In the State of the Union speech, President Bush again referred to the “Democrat Party.” Media Matter discusses this insult, and looks at the term’s history.
Matthew Yglesias writes about Bush and other Republicans repeatedly using the infantile, schoolyard taunt “Democrat Party” when talking about the Democratic Party.
To call someone by something other than the name he wishes to be called by is rude. To make a mistake is forgivable, but to persist — deliberately — in declining to use your adversary’s proper name is rude and insulting. It’s not a big deal unless you take standing up for yourself to be a big deal. When Democrats go on TV and let a conservative get away with the phrase “Democrat Party” it’s signaling that Democrats are weak. They’re too weak to stand up for themselves. They’re too weak to have a sense of group solidarity or party loyalty. They’re inclined to let things slide. They don’t want to make a scene. They don’t like to have a fight. They’re weak. Is a political party that can’t even protect its own name really going to keep America safe?
… But the fact that this would seem petty and bizarre is the point: “Democratic” is the correct word and this isn’t an obscure point. That everyone lets conservatives say “Democrat” over and over again is part of establishing mainstream acceptance of the idea that the conservative media operates in an accuracy free zone. They’re propagandists and that’s okay by the MSM — no need to get things right!
I hwrote about this when Rep. Boenher insulted Speaker Pelosi while handing her the gavel, when Bush did it the day after the election and a year before that, and in 2002 I wrote about the John Birch Society origins of the insult.
Update – Paperwight weighs in:
And it does matter, because it’s just a punkass bully trick to show people who’s the boss. I had a boss who did this to me once, and it was a deliberate attempt to belittle me. The difference between me and the Democrats is that while I chose not to engage in a career-limiting move by calling my boss a petty jackass, the Dems could actually enhance their position by calling the Republicans on this bullshit:
President Bush/Mitch McConnell/Newt Gingrich/John Gibson/Frank Luntz calling the Democratic Party the “Democrat” Party makes me wonder why any American would take this guy seriously. I mean, there are only two major political parties in the United States, and this guy apparently only knows the name of one. It makes you wonder if they can remember where their front door is, or if they have to ask their wife every morning.
Problem solved. You’re not whining, you’re not complaining, and your opponent is the dumbass who can’t remember your name. And then if they say “oh, I know the name” then they can’t ever get it wrong again. This game is not hard, people. Attack, always attack. Force your opponent to defend, request, explain.