The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

25 November 2006

'Civility' In Politics, Democrat Party, Talk Radio


Phony 'Civility' Push Utilizes Loaded Language

What's a little "-ic" between enemies?

For whatever reason, some lefties are clearly miffed about the way radio talk show hosts, conservative columnists and Republican leaders routinely describe their political organization. Does it really matter whether one chooses to call it the Democrat or Democratic Party?

Though it might seem petty to many people, to some Democrats, dropping the "-ic" is akin to anti- semitism or McCarthyism.

Think your Radio Equalizer is joking? From Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus, just get a load of this (also here):

If he wanted to, President Bush could change the tone in Washington with a single syllable: He could just say “ic.” That is, he could stop referring to the opposition as the “Democrat Party” and call the other side, as it prefers, the Democratic Party.

The derisive use of “Democrat” in this way was a Bush staple during the recent campaign. “There are people in the Democrat Party who think they can spend your money far better than you can,” he would say in his stump speech, or, “Raising taxes is a Democrat idea of growing the economy,” or, “However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.”


Democrat Party was used, pardon the phrase, liberally by Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy. According to the Columbia Guide to Standard American English, “Democrat as an adjective is still sometimes used by some twentieth- century Republicans as a campaign tool but was used with particular virulence” by McCarthy, “who sought by repeatedly calling it the Democrat party to deny it any possible benefit of the suggestion that it might also be democratic.”

The word also achieved a prominent run with Bob Dole’s especially ugly reference to “Democrat wars” during the 1976 vice presidential debate.

But Demo- crat- as- epithet has seen its fullest flower- ing – on talk radio, among cong- ress- ional leaders and, more than with any of his predecessors, from the president himself – during the recent Republican heyday.

As Hendrik Hertzberg pointed out in the New Yorker in August, the conservative Web site takes pains to scrub Associated Press copy “to de-‘ic’ references” to the party.


But as a matter of simple politeness – something the Bush family is famously good at – it’s rude to call people by a term that makes them bristle, even a seemingly innocuous one. There’s also something grating and coarse-sounding about this abbreviated appellation, like saying “Jew” instead of “Jewish.” It is, conservative wordsmith William F. Buckley wrote in National Review in 2002, “offensive to the ear.”

Yes, if only we nasty conservatives would listen to Buckley and restore the missing "-ic", then we too could avoid swimming in the sewer with anti- semites and McCarthyites. Does this seem even slightly rational?

After a long absence, why are we seeing the phony "civility" debate return now? To your Radio Equalizer, it's obvious: even the left realizes that with Democrats now in charge of Congress, conservative media opponents will gain in popularity.

So calling for civility, even in this loaded manner, is a way to undermine in advance any resurgence of talk radio or other emerging media critics of the Pelosi- Reid regime.

So why do conservatives often refer to their opponents as the Democrat Party? To us, it doesn't seem terribly complicated: the idea that one political organization should be able to present itself as "democratic" in nature, as though it has a monopoly on this concept, is simply dishonest.

According to Marcus, however, it appears there are several theories as to how the -ic was stripped away. Whatever the real reason, in this crazy world, aren't there more important things to worry about?

ELSEWHERE: our friends at Gateway Pundit and VCrisis are covering huge anti- Chavez rallies in Venezuela. In an effort to cut off the protests, Hugo shut off every entrance to Caracas, but it didn't affect turnout whatsoever. No doubt friend- of- global- thugs Rep Bill Delahunt (D-Mass) is furious.

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  • Why do "conservatives" refer to themselves as conservative, when they are inherently wasteful?

    Wasteful with money, wasteful with time, wasteful with life itself.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 25 November, 2006 16:15  

  • I never have given it any thought until Maloney decided to make it the cutting issue of the day.

    Per Wikipedia Although the name "Democratic party" was adopted during the presidency of Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), Democrats trace their origins to the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1792,[3] making it the oldest political party in the world.

    If there is objection to the use of the word Democratic, shouldn't it have been raised back then? Shouldn't you be criticizing Thomas Jefferson?

    Maloney, stop being the spokesperson for the party of pettiness.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 25 November, 2006 17:18  

  • Why call them the Democratic Party when there's nothing "democratic" about them? The Authoritarian Party would be more appopriate...

    By Blogger D. R. Tucker, at 25 November, 2006 19:34  

  • Ut is the Rethugs who are authoritarian, with their Patriot Acts, wiretapping of civilians, and torture domes..

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 25 November, 2006 21:56  

  • You know what would help civility more than "-ic"?

    How about not praying for Dick Cheney's death ala the Huffington Post?

