

Posted by: D on March 23, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I always liked Republicon party--and now more than ever.

How about the Republi-can't Party?

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on March 23, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

In the 19th Century, the Democratic Party was sometimes known as "The Democracy". Perhaps we should bring that back.

Posted by: Ken D. on March 23, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Neiiiiigh!

Posted by: Illiterate Berlins' Whinny Bunch of Democrats on March 23, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are indeed nitpicking. Democrat is a nouns and I haven't said it wasn't an adjective.

so you admit it's a noun, and you haven't said it wasn't an adjective--so you still claim that it is an adjective?

you're not making any sense and you look very stupid, so it's no wonder you can't understand why people would have a problem with this--it's a matter of very basic grammar.

"Democratic" is an adjective, a word used to describe things, as in "Democratic Party".

"Democrat" is a noun, a word used to name a person, place, thing--as in "Harry Reid is a Democrat".

Republicans want to use a noun as an adjective, it's no wonder they choose a moron like George W. Bush as their leader, and to set education policy.

Posted by: haha on March 23, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

I've always call it the democratic party and never noticed a trend in the other direction. Probably because I don't sweat the small stuff and don't knit pick over what some might call incorrect english. As long as I understand you, you've spoken correctly. Democrat party, DemocratIC party, whatever, I know what you mean. The Socialist party. *grin*

Posted by: Lurker42 on March 23, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Repugnican Party"

How about "re-pube-lick-ans?

Posted by: Lurker42 on March 23, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Bushie, the other day...

We've got the Patriot Act reauthorized over the objections of the Democrat leadership in the Senate.
I did notice that nobody from the Democrat Party has actually stood up and called for getting rid of the terrorist surveillance program.
There are people in the United States Congress, primarily on the Democrat side, that would be anxious to let some of the tax relief expire.

Posted by: Mr. Pither on March 23, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

This technique of refusing to call people by the term they themselves use is a classical trick used to demean and dehumanize. Think of the term "Zionist entity" in place of "Israel" to understand how hateful it is meant to be.

A few years ago, I participated in Democratic Party meetings in the Lakewood/Cerritos area of Los Angeles County. The committee chair tried to have us play this little game where anyone who used the word "Republican" instead of "the other party" had to put fifty cents into the kitty. I protested on the basis described above and the practice was stopped. It seemed not only irritating, but stupid. Pretending that the opposition does not exist did not strike me as a useful methodology for beating them in elections.

By the way, a way to respond might be to say something like the following: "Well, I notice that the Republican candidate has some angry words for the Democrat Party. I'm glad he has nothing bad to say about me, the candidate from the Democratic Party. Or perhaps he just can't read."

Posted by: Bob G on March 23, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think that Republicans may have trouble with words longer than three syllables...Hence the truncation...

Posted by: grape_crush on March 23, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I always call 'em the "publicans" - the party of barkeeps and private tax collectors.

Posted by: bogie on March 23, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for bringing it up, Kevin; I find the changing of "Democratic" to "Democrat" annoying as hell, too, and had begun to wonder if I were the only one.

Posted by: Bobarino on March 23, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

"'Democrat Party' is just another one of the irritating things the fascisti do, always a sign of a brainless robot, so therefore to be valued as an avoidance signal, much like the stink on a skunk."

Hear, hear. It's a good way to identify a Kool-aid drinking wingnut.

Let's go with "Republic" Party just to show how foolish it is not to use the correct name.

I love some of the other suggestions and use Rethuglican myself, but only in blog comments and not in polite company.

After all, it is only good manners (tho of course the GOP knows nothing of those) when addressing someone to use the name they prefer. And it's a sign of bullying, trying to one-up and impose oneself, to repeatedly use a name known to irritate.

Whenever George Allen says "Democrat Party" whatever Democrat is appearing with him on the talking head show needs to immediately interrupt him and say, "Are you talking about my Party, Senator? It's the Democratic Party, Senator. You could look it up on our letterhead. As far as I know there is no entity using the name 'Democrat Party.'"

Just interrupt every damned time. Just say the word "Democratic" if nothing more. Discipline is needed here folks. Every single time.

Don't let the Rethugs define the Democrats even one more time. That's been the key to their success, and as minor as this issue might seem, it is a seminal example.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 23, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's good to see you moonbats working on solving the world's problems.

