Political Parlance

Perhaps the Republic will be saved as the very ooze that emanates from Washington inundates those who exude it. But let us not hope for too much; rather, let us enable the citizenry to detect and deflect bull-bleep, and to deflate bull-bleepers. Thus the following lexicography of political parlance, dedicated to the suffering citizenry which pays — and pays! — to be mocked and deceived.

Derogatory label. Anyone who is anti-something (e.g., anti-abortion, anti-war) is against “good” and for “evil.” Clever politicians are for things (e.g., pro-life, pro-peace).

Armed forces
Something for which politician Clinton had little use until he saw “Wag the Dog.”

Balanced budget
Everyone in Washington is now for a balanced budget, especially big-government liberals whose version of a balanced budget requires higher taxes.

Washington-style wrist-slapping, censure carries less opprobrium than the routinely ignored parking ticket.

Christian conservative
Politician or political activist who wants government out of our wallets and in our bedrooms.

Person forgotten by politicians, who pay attention only to “voters” and “public opinion” (not necessarily in that order).

Civil liberties
People’s rights, stolen by the government bit by by bit to “protect” the people.

State of congressional harmony in which open hostility is replaced by back-stabbing.

Defunct, foreign, political movement founded on the principle of “to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability.” Its principles thrive in the United States, thanks to “progressive” taxation and “protective” regulation.

Comparative politics
A liberal wants to keep government out of your bedroom but let it into your wallet in the name of compassion. A conservative wants to keep government out of your wallet but let it into your bedroom in the name of God. A communist will tax your wallet at 100 percent and occupy your bedroom in the name of the people. An anarchist will steal your wallet and bomb your bedroom just because he feels like it.

See “Zoo.”

Dismissive adjective, applied to persons who adhere to a broad range of ideologies from neo-Ku Klux Klan to libertarian and share only one view: the government shouldn’t be doing most of what it is doing now.

Archaic document viewed by politicians on the left as an impediment to progress by Executive fiat and by politicians on the right as subversive in its insistence on civil liberties.

The “Red Scare” of the 1980s and 1990s. Something about which the federal government has (or should have) little to say, but upon which almost every candidate for federal office feels compelled to pronounce.

Like crime, something about which the federal government has (or should have) little to say. A politician who admits to such a view might as well admit to pedophilia.

There are no enemies in Congress, merely esteemed colleagues whom one loathes.

Legislative word for handout.

Executive Branch
One of three co-equal branches of the federal government, according to the Constitution, but not according to the media. In their view, Congress — a co-equal branch — is supposed to enact laws proposed by the Executive Branch. Otherwise, Congress is in gridlock and not attending to the people’s business.

Form of government in which a dictator or oligarchy makes up the rules at whim, untrammelled by a constitution or laws. Hmmm…hits close to home, doesn’t it?

Parliamentary device useful for stalling “progress” in the Senate. Should be adopted by the House.

Finding of Fact
Oxymoronical term for a way out of the impeachment morass. Enables Senators who refuse to face facts to pretend they’ve done something noble and decisive.

Anyone a politician has met or heard of. Not to be confused with “personal friend” (formerly known as “friend”).

Gentleman, gentlelady, or gentleperson
Insincere (facetious?) reference to another Member of Congress. See “Enemy.”

Something we could use less of on streets and more of in Washington.

In the United States a creation of the sovereign people, now mistakenly thought of as the sovereign.

Something which may abound among thieves but which has little to do with politics.

Title assumed by and conferred upon self-important personages in Washington (e.g., Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Something-or-Other) in spite of the constitutional ban on titles of nobility.

Humanitarian action
Vietnam reprised: We must kill the (Iraqis, Serbians, Sudanese, Afghanis, etc., etc.) in order to (save them from tyranny/protect American lives, etc., etc.).

Constitutionally authorized act of Congress, the performance of which, not surprisingly, seems to frighten the very groups who view the Constitution as a historical curiosity.

Interest group
Coalition bent on extracting tribute from the public treasury.

Formerly personnified by a blind-folded woman weighing evidence in the pursuit of truth. Now personnified by a high-priced lawyer weighing gold — and to hell with truth.

Labor union
Instrument for enabling organized gangs to rob business owners of profits and property. Legalized by Congress and the Supreme Court on what may have been those institutions’ worst days. Cost to American workers — yes, workers — is untold, but few politicians dare speak the truth. Premier example of the law of unintended consequences in action (see below).

An inconvenience to be suffered by zealots of the left and right, and by office-holders generally.

Law of unintended consequences
Laws and regulations intended to “fix” specific problems invariably cause other problems — often worse than the original problems — because legislatures and regulators cannot possibly anticipate the complexities of social and economic intercourse. Corollary: legislators and regulators focus on the supposed failings of the market economy and neglect the vast benefits that it confers.

Usual method of communicating with others or testing half-baked ideas. Instead of point, counterpoint, it’s leak, counterleak.

Someone who wants the best of everything for everyone, at the expense of those who have achieved more than mediocrity.

A word that is imprinted on U.S. currency and coins out of habit. Analagous to attendance at church on Christmas or Easter.

Someone who doesn’t reflexively fall for the latest scheme to give away money or liberty.

Something that never ceases to flow from the lips of pundits who have no experience whereof they speak.

That which the majority party is always guilty of, as in the partisanship of Republicans who voted to impeach Clinton. The minority party cannot be partisan; thus Democrats could claim to be non-partisan in their obdurate ignorance of Clinton’s crimes.

People’s business
Something which, it seems, cannot be conducted without imposing more taxes and regulations upon the people.

Grandiose statement of principle ungrounded in fact and intended to make the public swallow whole a prescription for bankruptcy or disaster.

The late-Twentieth Century version of crystal-ball gazing, with politicians as the entranced victims of the con, hoping to be told what they want to hear and believing whatever they’re told.

“Public works” projects doled out by Members of Congress to curry the favor of their constituents. Pork is the modern version of loaves and fishes, except that those who feed on pork also pay for it.

Head of the Executive Branch of the government of the United States. Principal duties are to enforce the laws of the United States, and to conduct foreign diplomacy and serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces in accordance with the laws of the United States. Contrary to rampant desires and misconceptions, the President is not a wise sovereign, the head of state, a moral exemplar, or Santa Claus.

Laudatory label. Anyone who is pro-something (e.g., pro-life, pro-defense) is for “good” and against “evil.” Inept politicians are against things (e.g., anti-choice, anti-Santa).

Public opinion
Mystical emanation of pollsters, sought avidly by timid politicians. Thought to be more important than the Constitution or the principles of duly elected legislators.

Archaic appellation for the Vietnam war (a.k.a. the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time). Could be applied to the fixation on Clinton’s sex life when his betrayal of his oath of office should be the issue.

Adjunct laws written by miserable bureaucrats, with little heed to actual laws, to make the rest of us miserable — and to make us pay for the privilege.

Reinventing government
Public-relations gimmick, invented by proponents of big government on the theory that it is more endurable if can be depicted as “efficient.”

Whatever any interest group seeks, at the expense of everyone else, by mustering enough votes and/or money.

Derogatory label applied wrongly (on purpose) to libertarians committed to the Constitution and the rule of law.

Triumphal political movement in the United States, practiced by many politicians who avow “self reliance” and “rugged independence.” (See “Communism.”)

Social Security
Welfare program disguised as pension plan. It robs otherwise hard-working individuals of the incentive and ability to invest wisely toward retirement.

Supreme Court
Highest court of the third, co-equal branch of the federal government: the Judicial Branch. Its power to interpret the Constitution effectively makes it the most powerful — and dangerous — of the three branches. Report card for its first 210 years of existence: “A” for stateliness of building, “C” for quality of writing, “F” for failure to stem the tide of federal statism. (Note to Supremes: Quit following election returns and start studying the Constitution.)

Fee extracted from the people in the name of the people for unnecessary, inefficient services.

Latest “Red Scare.” Acts against U.S. citizens and property will be used to justify more involvement in overseas affairs that are none of our business, which will result in more acts against U.S. citizens and property, ad infinitum. Likely to become a new, deadly quagmire for the U.S.

Foundation of our system of justice. Badly eroded by defense lawyers who put acquittal above truth, and by government officials who put self above sworn duty.

Unfinished business
Whatever it is that Congress hasn’t done lately to impede the economy and trammel liberty.

Politician’s evident view: a mindless couch-potato, spellbound by glib speeches and 10-second sound bites signifying nothing.

Handouts for services not performed. Usually thought of in association with jobless persons, but — as evidenced by the multi-billion dollar lobbying industry — much more prevalent among corporations, business coalitions, and white-collar interest groups.

Segment of the populace in bad odor (often literally) during the 1960s and early 1970s. Female portion recently popular, in certain circles, as the source of nubile interns.

Place where visitors are entertained by the bizarre actions and outcries of ill-mannered beasts.