Category Archives: GOPac Memo

Hot Air, Hot Taunt

Libtard Pride!

A few years ago I screamed out in an earlier incarnation of this blog/colossus that I’m proud of being a liberal.

From Open Salon

Remember the days when calling people liberal was about as rotten as calling them child molesters? Yeah, after Piggy Figgy Newt Gingrich sent out marching orders in the form of his infamous mid-1990s GOPAC Memo, even the most dyed-in-the-wool Democrats ran away screaming if anyone even used a word beginning with the letter L in their rabbity-scared presence.

“Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party,” Newty wrote after the 1994 election in which his GOP had become, yep, the majority party in the US House of Representatives. That victory got Gingrich and his coatholders to thinking that with a little more luck and concerted effort they could wipe the Dems off the face of the Earth, or at least equate them in the anencephalic public’s mind with commies or Nazis.

Language, in fact, was so important to this goal that the GOPAC Memo included a couple of lists of words that Republicans could and should use in their speeches and sound bites to redefine the political landscape.

When referring to themselves or the Republican Party, Gingy advised, speakers should use certain words. “These words,” he wrote, “can help give extra power to your message.” They included:

  • Children
  • Common Sense
  • Courage
  • Crusade
  • Fair
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Incentive
  • Legacy
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Prosperity
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

How nice.

When speaking of the, ugh, Democrats, Newt wrote, other, less complimentary verbiage was required. “These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast,” he counseled.

  • Betray
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Corrupt
  • Crisis
  • Destroy
  • Disgrace
  • Failure
  • Impose
  • Liberal (Woo-hoo!)
  • Lie
  • Obsolete
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Selfish
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Steal
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Unionized
  • Welfare

Old Joey Goebbels would have been proud.

The two most important words in that list of pejoratives seem to have been liberal and taxes.

Every Republican candidate for any office in the last two decades has villified liberals and screamed to high holy heaven about taxes.

To my chagrin, not one Dem I can recall stood up and said, Damn right I’m a liberal; what of it?

The GOP became so enamored with demonizing liberals that they even began turning the slur upon each other, so we were often confronted with the bizarre specter of two anti-tax, anti-affirmative action, anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-science blowhards accusing each other of the mortal sin of liberalism.

And the goddamned Democrats ran away and hid!

Well, I sure as hell wasn’t going to hide.

I stood up as proudly as that field full of extras, Tony Curtis, and Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, and shouted: I am a liberal! I’d have climbed the roof to holler it, only I’m not so fond of heights.

From "Spartacus"

I Am Spart…, er, I Mean, I Am LIberal!

Now that the Me Party-ists and other even more wingnutty factions of the Far Right have grasped control of the Grand Old Party, the word liberal seems far less ugly. Somehow not even the craziest Lefty can compare to the psychopathy of the new Right. As a matter of fact, self-described liberal websites have popped up all over the place. Even though pols, natch, still have not overcome their terror at the mere mention of the word, more and more wags and mavens are embracing it.

So, of course, the panic peddlers of the Right have had to jigger their language — remember, it “can help give extra power to your message.” The preferred slander today, apparently, is libtard.

This word alloy combines the “wisdom” of Newt Gingrich with the cruel intent of the towel-snapping high school gym locker room punk. Liberal and retardlibtard! — the term embodies a certain repulsive beauty, much like the brilliant and awe-inspiring colors of nuclear weapon flash.

I am, a certain segment of the populace is convinced, a libtard.

Really, Libtard?

So be it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to borrow a page from the LGBTQ and Black factions of my own club. Just as queer and nigger have been appropriated by those respective groups, I’m snatching libtard from the slack jaws of the citizens of Fox Nation.

I am a libtard!

Because if this guy considers me a libtard

Ted Nugent

… then I’m more than happy to be one.

 

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken

NEWT’S LATEST BOGEYMAN

Our boy Newty has created a brand new bete noir.

You may recall that almost 20 years ago Newt Gingrich, as the virtual capo of the Republican Party, wrote the infamous “GOPac Memo.”

