I was listening to a radio broadcast a couple of days ago, and Bob Barr was talking about being selected to lead the Libertarian Party. Y'all know that Bob used to be a Republican, and one of the reactionary right, nationally. So it was no surprise when he referred to the "Democrat party." Not Democratic, of course, but Democrat.
This got me thinking, again, about the Rs saying Democrat instead of Democratic. This first popped up on my radar just a couple of years ago. I thought it was a new thing. However, I've talked to many Idaho Rs, and they pretty routinely refer to the Democrat party. The term has worked itself thoroughly into the R body politic, so I'm guessing this reference has been around long enough for it to become widespread.
So I wonder, why? Why have the Rs chosen to unilaterally change the name of their opponent, a name that has been around since 1792? What possible reason could they have?
Do they object to the term, thinking that Democrats aren't democratic? Please. Do they think it somehow confers an electoral advantage on the D party? Again, please. The term, as used to identify the party of Thomas Jefferson, has been so ubiquitous as to be without connotation and therefore incapable of conferring an advantage.
What seems the most likely is that Rush, or Newt, or someone able to lead opinion, started to say Democrat party just to tweak the Ds. It's just a way to annoy Ds. And so the R party has come to this; refusing to use a time-honored traditional name, refusing to respect the opponent's self-chosen name, all for the sake of a childish jab. Yeah, I think that's about right.
Because, really, what else do they have? The morality of Larry Craig and Ted Stevens? The energy policy of Dick Cheney and $4.00/gallon gasoline? You've heard the saying: "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If both are against you, attack your opponent." Well, just have a look at John McCain's talking points lately. He and the R party have no rational policy any more, so all that's left is to attack the opponent.
So from now on I revel in hearing "Democrat party," because it reminds me of how hollow and silly the Republican party is. And if I start hearing R party leaders saying "Democratic party," I'll start to worry, because it might be signalling their return to relevance.