Codes, codes, everywhere are codes.

29 Mar 2010 11:38 pm
Posted by: Donna

Those of us who follow politics from the left and center understand that Republicans and movement conservatives communicate in shorthand. One loaded phrase, to cite the Reaganesque oldie-but-goodie, “Welfare Queen” conveys volumes to the intended audience, in a manner that’s become fairly obvious to everyone at this point. It’s kind of quaint in its heavy-handedness, and hard to believe that Reagan got away with it. But he used it speeches in the early 80s, when riots and busing controversies were fresh in the minds of white Americans, who were around 90% of the voting electorate at the time. And it resonates to this day, as I still hear people complaining about all the money spent on “welfare”, as if Clinton’s welfare reform had never happened, and that a large percentage of the money spent by the government is still going to lazy brown people (not that it ever was).

Republicans clearly realized that code words were a winning strategy, especially when they aligned with Christian social conservatives, who have a plethora of code words of their own. Family Values. Homosexual Agenda. Culture of Life. America Is A Christian Nation.

Then there were the clarion calls of the neo-cons/plutocrats: National Security. Terrorism. Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Not to mention the perennial favorites – Personal Responsibility and Free Market.

After a long time of having such themes drilled into the American consciousness, it got to the point where the abject failure of the policies behind them became too obvious to ignore. Which led to Republican losses in 2006 and 2008.

Now they’ve decided that a smart course of action is to attack progressive ideas and turn them into code words. To wit:

Progressive = Socialist, Nazi, Communist. IOW, someone who wants to tax hard working white people to give benefits to undeserving non-white people. Also, a person who wants to deprive corporations of their God-given right to fleece profit from a non-unionized workforce and uninformed consumers.

Social Justice = Something that makes Glenn Beck cry really hard. Used to be an aspiration of Catholics, Mormons, and Protestant denominations. Now it’s shorthand for attacking anyone, including churches, who refuse to toe the Supply Side Prosperity Gospel line.

Community Organizers = People who help “undesirables’ register to vote/buy homes/navigate the banking and credit system/avoid unplanned pregnancy. See: ACORN. Planned Parenthood. Barack Obama. Not to be confused with “good” community organizers like Right to Life or the Tea Party. Community organizing, it’s IOKIYAR, unless it isn’t, in which case, it’s bad.

Taxes = Always a Republican bugaboo but they keep moving the goalposts on what taxes are acceptable. They’re the means by which money is extracted from hard working white people and funneled into welfare and “entitlements”. Ignore the the billions funneled into the Bush tax cuts and wars, and focus on the money spent on the Obama stimulus and brown people.

Here’s some new codes:

Teleprompter = Elitist contrivance of smartypants know-it-alls (Obama) who think they’re so smart with their “education” and “speechwriting ability”. The mention of “teleprompter” will cause Tea Party audiences to break out in (inexplicable) laughter, despite the likelihood that the politician mocking said elitist politician (Obama) is him/herself using a teleprompter or notes to deliver a speech. Or they might be reading off their hand…

Reading Off Your Hand = Proof that one is a True American Christian.TM Because Sarah Palin says so. And because President Obama used a Teleprompter. And Sarah Palin read off her hand. Whatever. Also.


  1. Comment by todd on March 30, 2010 8:55 am

    Have you seen this clip:

  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on March 30, 2010 8:59 am

    and that a large percentage of the money spent by the government is still going to lazy brown people.

    I know its a short story, but please quit readng my mind. I blame the Mexicans. (i kid)

    Republican values!
    Fiscally conservative!
    Birth certificate!
    One man one woman!

    These brain dead parrots must have to be handed out crib sheets to remember what to rant about.
    “Wut am I mad about today hun?”

    (this Hutaree thing is seriously scary. i’m certain the goopers will accept that just maybe their rhetoric may have contributed. “chirp”)

  3. Comment by Appleblossom on March 30, 2010 3:51 pm

    “Ferguson represents a strain of intellectual Toryism bedeviled by the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be getting social insurance. (Fellow sufferers include Clive Crook, Andrew Sullivan, and George Will.) Their solution to the problem of large deficits always seems to be to cut entitlements and never to raise taxes.”

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