Kossary

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The Kossary is a snapshot of American politics as usual and where it's going (usually nowhere good). Every country on the face of the Earth has its own unique terms that are incomprehensible to foreigners, and often to its own citizens who have priorities other than "inside the Beltway" troll wars.

If a term is being used on radio or television or print, or widely used on the Internet and threatening to invade American mass media, please list it here, if its meaning is clear to all, or on Code Words if it is intended to mean one thing to the Party faithful, with Plausible Deniability for everybody else. A term:list of the most insidious and dangerous terminology keeps track of which of these terms are being used by Bush, and should never be used, since they facilitate Bush.

The calmer terms that you can use in press releases are on the list of policy terms. If you want a glossary that defines the way we do things around here, using FrameTank and issue/position/argument and other rational methods, that's the list or process terms.

Contents

Political terms in use today

101st Fighting Keyboarders 
Refers to weblog authors who are 'very enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it'. Originally coined by blogger TBogg in this post. May also be referred to as '101st Keyboarders', '101st Keyboarders Brigade', '101st Fighting Keyboardists,' etc. (Also see chickenhawk, warblogger)
4th Estate 
Archaic synonym for all news media. Its coinage, with its present meaning, has been attributed to Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797), a British politician. It comes from a quote in Thomas Carlyle's book, "Heroes and Hero Worship in History" (1841). "Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate more important far than they all." The three estates in the above quote refer to the British parliament, the Lords Temporal, the Lords Spiritual and the Commons. The Lords Temporal and the Lords Spiritual combined being The House of Lords, the upper House of parliament. And the Commons is The House of Commons or the British lower House. Another, less archaic synonym is Press, from printing press.

Another source for the term is the Estates-General, the French legislature in the Ancien Regime. It consisted of the clergy (the First Estate), the nobility (the Second Estate), and the commoners (Third Estate).

43 
Refers to President George W. Bush. He is the 43rd US president, this nickname distinguishes him from George H. W. Bush, his father, who was president #41. Usually used like this: Bush41 is Bush43's father. A somewhat common numeric slogan based on the number: 86-43-04

Ad hominem to Bushism

Ad hominem 
Short for "Argumentum ad hominem", a Latin term which, translated literally, means "argument against the man". In practical terms, an ad hominem means to reply to an argument by attacking the arguer's personality or credibility without citing facts. Note that a personal attack by itself does not constitute an argumentum ad hominem, but is only such when used instead of an actual argument. It is considered to be weak and an attempt to distract from the real issue at hand see Kossary#Look at the Monkey. A tactic commonly employed by Dittoheads (see entry, below) backed into a corner, an argumentum ad hominem is a logical fallacy. See Rhetorical Sleight of Hand.
All Your Base Are Belong To Us 
Originally appearing in the English language version of the 1989 Japanese video game “Zero Wing” that was released for the Sega Mega Drive in Europe in 1992, AYBABTU became an in-joke among Internet gamers in 2000, then grew in popularity until it achieved mainstream status in early 2001. With the precipitous drop in George W. Bush’s approval ratings, Democrats have begun to use the phrase to taunt Republicans.
Amerika 
The United States, when it looks a lot more like the Soviet Union or like Franz Kafka's 1946 novel of the same name. Usage has recently been revived, thanks to Our Glorious Leader's efforts.
Anakin 
Nickname for Colin Powell emphasizing his faithful service to appalling projects, placement of his son in the administration in a key position, and the hope that he might somehow betray the whole Bush League. The name is drawn from Star Wars, which is said by some to portray how the Republicans view world affairs (Democrats are said to emulate Star Trek, e.g. no matter where Kirk/Clinton goes in the galaxy/world, he tries to pick up the local women).
Astroturfing 
Producing the illusion of broad grass roots support by top down actions. For example: A templated Letter to the Editor expressing wingnut outrage at an imagined liberal offense that is duplicated and sent to city newspapers across the country as if it were penned by a local reader. Local papers never fail to publish the artificial letters and thus OpEd pages from coast-to-coast are carpeted with artificial grass or 'Astroturf'.
Attackumentary 
Polemical screeds in the form of documentaries. When it employs political satire, it is a variant of a mockumentary.
AWOL 
1. Absent WithOut Leave
2. Nickname for George W. Bush which references his questionable service in the Texas Air National Guard as well as his middle initial. Sometimes written aWol.
Bait-and-switch 
"The bait-and-switch in politics is a technique that is intentionally designed to lead the public (to believe)that you're going to do something that you're not going to do." (Bob Kerrey) Example: A Republican President might, for instance, "bait" gullible Democrats with a promise to reform Social Security through whatever means necessary, then "switch" to the view that reforming Social Security requires private accounts.
Beautiful Mind 
Barbara Bush, spouse of George Herbert Walker Bush, mother of the current occupant of the White House. "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths," Barbara Bush said on ABC's Good Morning America on March 18, 2003. "Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" [1]
Beltway Heathers 
The DC press corps clique, typified by an obnoxious in-crowd behavior. A reference to the film Heathers. (daria g, kaley, hamletta, pyrrho)
Big Dog 
Bill Clinton (IrishAlum)
Big Pharma
1. The pharmaceutical industry.
2. Rush Limbaugh; a reference to his massive girth and OcyContin addiction.
Blast Fax 
System by which talking points are distributed by having people subscribe to a fax number that would periodically pump out RNC or other right wing talking points. Meant to get "around the Filter" (see below).
Blue Dog Democrat 
Conservative, mostly Southern Democratic Congressmen who came together in the 90s to protest the leftward drift of the party. The name plays on the old "Yellow Dog Democrat" label from the 50s. It was Former Democrat Rep. Pete Geren, of Texas, who said that caucus members have been "choked blue" by extreme Democrats.
Blue State 
By most designations, a state that votes Democratic. See the Red Blue Divide. The Blue States are on the Pacific coast including Hawaii, around the Great Lakes and all states north and east of Washington DC
Bork 
To render unacceptable to the public by citing voluminous on-the-record statements. Lani Guanier was "Borked". Vernon Robinson may be the next to be "Borked".
Box Turtle Ben 
Short-time Washington Post "Red State" blogger Ben Domenech, so-nicknamed for his possible involvement in writing a speech that compared gay marriage to inter-species marriage.
Bring It On 
Once a cocksure taunt, now universally understood as an invocation of Nemesis and an invitation of revenge by the locals on one’s troops in the field. Usage attributed to George W. Bush.
Bush League 
Phrase describing the entire lifetime activities and associates of G. H. W. Bush (41), Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and of of their administrations. Includes activities back to Iran-Contra and (some claim) also the Bay of Pigs and subsequent "1963 election". The term implies amateurism and failure to compete successfully with big league players.
Bushism 
Word used to describe the unusual grammatical errors made by George W. Bush.
Bushit 
Word used to describe bullshit associated with or favourable to George W. Bush and his administration.

Carry Water for X to Dynasty

Carry Water for X 
Used when somebody makes arguments for somebody else. Similar to being an apologist, the connotation is more of a lackey who blithely makes ridiculous arguments that the beneficiary can not make with a straight face. "The SCLM is carrying water for the administration by regurgitating the GOP talking points without comment." See also Surrogate.
Cheney 
Synonym for fuck. A tribute to Vice President Dick Cheney's debating skills. Related terms: Cheneyed, Cheneyed Up, Cheney You, Go Cheney Yourself, Mothercheneyer, CUBAR.
Chewbacca Defense 
Any propaganda strategy that seeks to overwhelm its audience with nonsensical arguments, as a way of confusing the audience and drowning out legitimate opposing arguments. From the 1998 South Park episode "Chef Aid". See also Look at the Monkey, Karl Rove
Chickenhawk 
1. According to the Chickenhawk Database, "A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person's youth." Examples include President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay.
2. An individual supportive of short opportunistic wars when the perceived risk is low.
Chubbing 
The act of slowing down or filibustering one bill when your goal is to kill another bill.
Circular Firing Squad 
Term for the intra-party attacks which are destructive, particularly those that take place during a primary race. Partisan voters generally try to avoid circular firing squads for fear that the candidate who emerges victorious will be weakened by them in a general election. In 2004's Democratic presidential primary, a strong ABB feeling prevented the circular firing squad phenomenon from doing much damage to any candidate, including eventual nominee Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA). (EliWho)
Clenis 
Bill Clinton's Penis. The source of all evil. Coined by Jennifer, a regular poster at Eschaton.
Condition Red
The severest level of Dept. of Homeland security alerts, widely regarded as a handy device to be used by Republicans to suspend the Constitution and to keep themselves in power in perpetuity.
Conintern 
Another name for The Mighty Wurlitzer (see below) with the added connotation of intellectual dishonesty, coined by Slate’s Jacob Weisberg in this 1997 article. The term is a play on Comintern, a global organization of national Communist parties of the 1920s and 1930s that was dominated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Comintern members were required to mindlessly echo the CPSU’s often-changing ideological pronouncements, or else.
Conspiracy Paradigm
A term to describe the general outlook or worldview of those who believe that most or all of the acts of the Bush administration are to be explained as the workings of one or more covert conspiracies more or less consciously controlled by members of the administration (not necessarily Bush himself). Cf. Stupidity Paradigm.
Cross-Vote
A vote counted other than as intended. Defined in a cross-voting analysis of Ohio's Cuyahoga County 2004 Presidential election results with respect to punch card voting, using voting equipment for one precinct and counting equipment for another.
Deaniac 
A term used to describe enthusiastic supporters of Howard Dean. A term of endearment or indication of fellowship when used by Dean supporters. A pejorative term when used by those not enamored with Dean. (IrishAlum)
Dhimmicrat
(from dhimmi: a non-Muslim living in an Islamic state under Shari'ah law). Epithet lobbed by freepers (see below) and their ilk to suggest that Democrats are traitors in the War on IslamTerror. More playful terms include: demoncrat, demoncrap, dumbocrat. Such terms may have the unintended effect of demonstrating freepers' lack of cleverness.
Dittohead 
The nickname given to Rush Limbaugh listeners for their tendency to repeat everything he says. When Rush fans call in they often greet him by saying "mega-dittos, Rush". In other words, "the only thing I have to add to this conversation are 'ditto marks' indicating that I am repeating exactly what you just said, Rush"
Dog-whistle politics 
Putting out a political message that, like a high-pitched dog-whistle, is only fully audible to those at whom it is directly aimed. The intention is to make potential supporters sit up and take notice while avoiding offending those to whom the message will not appeal. (from The Economist, 3/23/05)
Dooh Nibor  
Robin Hood in reverse, or, stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Can be used to describe George W. Bush's economic policies of cutting benefits to the middle class while providing tax cuts for the wealthy. See also Starve the Beast below.
Dove
1. An individual supportive of peace or negotiations.
2. An individual who believes that a matter is not an immediate threat, and can be temporized with without risk or effort. Dovish. See Hawk.
Dynasty 
An irrational predilection of American political parties and the electorate who, lacking a hereditary monarchy, are likely to choose the spouse, sibling or progeny of an eclipsed politician as a candidate for public office as if bloodline were an assurance of policymaking acumen, moral character, or ability. Current dynasties include the Bush, Daley, Dole, Gore, Kennedy, Romney and Taft families.

Echo Chamber to Fundie

Echo Chamber 
Term to describe how rumor and gossip become headline news by starting a story with an unreliable source, and having it echoed by increasingly legitimate sources. (Example: Newsmax or Drudge post a salacious story about an intern scandal, it then goes to Rush and Hannity, then to Faux News and the Washington Times, then gets picked up by MSNBC and WSJ, and finally the echo is so loud that NYT, WaPo, and the networks consider themselves forced to acknowledge it.)
Electoral College 
The system used for electing the President of the United States, based on Congressional delegations, including two for the senators, no matter how small the state. See Electoral College for more detail and discussion.
Elitist 
Intelligent. In recent years, conservatives have been able to demonize intelligence by equating it with “elitism”, thus turning what any sane person would regard as a positive trait into a negative one. Thus, whenever conservatives insist that John Kerry is an elitist while George W. Bush is not, they are, in this sense, perfectly correct.
Embeds 
Shorthand term for "embedded reporters" -- that is, those allowed to travel with military units to report the Iraq war first-hand. Because they depend on the military's good graces for their embed status, critics contend they have been less than eager to criticise US strategy. The BBC's Dumeetha Luthra comments rather laconically: "The embeds got some great material, particularly highlighting the problems faced by the coalition's supply routes, but it would be dangerous to rely on them alone."
Expectations 
Summary of the conventional wisdom of outcomes, range of "acceptable" opinion. In finance, the mean of consensus forecasts. Political consultants "manage expectations" by spinning events to produce plausible scenarios.


Fair and Balanced 
Describes any effort by a major news organ to try to maintain a facade of impartiality by giving equal weight to both sides of a controversy when one side is patently full of crap. Example: a story about the shape of the Earth will give equal time to the flat-Earth position, and be headlined “Views Differ on Shape of Earth”. From the mendacious slogan of Faux News (see below).
Faux News 
Snarky term for the Fox News Network. Refers to the network's pathological willingness to distort the truth, as well as the general dressing up of right-wing commentary as unbiased news. (EliWho)
Faux Fox News 
Term for recent shameless attempts by MSNBC to mimic Faux News (see above) in order to increase ratings. (leftcoastindie)
Filter, The Media 
News that the media sees fit to report (as in the NYT's "All the news that's fit to print"). Often used by those who are attempting to circumvent it (see Blast Fax above).
Filibuster
To block adoption of legislation by continuing debate or by other procedural means when one does not have sufficient votes to defeat a measure. Related terms include Cloture, Blue Slip, Hold.
Fisk 
Verb: to deliver a point-by-point refutation. From the Right wing attacks on articles written by leftist reporter Robert Fisk.
Fitzmas 
Proper Noun: a celebration anticipated by liberals awaiting the announcement of indictments of White House officials in the Valerie Plame investigation conducted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Term coined by georgia10.
Fleisch
Verb: to stonewall by means of bald-faced lying in an imperturbable manner. Derived from the last name of former Bush administration White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
Focus Group
An analogy used by George W. Bush to dismiss the February 15, 2003 protest against the imminent war in Iraq, involving at least six million people around the globe ("... size of protest, it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group. The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security... of the people.") By extension, refers to any massive street demonstration or large-scale public outpouring of sentiment questioning his judgment.
Freep
1. Verb: To flood a forum, electronic or real, with a large number of aggressive right wingers.
2. To tell right wingers to go to an online survey and push it in their favored direction (See DU). This is often generalized to include all poll-swamping, so that any group may "freep" a poll, regardless of their politics.
3. Noun: Collective noun for kool-aid drinking (see below) right wingers as a whole. Also Freeple. (Stirling Newberry)
Freeper 
A right winger who repeats or reprocesses with limited changes the current talking points or message, often making vociferous personal attacks on all lefties. The name comes from the self chosen nickname of the members of the right wing political site FreeRepublic.com (sic). See Freep above.

Sometimes freepers, especially in large public wikis or blogs, are called Bush trolls - see the generic definition of an Internet troll below.

Friedman Unit 
A continually shifting deadline by which post-invasion Iraq will stabilize, sometimes abbreviated as "FU." The name derives from New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's penchant for hitting the snooze button on owning up to the war's being a fiasco and a quagmire. The Friedman Unit is usually held to be six months, though he has also cited stabilization deadlines ranging from 10 months to 10 years.
Frogmarch 
v 1: march a person against his will by any method 2: carry someone against his will upside down such that each limb is held by one person (Dictionary.com)
Fundie 
Derogatory term for a Christian fundamentalist.

Gaffe to Issue Ads

Gaffe 
A social blunder or error in judgment. "A gaffe in Washington is when you tell the truth and the Washington establishment thinks you shouldn't have." (Howard Dean, paraphrasing an insight originated by columnist Michael Kinsley)
-gate 
Hackneyed suffix indicative of a political scandal. Stems from the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon. Examples include Nannygate, Plamegate, Falafelgate, Cigargate.
Google Bomb 
An exploitation of the algorithm which drives the Google search engine. Large numbers of people post links to a certain page with the same link text (such as "Bush's White House bio" and the phrase "Miserable Failure") which causes Google to artificially boost the site's rank in the results returned for searches on the Google-bombed phrase. (daria g) Examples:
Gooper 
An individual supporting the Republican Party. Often used interchangeably with "Freeper" (see above). (ItishAlum)
Gore 
Verb, media assault using unfiltered talking points, generally from the Republican National Committee, to destroy the credibility of an individual based on assorted distortions, lies and irrelevant details. From the process by which the Establishment Media turned Al Gore into a "Pathological Liar" during the 2000 election.
GOTV 
Acronym, Get Out The Vote.
Governor Goodhair 
Texas Governor Rick Perry. Also known as Governor Goodhead following the rumor of an affair with Texas Secretary of State Geoffrey Connor. (The rumor was never substantiated, and is likely false, if nevertheless fun to repeat - always with this caveat, of course).
Grownups 
The George W. Bush Administration according to the George W. Bush Administration's cheerleaders. From the chest-thumping proclamation, "The grownups are back in charge" made by conservative columnist George F. Will after the 2000 election. A comment on the youthfulness and alleged callowness of the Clinton White House.
Hate America, Why Does X?
From the conservative mantra "Why do liberals hate America" which is used to question the patriotism of any liberal who dares to criticize the policies of the George W. Bush administration. Now a liberal snark (see below) applied to any source of bad news for Bush. (For example, after the Bush bike spill, "Why do bicycles hate America?")
Hawk
1. Individual who advocates tough measures and little trust on an issue. A "deficit hawk" then is a politician who believed the deficit to be an immediate threat. As opposed to "Dove".
2. Pro-defense politician, generally one that advocates more spending for the Defense Department and related activities.
3. Warmonger, particularly when used by the anti-war left. See Chickenhawk, Ponyhawk.
House Organ
A publication believed to serve as little more than a propaganda conduit or megaphone for an organization or institution.
Impeachment
1. A provision in the US Constitution making it possible to remove monarchists, thieves or traitors from office through a procedure initiated in the House of Representatives.
2. A 19th century political tactic resurrected by the Republican Party in the 1990s to unseat a Democrat President for peccadilloes or minor faults of character yet giving a pass to the misgovernance, deceit, patronage, senility or high crimes of which Republican Presidents are typically guilty.
Inside the Beltway 
Anything that occurs or only exists within the Washington, DC, Beltway highway that encircles that city. Usually used to describe concepts specific to the military-industrial complex, pundits or the current administration.
Inoculate 
Answer a story before it breaks. Especially useful when a candidate knows that a negative story (e.g., previous drug use) is about to break. Also vital when you suspect your opponent will announce good news right before an election (e.g., the capture of a hunted enemy). Inoculation allows a candidate to frame the discussion to their liking.
Issue Ads 
Campaign ads paid for by third party organizations. Usually feature the phrase 'call Senator so-and-so and tell them to X'

Joementum to Lucky Ducky

Joementum 
One of many awful puns Joe Lieberman used during his presidential run. It has been appropriated for snarky comments after Lieberman's rather poor results in Iowa and New Hampshire, and now generally refers to any candidacy experiencing negative momentum in a race. (Apparently the technical term for this isn't a pun, but a portmanteau.) (NegSpin, DemFromCT, Draco, EliWho)
Johnny Sunshine 
US Senator and Vice Presidential running-mate John Edwards. The nickname originated from his consistently upbeat and positive persona.
Jumped the Shark 
An expression that originally referred to television -- the moment at which a show clearly begins to "lose it" and go downhill. Specifically, it refers to an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie enters a waterskiing contest and jumps over a live shark. In politics, the expression is often used in reference to a campaign -- i.e. the moment at which a candidate peaks and then falters. For example, people have debated whether Howard Dean "jumped the shark" when he received the endorsement from Al Gore.
K Street Project
From SourceWatch: The K Street Project is a project by the Republican party to pressure Washington lobbying firms to hire Republicans in top positions. K Street in Washington is where the big lobbying firms have their headquarters and is sometimes referred to as the fourth branch of government. Lobbying firms have great influence in Washington politics due to monetary resources and the revolving door policy of hiring ex-government officials. It is common practice for politicians to request money for lobbying firms in exchange for better access to officials and to buy favoritism in policies. Historically, K Street hires top ex-politicians from both major parties since the party in power can vary between elections and between the legislative and executive branches of the government. When the Republican party had majority control of both houses of Congress and control of the White House, they targeted control of K Street by pressuring the major lobbying firms to hire only Republicans in any new or open positions. The leaders of the K Street Project were House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum (see below) of the Senate, and Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Taxpayer Reform.
Killer D's
A group of Democratic legislators in Texas who, in order to avoid a forced vote on Congressional redistricting which they perceived as unfair to their party and to their constituencies, absconded to an adjoining state to prevent a quorum. Derived from the Killer Bees, a group of 12 Texas senators who went into hiding in 1979 to break quorum over a primary election date issue.
Kool-Aid, Drinking the 
Originally from the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, referring to Kool-Aid at parties being spiked with LSD, so that one had to drink the Kool-Aid to be "tuned in". Also connected in people's minds to Jim Jones' followers' use of Flavor-Aid containing cyanide to kill themselves. Now used in political circles to refer to people who have bought into a candidacy or a cause wholeheartedly. (pyrrho, ogre)
Kool-aid Stand 
Source for talking points or partisan information.
Kool Kidz 
Similar to the Beltway Heathers (see above). Describes the disturbing tendency of many in the media to act like the proverbial "cool kids" in high school - you know, the ones who tortured the nerds and felt they were smugly superior and just "too cool" for everything that went on around them. This is exacerbated by the fact that many campaign reporters, who resent the grueling travel schedule, also resent the candidates for having become more successful than they are. The "kool kidz" attitude can manifest in the kind of coverage Gore got in 2000, as well-documented by Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler.(DavidNYC)
Kossacks 
Members of the Daily Kos community. Synonyms include Kosmopolitans or Kosopolitans, Kossites, Kossians, and Kosa Nostra.
Late German Fascists
Alternate name for denizens of right-wing mecca (I'm sorry, anti-mecca) Little Green Footballs. Dates back to a blind quiz in which statements made by LGF posters were paired with statements made by Nazi leaders ("late German fascists"), and the reader invited to guess at which were which. Distinctions proved hard, and the name stuck.
Liebermetric 
An inverse correlation between a candidate's standings in a poll and the amount of attention voters are paying to the race. Named for Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), whose 2004 presidential campaign initially led most polls based on high name recognition, but then plummeted as voters got to know him better. (EliWho)
Litmus Test 
From Chemistry, an issue which a nominee or appointee must be acceptable on. For example, being anti-Roe v Wade is a litmus test for Republican judicial nominees.
Look at the Monkey 
To distract from the real issue at hand by some irrelevance. See also Chewbacca Defense.
Loyalty Oath 
It's recently come into vogue to demand of the supporters of fallen or shaky looking candidates that they swear to support the party nominee despite what may happen to their man. (pyrrho)
Lucky Ducky 
Term coined in an infamous Wall Street Journal editorial describing low-income workers who pay little to no income tax. The article describes a worker earning $12,000/year and paying 4% of that in income tax. The problem with such Lucky Duckies is that that amount of tax "ain't peanuts, but not enough to get his or her blood boiling with tax rage... Workers who pay little or no taxes can hardly be expected to care about tax relief for everybody else. They are also that much more detached from recognizing the costs of government. All of which suggests that the last thing the White House should do now is come up with more exemptions, deductions and credits that will shrink the tax-paying population even further." See the full article here.

Macker to Nukular

Macker 
Term used for former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe. Also, Terry Mac, T-Mac.
Magic Words 
Key words that 'issue ads' can't say in order to be considered legal. The concept comes from the Supreme Court's Buckley v. Valeo opinion, in which the Court distinguished between "campaign advertising," which was subject to regulation, and "issue advocacy," which was not (at least until the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act). In footnote 52 of the Buckley opinion, the Supreme Court identified the following eight examples of "express words of advocacy" or "magic words": "vote for," "elect," "support," "cast your ballot for," "Smith for Congress," "vote against," "defeat," and "reject."
Mars 
1. The Roman god of war.
2. The fourth planet in the Solar System.
3. The announcement by the Bush Administration of a national multibillion dollar project to put a man on Mars despite the absence of available funding. Deployed as a distraction from daunting and immediate foreign policy and domestic fiscal issues. Usage: US troops inflict another $4 billion dollars in damage on Iraqi cities, most of the President’s mandates are unfunded and Afghanistan requires another $15 billion for stability, but look . . . Mars! Immortalized in the Dave Chapelle "black Bush" comedy skit as "Mars, bitches!"
Mayberry Machiavellis 
A derisive term for President George W. Bush’s advisory team, suggesting a collection of parochial, sectarian, ill-prepared and uninformed ideologues facing a task too big for their britches. The term combines a cast of comic, small-town characters from the TV series The Andy Griffith Show with the Renaissance political primer by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince. Coined by John J. DiIulio, Jr., tapped by the Bush Administration to head up the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Meltdown 
1. The uncontrolled overheating of a nuclear reactor which causes the core to melt downwards through the bottom of its container, releasing radiation and other bad stuff (see radioactive).
2. When all pretense of control over a situation ends.
3. A rapid drop in the polls.
4. An electoral disaster; a wipeout.
5. Talk radio term for a host who goes off on an angry (and often brutally honest) tangent. (brandonp)
Mess O' Potamia 
Name given by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show to the Iraq war.
Mickey Frick 
Term for Slate writer Mickey 'fricken' Kaus.
Mo, Big Mo 
1. Momentum.
2. A sense that events are moving in one direction, or that the facts on the ground are aiding one candidate or party.
3. When success convinces people who are undecided to support a candidate or position.
4. Morris King Udall (1922-1998)(D-Arizona, 1961-1991). Congressman whose campaign for president in 1976 did not benefit from momentum.
MoDo
Maureen Dowd, superficial New York Times columnist.
MoE
Margin of Error. From statistics, the two standard deviations from a sample or poll between which the real value probably lies. Used in polling. In political jargon a "MoE" is a statistical tie, or a candidate whose support is below the Margin of Error of the poll.
Moonbat
Derogatory right-wing blogger term for liberals, denoting supposed detachment from reality. Hardcore offenders may be "barking moonbats". Frequently used to belittle liberals by portraying them as quaint, outmoded, silly, or comical - a favored tactic of the triumphalist Right.
Moonie Times
Put-down for The Washington Times, a right-wing newspaper owned and operated by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
Moran
One who is willfully and arrogantly stupid, used especially against ignorant yet die-hard supporters of the Iraq war. Originally inspired by this photograph taken at a pro-war rally.
MoveOn.org
A pro-Democrat organization that builds electronic advocacy groups. MoveOn was started by Silicon Valley denizens Joan Blades and Wes Boyd with the launch of their online petition to "Censure President Clinton and Move On to Pressing Issues Facing the Nation" during the Republican attempt at Impeachment (see above) of Bill Clinton.
MSGOP
Unflattering nickname for MSNBC. See also Faux Fox News above.
Mulligan
1. A term borrowed from golf denoting the Republican tactic of do-over by exploiting the ambiguity of the law in order to dislodge the opposition party from power, usually outside the election cycle.
2. Any freebie conservative "do-over", cheerfully granted by our compliant media no matter how disastrous the consequences of the original mistake.
'Murka
America viewed from the perspective of George W. Bush, who pronounces the term by dropping the initial "A" and the "i" sound in the third syllable. Connotes the portion of the country's citizens who share George W. Bush's world view.
Nader (verb)
To demonstrate that an electoral system is rotten by causing it to fail utterly, leading directly to military takeover and direct rule by unelected officials. Usually by means of third party activity.
Neo-Cons
1. Neoconservatives. From the movement which decided that the fall of the Soviet Union removed the restraints on aggressive use of American military power. See Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Project for the New American Century, Francis Fukayama.
2. Neo-Confederates. Unrepentant white supremacists whose favorite pastime is whitewashing the late unlamented Confederate States of America and its raison d'etre, slavery. See John Ashcroft.
Netroots 
The Internet-based political grassroots movement; in other words, us.
New Europe 
Republicans' fawning nickname for former Warsaw Pact nations such as Poland that don't realize they no longer have to invade a country just because someone tells them to.
New troll point of view 
Point of view injected by unwelcome new users into a net forum; play on neutral point of view and pronounced identically or differentially depending on the need. See troll below.
Nukular 
1. The awesome power to smite evil with the very wrath of God, blessedly given to Murka by heavenly providence. And there it must stay, so our exalted mission as the divinely chosen ruler of the entire world shall remain forever unchallenged. 2. (Ironic Satire-free 2nd definition) The textual representation of the comically but unfortunately uneducated mispronunciation of the word "nuclear"(the correct pronunciation should be "NOO-klee-er" instead of "NOOK-you-ler.").

Old Europe to Rove Machine

Old Europe 
Republicans' sneering nickname for longtime NATO allies such as France and Germany that refused to be suckered into invading Iraq.
Ones
Confirmed supporters who intend to vote. From the canvassing practice of ranking individuals by strength of support for a candidate or position, with "1" indicating highest support.
Poll 
A survey of a supposedly random subset of a population, to whom questions are asked in a supposedly neutral order, the results of which are massaged heavily with secret normalization formulas and then interpreted by the press in ways that make them seem exciting, insightful, "scientific," and most hilariously, "valid." See polling.
Ponyhawk 
Moderate or Liberal who supported invasion of Iraq in the belief that removing Saddam was good, and that this was sufficient to overcome all other objections. See Thomas Friedman.
Popper, Poppy 
George H.W. Bush (AlexT)
Progressive 
A democratic (not just Democratic) view: (1) There is such a thing as the public good or public interest and it is more than the sum of individual private interests (examples: clean air, civil liberties, children's health). (2) Governments can be important counter-balances to private power and wealth (examples: police protection, FDIC, EPA). (3) The public interest requires that some services be provided by governments (examples: old-age pensions, public education). Genealogy: Theodore Roosevelt (R), Robert LaFollette (R), Franklin Roosevelt (D), Harry Truman (D), John Kennedy (D), Lyndon Johnson (D). [DFLer]
Pumpkinhead 
Tim Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press. (EliWho)
Push Poll 
A technique for spreading lies or unpleasant truths about a rival candidate by pretending to conduct a telephone poll. Example: "If you knew that (Candidate X) was a practicing cannibal, would your support be more likely/ less likely/ about the same?"
Quagmiraq 
Term for Iraq occupation emphasizing it is a quagmire. See also Vietnamistan.
Reality-based Community 
Individuals who consider facts using rational analysis to form policy. See The Reality-Based Community.
Realpolitik 
Approach to foreign policy based on practical concerns rather than ethics. In modern history, most closely associated with Henry Kissinger.
Red Meat 
Comments that appeal to a politican's base. e.g. Federal Marriage Amendment.
Red State 
By most designations, a state that votes Republican. See the Red Blue Divide.
Remorseful Buyer 
Any liberal pundit or blogger initially supportive of Bush’s war on Iraq who comes to regret the fateful choice of backing a bunch of lying, hopeless incompetents. From the phrase buyer's remorse.
Rethug, Rethuglican
Epithet for Republicans, particularly those who seek to tar and feather any dissenting voice. In terms of maturity, not too different from the corresponding "dimmycrat", but it's ours, goddamnit.
RimJob
Nickname for Free Republic founder Jim Robinson, owing partly to his use of the shortened handle "JimRob" and partly to his personality. It might also be noted that this is an abbreviation of the valid spoonerism Rim Jobinson.
Robocall 
A method of political communication combining a prerecorded voice message (usually by a popular political figure), targeted voter lists, and telephone/computer technology to directly motivate a group of voters to act in a desired manner. To minimize the intrusion on the voters, Robocall messages are generally left only on answering machines. Robocalls, as political speech, are able to operate free of government-enforeced telemarketer "no call lists." Often used in the last few days before an election as part of a larger GOTV effort. (IrishAlum)
Rove 
Generic term used to describe any political dirty trick. e.g. "He really got roved." (pugpusher)
Rove Machine 
Phrase referring to the political tactics, often dirty, of Republican strategist Karl Rove. Robert Reich described some of Rove's "Machine Strategies" in this American Prospect article.

Santorum to Surrogate

Santorum 
The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. Following Rick Santorum's "slippery slope" argument against the SCOTUS' decision to strike down sodomy laws, Dan Savage decided to give the word "Santorum" a well deserved definiton. (dc)
Sausage-Making 
Describes the process by which legislation is crafted. An often messy process, and most don't like to see it being done, while in general favoring the result. From the quote attributed to Otto von Bismarck, "Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made."
Scandalito 
GOP malfeasance that would be a major scandal, if only the media were less pliant, phlegmatic, and right-leaning. Also, a pejorative nickname for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Schadenfreude 
A German term meaning "joy in another's suffering."
Sheeple 
Derisive term for the general public when apathetic about some issue the speaker believes to be of pressing importance. For example: "The Sheeple don't seem to understand that once we are in Iraq we won't get out!" Portmanteau derived from "sheep" and "people."
Shill 
Someone in the audience of a presentation that appears neutral but is actually secretly planted to take actions or ask leading questions that dupe bystanders into trusting the presenter. See SCLM.
Shrill 
Describes a person who makes his or her arguments in a loud, raucous, and harsh manner, typically with a strong bias and dubious facts. See Ann Coulter. (drh) Now often adopted as an adjective of pride by Bush critics who refuse to play by the "polite" (i.e., ass-kissing) rules of the SCLM.
Shrub 
Author Molly Ivins' nickname for George W. Bush. Meant to indicate his "short but happy" political career.
Snarky 
Adjective describing a witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism; subversive, sneaky, clever, mean. (Maryscott OConnor)
Softball 
1. An easily-answered question.
2. A query from a reporter or congressional investigator which appears to be designed to allow the answerer to respond in a way that makes the answerer look good.
3. A question which, either through unspoken or pre-arranged contract between the asker and the answerer, is crafted to allow the answerer to diverge onto a tangent that either lets the answerer advance his/her agenda at the expense of the integrity of the question-and-answer forum, or, in the case of time limits being placed upon the answerer's availability, to run out the clock.
"I caught the Secretary's testimony before the commission and I thought we were going to get some real answers, but the panel kept tossing him softballs." antonym: hardball. (EphemeralNotion)
Speaker Pelosi 
A shorthand term for the Democratic goal of re-taking the House of Representatives in 2004, and later in 2006, thus making House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. (e.g. "Donating to the DCCC is the only way we're going to get Speaker Pelosi.") Following the 2006 elections, Pelosi did in fact become Speaker of the House. (EliWho)
Spin
To offer a non-obvious interpretation of an event in order to allow people to view it more favorably to the speaker's agenda or viewpoint. Related terms include Spin Doctor, Spinmeister, Spinning, Spin Zone, Counter-Spin, Back Spin.
Splotchy
An irreverant soubriquet for George W. Bush. Inspired by a facial skin condition and the President's facility for falling on his face, especially on weekends. Other equally irreverant soubriquets include Whistle-ass, Smirking Chimp (and related terms such as Chimpy, Chimperor, etc.) Bunnypants, Prancer, Son King, and Dubyanocchio.
Starve the Beast 
A means of reducing the size and scope of government by using tax cuts to deprive it of revenue. "Reducing the size and scope of government" typically means doing away with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid - programs to which starve-the-beasters are ideologically opposed. In the words of Grover Norquist, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." For an explanation in the context of the Bush tax plan, see Paul Krugman's article. See Supply Side Economics.
Strategery 
The word Will Farrell used, when playing George W Bush in a Saturday Night Live presidential debate, when asked to sum up his foreign policy in one word. Later used by Karl Rove as the name for a White House strategy group. (The word was never actually used by Bush.)
Stupidity Paradigm
A term to describe the general outlook or worldview of those who believe that most or all of the acts of the Bush administration are to be explained, not as the workings-out of a public policy or the plottings of a covert conspiracy, but as the results of the sheer stupidity, arrogance, and narrow-mindedness of those in power. The failure to find WMDs in Iraq -- even planted WMDs -- seems to speak in favor of the Stupidity Paradigm. Cf. Conspiracy Paradigm.
Subsidiarity 
Principle that decisions ought to be taken at the lowest possible level of government so that it there is input from the people immediately affected.
Sully 
Andrew Sullivan. Popular center-right pundit, much derided on the left. Gay, but supportive of George W. Bush. Writes for Salon.com and blogs. (samiam)
Surrogate 
Someone who publicly makes arguments on behalf of another. This allows more vehemence and gives a candidate (the usual beneficiary) distance and deniability in case the comments cause an uproar.

Third Rail to Zellout

Third Rail 
An issue so divisive that it is political death to even talk about it. Example: Means testing for Social Security. From the high-voltage rail that powers many subway trains.
Tin-Foil Hat 
A device made of tin-foil worn on the head to ward off the voices and signals from three letter agency mind control devices and/or outer space. A label for outlandish conspiracy theorists derived from this headgear, which is sometimes actually worn at certain conventions as a joke or a signal that conspiracy debate is welcome. When used in discourse, it refers to stereotypical crazy conspiracy theory. It is beginning to come into use as a self-deprecating term to acknowledge that what the person is about to say sounds somewhat outlandish. Used similarly to asbestos long-johns. Often used as a deprecatory term to dismiss theories like Bush Knew or even Iran-Contra as if there were no evidence for these.
Tracker 
Young campaign staffer who follows an opponent around with recording equipment in hopes of capturing a gaffe.
Tracking Poll 
Typically a one-question poll taken daily shortly before an election. Usually three (or sometimes two) days of results are then averaged together to lower the error incured by the small daily sample size. Purports to "track" the electorate on a day-by-day basis, showing momentum, movement, etc. Usually used in the last few days in the run up to an election. (DavidNYC)
Trial Balloon 
An idea or position leaked to the media by a party, candidate, etc., for the purpose of assessing public reaction.
Trained Seals 
Term for large crowd on stage mindlessly applauding everything said by the speaker.
Triangulation 
Triangulation when used in reference to politics is the attempt to play one position or political faction against another, thereby nullifying both groups or positions. In recent years, it has often become synonymous with neo-liberal or "third-way" Democrats as exemplified by Bill Clinton to play the traditional Democratic base against the right-wing.
Troll 
Person whose posts to threaded-message groups/boards/blogs or wikis annoy current users. The troll is perceived as posting for the sole purpose of picking fights and creating unpleasantness. Trolls may refer to themselves as "trollers" and announce their true intentions elsewhere. An ethical troll is a person who, on principle, deliberately posts messages where they are unwelcome, to overcome systemic bias or otherwise disturb groupthink. The name is a parallel to the ethical hacker, who breaks through software safeguards on principle. There is a complex and nuanced troll culture surrounding open politics argument on the net that seems to center on Wikipedia and its most controversial articles. Deliberate pre-emptive usage of the term "troll" parallels that of the "n-word". "d-word", and "f-word" by blacks, lesbians and gays. The en: wikipedia: Internet troll article is recommended to anyone who wants to truly understand this term. In general, the term should be avoided at dkosopedia itself because it is based on perception rather than objective understanding.
Turkee 
From: Preznit giv me turkee. Coined by Atrios as a joke mocking the obsequious treatment of George W. Bush by the press. Now an Internet term for any given donation to politicians, bloggers, etc.. Link to original Eschaton post here. (dc)
Tweety 
Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball. (DemFromCT) Term probably derives from his blond hair, bias in favor of Bush (whom he praises for his "sunny nobility"), and garrulousness.
Unknown unknowns
"As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know." Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
Vietnamistan 
Term originally coined for Afghanistan emphasizing it as a potential long-term losing guerilla war, such as the one that helped bring down the USSR. Now used generically for any strategic South-Central Asian country (Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan) in which the USA might end up in such a situation, defending a friendly but losing government (as in the former Republic of South Vietnam). See also Quagmiraq. A possibly unrelated policy usage of the term is in reference to the Nixon Doctrine or Guam Doctrine, the late-Vietnam War effort to put have the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) do most of the fighting. This usage has also been applied metaphorically to the 2001- war in Afghanistan and especially the 2003 war in Iraq.
Vote-Switching
A major-candidate cross-vote (a vote counted other than as intended). Defined in a cross-voting analysis of Ohio's Cuyahoga County 2004 Presidential election results with respect to wrong precinct voting, using punch card voting equipment for one precinct and counting equipment for another. Unlike cross-votes to third-party candidates or uncounted, each Kerry-Bush vote-switch changed the margin by two votes.
Vulcans
Self-adopted name for George W. Bush's foreign policy team, popularized in Rise of the Vulcans by LA Times reporter James Mann. Originally named for the mascot of Rice's hometown of Birmingham, a giant statue of the Roman god who forged tools for the other gods. Now becoming a term of ridicule, as it seemed to imply that Bush's team was as measured and wise in its decisions as Mister Spock.
Wedge Issue 
An issue intended to divide one's opposition. The right traditionally has used abortion as a wedge issue to divide the left because some liberals oppose it. Environmental protection can presumably be used as a wedge issue to divide conservatives, since some have a finite tolerance for pollution and land abuse.
Wingnut 
From right-wing nut.
Worst.President.Ever. 
Derogatory term for George W. Bush, derived from the catchphrase "Worst.Episode.Ever." spoken by Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons. Debate on whether Bush was the worst president ever was very common by early 2001 on the csmonitor.com web service, which was remarkable, as he had only been in office a few months.
Wurlitzer, The Mighty Wurlitzer 
Originally a CIA term for a propaganda machine, it refers to the network of right-wing publications, think-tanks, and broadcast outlets that regurgitate the day's RNC talking points. "Wurlitzer" was a company that manufactured organs; cf. "House Organ". For further details, see Robert Borosage's article in the May 6, 2002 American Prospect. Ex-conservative columnist David Brock in his confessional memoir Blinded by the Right coined the term Republican Noise Machine to describe the same phenomenon.
WWJD 
What Would Jesus Do, referring to Christian views on matters, sometimes used as a sarcastic comment
You forgot Poland 
1. A desperate attempt to save face by interjecting a trivial though apparently accurate fact into a debate as though the additional triviality disproves the initial assertion.
2. A generic reminder with Poland substituting for the object/idea forgotten.
(First: George Bush's bizarre admonishment to John Kerry during the first 2004 presidential debate in which Kerry asserted that the "Coalition of the Willing" actually consisted of merely three countries. Var: You forgot Poland.) (GOTV)
Zellout 
Title bestowed to DINOs who spend more time attacking their own party than helping it. Named in honor of Zell Miller, (D[nominally]-GA), who was the only Democratic Senator to endorse Bush.

New Terms We'd Like To See

Bloomberg 
To switch from the Democratic party to the Republican party to avoid a heavily ethnic primary electorate. Inspired and named for Mike Bloomberg, can also be applied to Arlen Specter.
Blue Meat 
A subset of "red meat" - that which is perceived as red meat by liberals. Since some liberals are vegans, perhaps the term Blue Berries is better.
Clubbed for Growth 
Applied to a Republican incumbent who has faced a tough or even succesful primary from the right. Can be applied to Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chafee, Joe Schwarz, and others.
Grammer Gnome 
Someone who likes to fix grammar and spelling. A hopefully inoffensive term used by non-grammarian misspellers.
Grammar Gnome 
Someone who likes to fix grammar and spelling. The correct spelling of the same term, used and owned with pride by the aforementioned grammarians.
Junk-Food Faith 
"Like junk food, Phariseeism is an easily bought, fun to consume, superficially satisfying replacement for the real thing...all the smug posturing and none of the hard work of faith in action." (Inspired by Junk-Food News, coined by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting to describe heavily-reported non-news like the OJ and Jackson Trials.)
Pharie 
Short for Pharisee, used for the religious right. Reference to the religious conservatives who supported the execution of Jesus, to their literal belief in allegorical fairy-tales like Noah's Ark, and to the fact that the religous right has some serious repressed-homosexuality issues.
Pseudopatriotism 
- aka Jingosim, a love of American symbols combined with opposition to what America stands for
That Other Moral Value or TOMV 
Generosity, opposition to poverty and inequality. Sarcastic reference to the fact that both Testaments of the Bible are near-obsessed with these issues and nowhere claim that 'life begins at conception' or that 'gays shouldn't marry', or 'assault weapons are a human right' etc. etc.
War Troll and Peace Troll 
to differentiate the different roles that Internet trolls play during various types or stages of campaigns. For instance, war trolls most devoted to attack or satire might be best directed to negative campaigns against the Republican Party rather than risk a circular firing squad from developing based on their tactices used among the Democrats. While peace trolls could make unwelcome but persistent overtures to key groups that support Republicans, to weaken their resolve and find holes in their arguments, which can later be fed to fierce war trolls for maximum attack value.
Wedgie-issue 
Republican wedge-issue. Reference to how when voters get distracted by the scapegoat of the day, the Republicans end up giving America a wedgie.

See open politics argument, Troll Age, American politics as usual, Political Neologisms and the MemeTank for more on these strategies.

Blog and Forum Terms

Blargon
Blog jargon.
GFBF
The "Goldfish Bowl Factor." Refers to the difficulty of discussing strategy and tactics when one is using a public forum to which one's opponents have access.
Holden Gets a Pony
An elaborate and oft-repeated in-joke, especially on Atrios's Eschaton blog, in which a pet pony is supposedly awarded to First-Draft blogger Holden when Bush's poll numbers go down.
K&R
Democratic Underground-speak for "Kicked and Recommended." Indicates a forum post that salutes the discussion thread's originator in two ways. First, by simply replying to the post, it "kicks" the thread to the top of the list (which displays the most-recently updated threads first). Secondly, it announces that the new poster has "recommended" the thread by voting for it to appear in a list of "greatest" discussion topics.
Pony 
An intensely desired but extremely unlikely outcome. Ex: "we are going to stay in Iraq until we find the pony."
Shorter
Indicates a terse (and often ironically exaggerated) summary of another person's writing or comments, as in "Shorter Malkin."
Unity, Unity Pony 
A fake solution to the false problem of "excessive partisanship." Ponies for everybody!
Weblogistan
The world of Middle-Eastern blogs, particularly "underground" ones. Also the name of a particular provider of blog services.