Mob Chieftan

The memo advised Republican candidates for Congress that specific words and phrases would galvanize public opinion for the GOP and against the Dems. In fact, the memo’s title was “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.”

Gingrich was convinced that the repetition of these words would create indelible images within the minds of voters, much like a TV sitcom hypnotist’s use of trigger words.

Here are some of the words Gingrich recommended Republicans use to associate with themselves and their party:

  • Common sense
  • Confident
  • Courage
  • Duty
  • Family
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Pro-flag
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

As for the Democrats, Gingrich urged his confreres use these terms:

  • Anti-flag
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Decay
  • Disgrace
  • Impose
  • Lie
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Waste

Democrats, According To The GOPac Memo

You had to figure the word taxes would be in there. The first word a Republican infant utters upon emerging from the womb is taxes.

Garry Trudeau in his “Doonesbury” strip called the GOPac memo “The Magna Carta of attack politics.”

Anyway, the single most damning, uncomplimentary, insulting word on the list would turn out to be liberal.

To be branded a liberal was tantamount to being barred from winning another election for the rest of your life.

One of the reasons the Democrats so infuriate me is that, instead of embracing the liberal label, they ran from it as if it was analogous to child molester.

Otherwise Known As The List Of Prominent Liberals In Indiana

Thanks in huge part to the GOPac memo, the GOP staged its mini-revolution in the election of 1994. The party gained control of both the House and the Senate and Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.

Say what you will about the craven, cynical nature of the memo, it worked. And Newty is nothing if not an astute politician.

Today, you can be forgiven for thinking liberals don’t even exist in this holy land.

So, now that the Georgia Doughboy is running for president, he finds himself in need of another monster under the bed. He has found it. And he’s got a name for it.

Gingrich’s sworn enemy in these Republican primaries is Mitt Romney. Ergo, Romney must become Newty’s new Godzilla or John Wayne Gacy.

Romney

This week, Newty found the damning terminology for Romney. Since the liberal dragon has been slain, Gingrich has had to move the enemy bar lower.

Here’s the crushing epithet Gingrich now uses against Romney: He’s a Massachusetts moderate.

The horror — a moderate.

Yep. That’s what he called Romney this week, his voice dripping with Newt-ish contempt. “I am the only viable conservative candidate,” Newty added.

Yikes. If these Great United States, Inc. move any further to the right, Ronald Reagan’s gonna be lumped together with Abbie Hoffman.

LEFT BRAIN-LESS

Some of my pals on the far left seem to be going just as batty as Newty — only, of course, in the opposite direction. A lot of radical bloggers and Facebook-posters are so disgusted with the wishy-washy politics of Barack Obama that they’re actively calling for his defeat this November.

They say, What’s the difference between Obama and the Republicans?

Well, I have the answer, in three words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The nation’s second female US Supreme Court Associate Justice will turn 79 in March. She’s already been walloped in recent years by colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. She’s as frail as a newborn robin. Plus, she has indicated she’d like to retire at the age of 82, which would mean whoever is president in 2015 will select her successor.

I shudder to think of who Newty Gingrich or Rick Santorum might tap to become the sixth conservative member of that august ennead.

Ann Coulter?

She’s No Moderate

TRUTH IS FICTION

Boxcar Books hosted a book release party for Bloomington’s Julia Karr last night, before the region was iced in.

Karr’s new book, “Truth,” is the sequel to her young adult dystopian novel, “XVI” (or “Sixteen” for the Latin-deprived among us.)

She read a few pages from the fresh tome and took questions from the audience. Karr then revealed she has to split up her writing session each day, sitting at her keyboard for a few hours each morning before going to her day job and then doing the same thing after work.

As expected at these affairs, there were plenty of questions about how an unpublished author can break into the business. Karr kindly advised the wannabe scribes on how to write the perfect query letter and how frustrating and heartbreaking the whole process of trying to get a first book published is.

Karr handled the questions better than I would have. Forget about getting your book published, I’d have advised. Try something easier, like climbing Denali in the middle of winter.

 

%d bloggers like this: