As President Obama gives the most important speech he’ll make in his first term, I must note that I am filled with gratitude for one Chris Matthews of MSNBC.
On Hardballs last night, Matthews brought up one of my pet issues: Republicans’ disrespectful, snotty insistence on calling the name of my political party incorrectly. Transcript by Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate, link to video from democrats.com via Media Matters.
MATTHEWS (to Issa): Well… I think the Democratic Party calls itself the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party.
Do we have to do this every night? Why do people talk like this? Is this just fighting words, to get the name wrong?
ISSA: No, this isn’t intended to be fighting words…
MATTHEWS (interrupts Issa): They call themselves the Democratic Party. Let’s just call people what they call themselves and stop the Mickey Mouse, here… Save that for the stump. Seriously.
ISSA: Chris, Chris… Chris….
MATTHEWS: Now let’s get to the issue here. Seriously. We’ve got a fiscal challenge…. I want to get back to Congressman Frank and to some English here.
I am a guy who works and plays with language. It is both my vocation and my avocation. I believe it is important, vitally important. Every time a Republigoat gets away with this crap, he is pissing a little bit on my political affiliation and laughing about it (note Issa’s frat boy asshole laugh when he’s called out). It is a childish tactic of one-upsmanship and does not befit itself to a party that got a lot of film bitching and moaning that the Democrats weren’t being “bi-partisan” during the stimulus tug-of-war.
What’s more, it violates the wishes of their own party’s platform committee. Remember this?
Aug. 26, 2008:
WASHINGTON — Republicans have come up with another name for the opposing party—the right name.
For years now, the GOP has gone after “Democrat schemes,” “Democrat presidents,” “Democrat Congresses” _ all phrases from the 1996 Republican platform, repeated many times since. Twenty years earlier, Bob Dole famously declared that all wars of the 20th century were “Democrat wars.”
On Tuesday, members of the Republican platform committee meeting in Minneapolis voted down a proposal to call the opposition the “Democrat Party” in the 2008 platform. Instead, they’ll go with the proper Democratic Party.
“We probably should use what the actual name is,” said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the panel’s chairman. “At least in writing.”
In 1996, references to the Democratic Party were purged from a draft of the platform. As party leaders explained at the time, they wanted to make the subtle point that the Democratic Party had become elitist, no longer small-d democratic.
In the debate Tuesday, Jim Bopp of Indiana echoed that sentiment but said fair’s fair.
“We should afford them the respect that they are entitled and call them by their legal name.”
(Excuse me. I have no idea that picture of The Coolest Man Who Ever Lived got in there.)
Now. We all know that a Republigoat can’t be trusted and that they lie and that they’re disingenuous and also that they’re bastards, and that they don’t understand foreign policy, domestic policy, policy, and that whole “who’s buried in Grant’s tomb” deal, and that they smell funny and are obsessed with rubbing spit into hair (see “Wolfowitz, Paul” and “Palin, Piper”). But remember, kids. Every time one of them says “the Democrat Party,” they’re also proving that they can’t even stick to their own program, even when it tries in spite of itself in one small way to project integrity.
I hope there will be more incidents such as this one. Republigoats should be corrected every time they do this, every god-damned time. Just clear your throat, speak up, and say, excuse me. It’s “Democratic.”
* Disclaimer: John Carter Cash has said his Pop never let on about his party affiliation. (But, I mean come on. The man performed in prisons.)