    By Blogger BF, at 26 November, 2006 14:51  

  • Interesting, I didn't see such a statement on the Huffington Post (but, then again, I'm still waiting for an explanation for how George Soros funded Air America...)

    Silly me!

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 26 November, 2006 17:13  

  • It's the name of the party for crying out loud, it's not up for debate!

    Guys - I'm sorry if your party has a crappy name. Maybe if you changed it to something better you wouldn't have to make up new names for your opponents.

    The "democrat party" thing is just one example of the diplomatic skills this administration has displayed. It's no wonder the president is met with protests wherever he goes. I can remember when the president was cheered all over the free world. What a terrible time for our country!

    By Blogger Ken, at 26 November, 2006 19:08  

  • When you can't let your own parties record speak for itself, you attack in petty ways like "democrat party". The Republican party of 2006 hides behind their own POLICIES of record breaking war profitering (the kind that Harry Truman would jail people for) corruption, failure, incompetance and treason. The obscure their failures by simple RNC playbook tricks "they will raise your taxes", "gayness will take over the country", "fight them there so they don't fight us here" etc etc. No record of their own to boast, but rather a baseless attack on their opponents. This is why they were voted out. America gor tired of the slogan bullsh*t, ans the GOP's track record was exposed for voters to see. "Psuedo-conservative radio" is DEAD as far as influence goes. Only the 31% non-thinking listener remains. Never will right wing radio hosts influence an "undecided voter" again. Will the shows make money, YES, will the hosts play a serious impact in voting ever again?? Nope. The Limbaugh era is OVER, the objective voter was betrayed by the hosts and this failed administration is the result. The Savages and Limbaughs of the world are shrieking to their warped choir at this point.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 26 November, 2006 20:01  

  • The proper name should be the Socialist Party.

    List the Dem’s achievements social programs. Look at what their social programs have done. They have created the give me class. America needs to get out and earn the things they want instead of being given everything.

    As for Rush, I have heard that for 15 years. Don't hold your breath.

    By Blogger pf1, at 27 November, 2006 00:39  

  • I have asked this before, but can you provide for yourself and stop asking the Government to provide for you? Help people who need help not people who are lazy.

    By Blogger pf1, at 27 November, 2006 02:57  

  • PF1, we're more than willing and able to pay our fair share, and do.

    We're just not willing to pay YOURS...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 27 November, 2006 07:54  

  • Hash I bet you could not afford to pay.

    If you can pay your own way why do you need the government to provide retirement, health care, and all the other social programs the Dem’s want to pass. If you need all that I guess you can’t afford to pay your own way.

    By Blogger pf1, at 27 November, 2006 10:22  

  • pF1

    listen to the shrill shriek of a mentally sick conservative. For me??? Government providing for me????? I have worked since i was 15, since the day I got working papers. Do I resent mentally ill people not capable of working who receives assistance? NOPE. Do I resent single mothers who receive a little assistance fro the government?? NOPE. Only a sick bastard would resent the small group in America who receive SSI or welfare, which by the way is a whopping $400-$600 a month. Sick, degenerates like this poster have a fantasy world, learned from filthy right wing talk show hosts who created this "people getting rich from welfare" fantasy. I have never been on welfare, but I have done VOLUNTEER social work, and NOBODY is getting RICH from WELFARE. There is no "gimme society". All in your paranoid, warped brain. The given welfare to military contractors is definatly part of a "gimme society". PF1 and his right wing loonatics, have no problem with big business molesting the tax payer though!

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 27 November, 2006 10:40  

  • Interesting, I didn't see such a statement on the Huffington Post

    Here's your link, Hash.

    By Blogger BF, at 27 November, 2006 11:50  

  • Oh.

    Ridiculous, to claim that's calling for Cheney's demise (although I agree with the actual thrust of the piece).

    PF1, your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired, which I guess would be expected, given the level of literary competence one sees on the right these days....

    And I'm sure you'd lose your bet with yourself, but what difference does it make? Your (giggle) party's propensity for borrowing from foreign governments, willingness to hand over our best technologies and weapons to tomorrow's enemies, and irresponsible decision-making regarding the few resources you've managed not to squander pretty much render ALL of our finances' security questionable.

    And I at least WORKED for mine. I didn't get it by stealing from the least of ours, and calling it "conservatism"....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 27 November, 2006 15:54  

  • hash, either you're dyslexic or failed reading comprehension. In what universe is this not considered a prayer for death?!?:

    "For greater love hath no heart than that it lay down its life to rid the planet of its Number One Human Tumor."

    By Blogger BF, at 27 November, 2006 16:36  

  • The author happens to be referring to our liberation through Cheney's own self-destructive tendencies....and?

