Bishop uses clever semantic device vs. Obama

The political junkie in me can only admire the clever use of language in a Rep. Rob Bishop campaign ad that I heard on the radio today.

I was partially tuning out most of the boilerplate rhetoric (cut taxes, keep America strong, hide the women and children, etc.), but then Bishop, R-Utah, started railing against the Obama “regime.”

Pol Pot? Josef Stalin? Idi Amin? The crazy leader of Iran? The Obama regime? Did I just hear Bishop insinuate Obama’s running some kind of outfit akin to those bloody psychos?

Webster’s dictionary defines regime as “a form of government or rule, a social system or order, or the period of time that a person or system is in power.” Clearly it is technically not inaccurate to refer to the Obama administration as a regime. However, in modern parlance, calling a government a regime is a slur. The most popular Google searches associated with the word include Hitler, the Nazi regime, Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein. In its entry about the word, Wikipedia softly points out that the “modern usage often gives the term a negative connotation, like an authoritarian one.”

By calling Obama’s administration a regime, Bishop sends a semantic signal lumping in the duly elected president of the United States with all the banana republic thugs, usurpers and mass murderers that have filled the news columns over the decades. It’s a reprehensible device to use, but Bishop can claim cover that he’s just employed a perfectly good word listed in the English dictionary.

OK, I have an idea. Fair’s fair. When Bishop and his fellow Republicans take over the House in the November election, I’m going to thereafter refer to them as the “GOP junta.” It’s another word right there in Webster’s. A junta is a “a small group of men; cabal, faction, or clique.”

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10 Responses to Bishop uses clever semantic device vs. Obama

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    The GOP Junta, that’s actually kind of cool. I wonder how the junta will fare against the regime!

  2. Owain says:

    Mark Shenefelt clearly hasn’t been keeping up with current events. C’mon, Mark. Google is your friend. Try this search: “Bush Regime”.

    If you’d like a quick refresher, read this article from the Washington Examiner.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Rush-Limbaugh-Chris-Matthews-and-the-regime-question-89848762.html

    Rush Limbaugh started using the word Obama Regime months ago, and as the article states, this was in retaliation for the use of the word by critics during the Bush administration. As the article states,

    “By using the word “regime,” Limbaugh was doing something he does all the time: throwing the language of the opposition back in their faces. In the Bush years, we often heard the phrase “Bush regime” from some quarters of the left. So Limbaugh applied it to Obama.”

    And before you pull your shorts over your head claiming that Rep. Bishop shouldn’t be using that kind of language either, cast your memory back to the days of the Bush administration, and recall some of the language used by Democratic members of congress towards President Bush.

    But really, if this is indeed the first time you’ve heard this, you need to get out more.

  3. Mark Shenefelt says:

    @Owain, I don’t make a point of keeping up with Limbaugh and other talk show blowhards. I also try to tune out extremist phrasing from both sides of our spectrum of political open wounds. But when a sitting congressman from our area stoops to the loaded-word level, it’s can be constructive to point it out. All I hear from you is, two wrongs make a right.

  4. Owain says:

    “Owain, I don’t make a point of keeping up with Limbaugh and other talk show blowhards.”

    My point was that in the interests of being an informed columnist, perhaps you might consider leaving your comfort zone and becoming, you know, informed.

    In Doug Gibson’s blog entry talking about the Juan Williams debacle, I noted that although I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with Juan Williams on anything he’s said in the past, I’m glad that Fox News has signed him to a new contract following his being fired by NPR. He’s an intelligent thoughtful advocate for liberal views, and his appearances on Fox provides me with a chance to experience a good exchange of ideas from both sides that I don’t see on channels like MSNBC, or CNN. Or NPR. Regardless, I still check those sources out, if only to see what the other side is thinking.

    Even so, when you start talking about a story in October that was thoroughly hashed out in a variety of sources back in April, it does make one think that perhaps you should stick to topics on which you are knowledgeable.

  5. Michael Trujillo says:

    Mark,
    Clearly “Owain” doesn’t get the distinction between the impact of what an entertainer says (Limbaugh) and a duly elected Federal Gov’t official says. It’s the typical, “Whatever ‘their side’ does is stoopid and wrong’. Whatever ‘our side’ does is reasonable and fair.”

    So, now we’re covered. The next time anyone complains about a Congressperson making a slur against Jews, Owain can pipe in, “Hey, Mel Gibson, a conservative, said that already. Don’t you read People Magezine?”

  6. Owain says:

    Michael, when key members of the Obama administration say that Rush Limbaugh is ‘the voice of the republican party’, I think that puts him in a catagory that is a cut above ‘entertainer’.

    http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003063742
    A quote from the transcript of the Face the Nation interview:

    BOB SCHIEFFER: Who do you think now speaks for the Republican Party?

    RAHM EMANUEL: You just named them. It was Rush Limbaugh. I mean, he has laid out his vision, in my view, and he said it clearly, and I compliment him for that. He’s been very upfront and I compliment him for that. He’s not hiding.

    Now that’s not my opinion of Limbaugh’s status, but clearly Rush is living inside their heads, rent free, so maybe I’m mistaken.

    At any rate, once Mel Gibson is cited as being an official spokesperson for either party, you analogy will hold water. Until then, it would seem that you share Shenefeld’s penchant for speaking on topics for which you are unknowledgable.

  7. MacDaddy says:

    @ Owain – “Informed columnist”????

    At the SE??? That’s a good one!

  8. Michael Trujillo says:

    Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. End of conversation.

  9. MacDaddy says:

    Michael Trujillo
    on Oct 29th, 2010
    @ 9:47 am:
    Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. End of conversation

    LOL! You just can’t stand the fact that Rush has more influence on the political climate in the US by telling the truth about democrats and the moron, Øbowma, than any other political commentator in existence.

  10. Michael Trujillo says:

    Fine. He has more “influence”. But he’s still an entertainer. You all like his ideas. But he’s still an entertainer. When he actually runs for some office, or becomes the Republican Party president, or heads an organization who’s goal is to shape or influence government, then he can claim to be something else (like Jesse Venture did, or Al Franken did, or Ronny Reagan did). But, right now, he’s merely a very successful entertainer, along the lines of Jon Stewart, Dennis Miller, Bill Maher, and Anne Coulter.

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