Common Political Acronyms and Abbreviations

ABB 
Anybody But Bush (daria g)
AP 
Associated Press - wire news service similar to Reuters.
CDA 
College Democrats of America - the official student organization of the Democratic Party
CW 
Conventional Wisdom (pyrrho, skiddie)
DINO 
Democrat In Name Only, e.g. Zell Miller.
DLC 
From their website, "The Democratic Leadership Council is an idea center, catalyst, and national voice for a reform movement that is reshaping American politics by moving it beyond the old left-right debate."
DCCC or D Triple C 
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Raises funds for House races and sometimes recruits candidates. Headed by a Representative and has other professional staff.
DNC 
Democratic National Committee. Governing body of the Democratic party, somewhat synonymous with the party itself. Run by the DNC chairman, currently Howard Dean. Generally responsible for the running and organization of the party, though in recently years known mostly as a fundraising organization.
DFL 
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Official name of the Minnesota chapter of the Democratic Party, following a merger with the populist Farmer-Labor Party on April 15, 1944.
DoD 
Department of Defense. (also: DOD)
DSCC 
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Senatorial counterpart to the DCCC.
FLOTUS
First Lady of the United States
GAO
General Accounting Office
GOP
Grand Old Party. A nickname adopted by the Republican Party in the 1880s to help disguise the fact that they were in fact only 30 years old.
GOTV 
Get Out The Vote, see GOTV
IOKIYAR 
It's OK If You're a Republican. Explanation for an action or statement by a Republican which, were the responsible person a Democrat, would be cause for a firestorm of outrage. See Cheney above. (May also be stated as the converse: INOKIYAD: It's Not OK If You're a Democrat.)
LAT 
Los Angeles Times
LTE 
Letter To the Editor
MSM 
MainStream Media. What wingnuts call the SCLM.
NGO 
Non-Governmental Organization. Typically refers to politically active non-profit corporations, especially those which act internationally.
NRCC 
National Republican Congressional Committee. GOP counterpart to the DCCC.
NRSC 
National Republican Senatorial Committee. GOP counterpart to the DSCC.
NSC 
National Security Council. Generally the White House as opposed to the DoD or State.
NYT 
New York Times
OEP 
Office of Emergency Preparedness
OMB 
Office of Management and Budget
PAC 
Political Action Committee
PDB 
Presidential Daily Briefing
PNAC 
Project for the New American Century
POTUS 
President of the United States
REB 
Republican Except for Bush. A still-loyal Republican who favors voting Bush out of office, on the grounds that his policies and performance are ultimately counter to conservative ideals.
RINO 
Republican In Name Only, e.g. Lincoln Chafee.
RCP 
RealClearPolitics, conservative website
RNC
Republican National Committee. Sometimes used for the entire interlocking system of Republican aligned groups when acting in unison (e.g., "RNC Talking Points").
RWCM
Right-Wing Corporate Media, an epithet against the media commonly used by Democrats as a response to the right-wing "MSM."
SCLM 
So Called Liberal Media (first use ca. 1999; adopted and popularized 2003 by Eric Alterman)
SCOTUS 
Supreme Court of the United States.
SOTU 
The State of the Union Address, presented (mostly) every year by the President of the United States to a joint session of Congress.
Sec- 
Secretary of [Department], e.g., SecDef for Secretary of Defense.
State 
Department of State.
VRWC 
Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (or, according to SpecialKinFlag "Very Rich Weenie Club")
WaPo 
Washington Post
WATB 
Whiny Ass Titty Baby (via Atrios)
WSJ 
Wall Street Journal
WTO
World Trade Organization

Common Internet Acronyms and Abbreviations

'<g>' 
grin, often devilish
</[term]> 
Marks the end of a passage characterized by the attitude or approach specified by [term]. For instance, </sarcasm> would indicate the previous lines are to be read as sarcastic. From the standard SGML syntax for closing a tag.
AFAIK 
As Far As I Know
AOEU  
Nonsense from the Dvorak keyboard for those who don't want to post a comment header. See ASDF.
ASDF 
A nonsense filler word used as a subject for posts. Apparently the first letters you learn to type on a Qwerty keyboard. For the very keen, try asdf.com. Also "aoeu" for the Dvorak keyboard layout version. (DemFromCT, skiddie)
FUBAR 
Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition (or Reason or Repair)
FWIW 
for what it's worth
grafs 
Abbreviation for "paragraph" used by weblog authors. Frequently: a paragraph cut from a newspaper article's online equivalent and pasted into a weblog entry as a blockquote. (EphemeralNotion)
IANAL 
I am not a lawyer. Can be extended to any area of expertise, i.e. IANAD (I am not a Deaniac) usually appended with a large BUT, before someone gives you their views on an area that is out side of their area of expertise.
IIRC 
If I recall correctly. This is often not capitalized, and it means that the fact given beforehand is a recollection from a while back and that the author is unsure of its factual accuracy. Not to be confused with IRC, a chat program.
IMHO 
In my [humble/honest] opinion
IMNSHO 
In my not-so-humble opinion
IMO 
In my opinion
IRL 
In Real Life
JK 
Just Kidding. Previous comment was in jest. (also j/k)
LBNL 
Last but not least
LOL 
Laugh out loud
MOL 
More or less
NFW 
No fucking way!
n/t 
No text (also "nt")
Noob 
A newbie - Usually a derisive term for a poster who has violated the standard operating procedure of the board or blog.
OMG 
Oh, My God!
OT 
Off topic
OTOH 
On the other hand
PEBKAC 
Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair. Sometimes written PEBCAC (Problem Exists Between Computer And Chair).
ROTFLMAO 
Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. It is possible to omit some of the letters and still be intelligible - witness LMAO (laughing my ass off) or ROFL (rolling on floor laughing). Sometimes people add letters as in LMFAO (laughing my fat ass off).
RTFA 
Read The Fucking/Fine Article.
RTFM 
Read The Fucking/Fine Manual. Common response to requests for assistance when reading the documentation would reveal the answer.
STAT 
Do it immediately. Medicalese, from Latin, statim.
STFU 
Shut the Fuck Up. Ironically, it sounds like the less obscene "stuff you".
VRWC 
Vast right-wing conspiracy
WRT 
With Respect To
WTF 
What the Fuck? (also pronounced whiskey tango fox-trot)
WYFP
What's Your Fucking Problem? From a recurrent dKos diary forum by theoria (taken over for a while by PastorDan and currently belonging to Elizabeth D), where he parodies an advice columnist. Has become a regular Saturday feature at dKos, and serves as a sounding board for personal problems of dKos community members.
YMMV 
Your Mileage May Vary. From car ads that advertise gas mileage but included this qualifier. Usually following a personal anecdote that might not hold for all cases. (pyrrho)

Wingnut Acronyms

MSM 
Main Stream Media
PIAPS 
Pig In A Pants Suit (Hillary Clinton)

Wingnut Debate Dictionary

The Wingnut Debate Dictionary also has a long list of political terms, many of them humorous in nature.


Rhetorical Sleight of Hand

This section has been moved to its own article.

Political Cliches

An extensive summary of common Political Cliches is available on a separate page.

Daily Kos Inside Jokes

Like any community, Daily Kos has its share of inside jokes and lingo.

Blugging 
What you are doing when you've written a falme. Inspired by the 2006 Republican nominee for Illinois' 9th Congressional district during his brief stay here.
Falme 
A diary worthy of ridicule. Falmes tend to be short and lacking in sources. They tend to focus on topics that have been diaried to death, and are often offensive. The term was inspired by this diary during the wait for Senator Barack Obama to announce his Vice Presidential nominee; the diarist ended with "Don't falme me pleas"
Firebagger 
Perjorative term used to refer to what some feel are the left's equivalent of teabaggers. The term is a hybrid of 'teabagger' and 'Fire Dog Lake', a progressive website known for particularly vicious attacks on the governing Democrats. Coined by TooFolkGR, it should be used sparingly as it may result in banning.
[Verb] my f***ing [Noun], kos 
Inspired by ErrinF's GBCW diary.
[Entity] fears the change [other entity] will bring 
Inspired by an overzealous supporter of a candidate, now used snarkily to refer to all sorts of things.

Republican Dictionaries

Personal tools