Notice how I astutely avoided the conflict between "Democrat" and "Democratic".

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 23, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

These may be dark times for President Bush and the GOP, but Republicans are happy. Or at least happier than Democrats. That's the unsurprising conclusion of the annual survey of American happiness ("Are We Happy Yet?") by the Pew Research Center. Just as predictably, conservatives like George Will are happier still about what they see as vindication for their blighted ideology.

On this as on so many other topics, Will has the morality play utterly backwards.

For the full story, see:
"Don't Worry, Be Happy."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on March 23, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I have always just seen it as a sign of ignorance.

People who say "Democrat Party" also say "I'll learn you some manners" and "nucular power" and pepper their sentences with double and triple negatives.

Posted by: Disputo on March 23, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Apropos of nothing, but the tradition of parties naming each other goes right back to the beginning. The first two major parties in Britain - The Whigs and the Tories - named each other. Torie comes from the name of Irish bandits and Whig from Whigamore - dour, humorless Scottish presbyterians.

Both parties decided that they liked the names and kept them.

Posted by: Arlen on March 23, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Notice how I astutely avoided the conflict between "Democrat" and "Democratic".

Yeah, by being an even bigger asshole than the cretins who use "Democrat Party." No surprise there.

Posted by: Gregory on March 23, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, by being an even bigger asshole than the cretins who use "Democrat Party."
There's just no pleasing you lefties.

Well, I suppose we could adopt socialism and get us some of that Cuban-style prosperity...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 23, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

It is indeed Frat Boy insecurity

"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends...that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." - Adlai Stevenson (1952 campaign)

Posted by: daCascadian on March 23, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Maybe I'm an elitest, but I've always thought people who say "Democrat Party" were just dumb, not mean."

With the Republicans' Party, you get both. And "Republicans' Party" is how I sees 'em -- the party belongs to the Republicans, but is not republican in nature. That is, it no longer believes in this nation as a republic, with separations of power both within the national government (the "three branches") but between the national and the state governments. Witness the recent bill to do away with warning labels on medicines, where individual state labels will no longer be required, but the states must give way to the federal government's lowest-common-denominator labels.

So to me, it's the "Republicans' Party," despite that it's harder to write and probably confusing to the common voter.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on March 23, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Whiiiirrrrr....Cuba!...Fidel!...Teddy Kennedy!...ADA!...socialism!...Dan Rather!...moonbats!...Soviet Union!...grerp!...flink!...FLOP!!!!!

Posted by: Random Conspiracy Nut Word Generator, speaking apropros of nothing as usual on March 23, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is an old slur, designed to show contempt for the Democratic Party. I'm glad to see so many people reacting. If you hear someone use this slur, call them on it.

Posted by: JonM on March 23, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmph ... I always thought Tories came from a truncation of Queen Victoria's name, like Victoria "Torie" Clark, one of Bush's old spokescritters.

Irish brigands, huh. Heh, you learn something new every day.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 23, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Random Conspiracy Nut Word Generator, speaking apropros of nothing as usual

LOL

Posted by: haha on March 23, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

This is an old slur, designed to show contempt for the Democratic Party. I'm glad to see so many people reacting. If you hear someone use this slur, call them on it.

Posted by: JonM on March 23, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Republicants Republicants Republicants
Can't tell the truth, can't run the country
can't be trusted with the safety and security of our children

Posted by: boy carville on March 23, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm on board with Republican'ts (be sure to use the apostrophe, children). So next time George Allen calls it the Democrat Party, Joe Biden should say, "My esteemed friend from the Republican't Party ..." in return.

Yeah, I like it! Especially when used debating that worm, Mehlman. Then whoever is debating him could call him Ken Mehlman't, Chairman of the Republican't Party.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 23, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Bigotry always seems to begin by denying people the right to be called what they wish to be called."

Cool! I want to be called "godlike in my magnificence". You're not a bigot, are you? LOL

"democratic" is an adjective. But it's an adjective which does NOT mean, "like the Democratic party". It in fact has a meaning which it's possible to think does not describe your party, and if somebody thinks your party isn't particularly democratic, why should they call it that?

Posted by: Brett Bellmore on March 23, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Good point, Brett, and exactly why we're going to start calling the GOP the Republican'ts.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 23, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's crazy to ignore the fact that "Democrat Party" is much less pleasing to the ear than "Democratic Party." And not just because it's unfamiliar to Democrats.

