Wednesday, March 10, 2010



Josh Marshall and Steve Benen are helping readers understand the new political "lexicon." We should all update our understandings of political terms that had fairly straightforward definitions up until fairly recently.

"Jamming it through": to vote on a bill.

"Obstructionism," for example, only refers to Democratic minorities opposing Republican proposals.

"Tyranny" is found when an elected Democratic majority passes legislation that Republicans don't like.

"Reconciliation" describes a Senate process that Republicans are allowed to use to overcome Democratic "obstructionism."

"Terrorism" refers to acts of political violence committed by people who aren't white guys.

"Bipartisanship" is found when Democrats agree to pass Republican legislation.

"Big government" describes a dangerous phenomenon to be avoided, except in cases relating to reproductive rights or gays.

"Treason" refers to Democrats criticizing a Republican administration during a war.

"Patriotism" refers to Republicans criticizing a Democratic administration during a war.

"Fiscal responsibility" is a national priority related to keeping our deficit in check, which only applies when Republicans are in the minority.

"Parliamentarian" is a seemingly independent official on the Hill who Senate Republicans are allowed to fire when the GOP disapproves of his/her rulings.

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