“Democrat Party”

Ruth Marcus had a nice column in the Post last week about Bush's continued intransigence despite speaking the rhetoric of bipartsanship.  One particularly annoying feature of President Bush's public statements recently has been his continual referral to “The Democrat Party.”  Alas, Bush continues to be a divider, not a uniter:

If he wanted to, President Bush could change the tone in Washington
with a single syllable: He could just say “ic.” That is, he could stop
referring to the opposition as the “Democrat Party” and call the other
side, as it prefers, the Democratic Party…

Democrat Party was used, pardon the phrase, liberally by
Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy. According to the Columbia Guide to
Standard American English, ” Democrat as an adjective is still
sometimes used by some twentieth-century Republicans as a campaign tool
but was used with particular virulence” by McCarthy, “who sought by
repeatedly calling it the Democrat party to deny it any possible benefit of the suggestion that it might also be democratic.”
The word also achieved a prominent run with Bob Dole's especially ugly
reference to “Democrat wars” during the 1976 vice presidential debate.

But as a matter of simple politeness — something the Bush family is
famously good at — it's rude to call people by a term that makes them
bristle, even a seemingly innocuous one.

I am pleased to say that my students have more decency and good sense than our president (though, that's sad).  I cannot ever recall hearing one of them say “Democrat Party,” even those that get their news from the right-wing noise machine.  Should I hear it, they won't be happy with the mini-lecture they will receive. 

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