For one thing, aside from being intentionally disrespectful and belittling -- it makes the Democrats look like wimps that they can't even get their opponents to use their proper name -- it rhymes with "rat."

There's an interesting comparison I saw of Bush in the 2000 election. Depending on the audience (swing or solid Repuglican), he'd say "Democratic" or "Democrat" Party.

Once the Democrats retake a house of Congress, they ought to pass a motion that in that House, the party must be referred to as the "Democratic Party," and Democratic representatives must be referred to as "my Democratic colleague" or "Democratic Representatives" etc. That any other usage is out of order. That those who misspeak will be reminded by the Chair. And that the record will always be corrected to reflect proper usage.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on March 23, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Am I off base on this?" - Kevin

Not at all Kevin. I think the main reason the "Democratic" Party lost the last election by nearly 3.5 million popular votes is because of the name. It couldn't have been the platform or the dynamic person leading it since both were superior to what the opposition offered, I mean the polls told you that.

In '08 I suggest adding this subject to the campaign and just tell the voters that the republicans have been mean to you for over 70 years now.

I'll sit back and enjoy the show.

Posted by: Jay on March 23, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

it's an old ploy of the Republicans because they've always felt that it allows Democrats to portray themselves as the party of democracy, a widely understood concept, while Republicans derive their party name from, obviously, republic, which is not nearly as well understood conceptually.
The difference between now and the last several decades is that you hear Republicans speak radically out of proportion to their numbers because of their domination of the media.

Posted by: secularhuman on March 23, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat Party is to Democratic Party as Jew person is to Jewish person. Using the word "Jew" as an adjective is meant to exploit the pejoratives of the noun. Such as "dirty Jew", or "filthy Jew" or "greedy Jew". Democrat Party does the same linguistic work. It conjures "rats" or corrupt machine Democrats.

I have NEVER heard a Democrat refer to the party as the Democrat Party. In fact, it is as much a marker of right-wing Republicanism to use "Democrat Party" as it is to use "Jew" as an adjective.

If you want to revive a great old 19th century mode of referring to the Democratic Party, then call it the Democracy. Having read hundreds of 19th century newspapers, I have never seen anybody refer to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party" - not even by Republicans.

Posted by: Elrod on March 23, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

I expect republicans & consrvatives to do it. But non partisan newscasters & such should know better. One of my professors, who is fairly progressive, always refers to the "Democrat party" and it drives me insane! My textbook! written by two academics in political science, continually refer to the "Democrat Party" HATE!!!!

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway on March 23, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat party really does sound like the product of a feeble mind but what annoys me when I hear it has nothing to do with the implied slight, it is the fact that Republicunts spend more of their time trying to invent a new language and create new definitions for words to confuse and obfuscate. If they applied as much of their intellects to actually GOVERNING they might not be such a pox on the country.

Watching these thieves try to govern is like watching special ed kids rehearsing a production of Lord of the Flies. Well, except that the special ed kids would actually TRY...

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on March 24, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

The adjective "Democratic" is a poor description of the democrat party.

But democrat is used to refer to the people and policies. When referring to the party, I believe most people use democratic.

Refering to party politics and people as Democratic simply doesn't sound right.

"Democratics undermine democracy" just doesn't sound right. "Democrats undermine democracy" does.

Posted by: aaron on March 24, 2006 at 5:33 AM | PERMALINK

I always call 'em the "publicans" - the party of barkeeps and private tax collectors.

Yes, but then you canbuild some sympathy there with the Publican and the Pharissee. Then again, we should remind 'publicans that what they SHOULD be going is beating their breast in repentence begging for God's mercy and forgiveness for their misdeeds.

Posted by: Constantine on March 24, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone's not instanced it, One of Bob Dole's less stellar moments (I think when he was running against Reagan for the '76 nomination) was pointing out that every major in the 20th century up to that point was a "Democrat war."

Posted by: waterfowl on March 24, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Let's start calling them the "Republic" Party and see how they like it.

Posted by: Ron Legro on March 24, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Publican" Party is a good pushback because 1) in the Bible, the publicans were tax-collectors; and 2) the Biblical reference is typically to "publicans and sinners."

If they can lose a syllable of our name, why can't we do the same for them?

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Posted by: Ericson Laja on March 27, 2006 at 4:43 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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