    The vast majority of Americans would be vastly relieved to have Cheney "retired due to health reasons" anyway. I continue to support the author's intentions, no matter what sensationalistic spin you or your ilk choose to place on it...

    Face it, no one would cry for Cheney or any of your revered evilians at any rate.

    That doesn't change (rather it reinforces) the original premise, which is that George W. Bush, the devil who neither could communicate nor comprehend the basics of the English language, laid down a basic blueprint for moronic behavior, and was the ultimate affirmative action appointment.

    And you supported him.

    There are no "two sides" to this story. One either supports evil, or rejects it.

    You happen to support the culture of evil, and I didn't...from day one.

    Don't try to navigate that tricky U-turn back to purity and innocence.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 27 November, 2006 16:59  

  • Talk about reading comprehension let me try again. If you can afford to provide health insurance, retirement and other give a ways from the government then pay for it yourself. If you would pay for it yourself then that would leave more money for people who needed it like single mothers. If you can afford to pay your own way and will not you are lazy.

    Call me a sick Bastard because you can not comprehend. That would make you a stupid bastard. Tell me what you disagree with. The Americans who need help would have more resources to pull from and be better helped.

    Is this going to help or hurt people in need? Yes or No?

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 November, 2006 00:50  

  • Who personally gives you the right or discernment to determine who does or doesn't have an ability "to pay" some mysterious, unspecific "premium" to some entity for "benefits", eh?

    Coming from someone who espouses benefits cuts to the very veterans supposedly fighting (your war, not MINE)....

    Which one of the proud, decent Americans who actually contribute to this society do you begrudge anyway?

    The elderly?

    The wounded veteran who sits in Walter Reade, unable to function, because you've determined surgery to repair head wounds sustained in war are not reimbursable?

    Come off it, clown.

    Conversatism equals:

    FAILED philosophy, FAILED warriors, FAILED leadership, FAILED fiscal responsibility, FAILED policies, FAILED moral integrity.


    And this is simply what it feels like to be brushed aside like the failures you are.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 28 November, 2006 01:11  

  • Benefits for everyone the liberal way. Don’t base it on need just if you want it or not. Like I said the give me class. Hash, first in line, give me because I want it not because I need it. Pay your own way free loader.

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 November, 2006 04:38  

  • Pay real Americans back what you stole.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 28 November, 2006 08:52  

  • I suspect the locution "Democrat party" has more to do with folksy speech habits than it does with an intentional effort to insult Democrats (though the fact that it seems to drive them up the wall may be seen as a side benefit by heartless Republicans). Just like Bush's (and Ike's) stubborn refusal to use the standard pronunciation of the word "nuclear".

    As to Brian's point about the impropriety of seizing the term "democratic" to describe only one's own political faction, the term "republican" is arguably more central to the founding and to the continuing meaning of the United States. Universal suffrage is, after all, a relatively recent, lamentable innovation.


    By Blogger sbchurl, at 28 November, 2006 11:12  

  • Hash

    Can you not afford to save for your retirement? Can you not afford to save for your health insurance?

    Help people who need help. I am helping people in South America for the next week. So I don’t need a lecture from you. You talk big do something to help people instead of taking benefits that could go to people who need it.

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 November, 2006 11:28  

  • Yeah, what part of Paraguay? HA!!

    Excuse me, but you claim to have "been in Desert Storm"....yet, if you really have served, that means you're entitled to VA med care.

    Yet you begrudge Medicare the same ability you have to bargain for the same government-subsidized prices you feel entitled to.

    Or perhaps you were a truckdriver in Desert Storm? Or perhaps a private contractor, or mercenary?

    Perhaps you owe your personal riches to the House of Saud?

    Go "help" whomever you assured we taxpayers will assist you in whatever tax-paying ponzi scheme you participate in...

    I'll continue my work with the homeless and disenfranchised...out of my own pocket.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 28 November, 2006 13:11  

  • Hash you’re an idiot. I served six years, which does not entitle me to VA benefits. If I served twenty years yes I would accept VA benefits because I earned it. If you want Government health care retire from the army. Yeah right.

    Again I do not want or need your or your parties help. So you continue throwing coins and wanting more and more benefits from the Government.

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 November, 2006 13:39  

  • Who cares?

    You may have "served", but it sure as hell wasn't the United States of America.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 28 November, 2006 22:46  

  • Do you think I care what a “Hashfanatic” thinks? I am sure you served and still are, I am still waiting for my pizza.


    By Blogger pf1, at 29 November, 2006 04:22  

  • Nah, you've stuffed yourself far enough already....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 29 November, 2006 14:23  

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