In the aftermath of the American Health Care Act's failure, and the ensuing rift between factions in the Republican party, Democrats are poised to score political capital from the GOP’s failure. While there are many issues that Democrats could attack the Republicans on concerning the failed healthcare bill, one media outlet believes that they have the answer. For the writers at Slate, the path of capitalizing on the mishandling of healthcare won’t come from advocating on the supposed benefits of the current healthcare system, or even proposing new policies that would help placate the population that overwhelmingly rejected Democrats in the last election. Instead, staff writer Katy Waldman believes she has the solution—mispronounce the name of the Republican Party.
In her piece entitled “The ‘Democrat Party’ Needs A Counter-Epithet For The GOP," Waldman argues that the Democratic party has been blemished by the fact that Republicans call their political opponents “Democrats.” According to Waldman, the simple shortening of the Democratic Party to Democrat “accomplishes the objective of getting under Democrat(ic) skin.” Waldman goes on to state that when members of the Democratic Party are called Democrats, they “look pedantic when they bother to correct the record, and they look weak when they allow their adversaries to dictate what they are called.”
This realization of the GOP’s superiority in their control of the semantic battlefield is where Waldman argues the Democrats should begin to fight back with fierce opposition and coordination. “Liberals” she argues, “must choose one epithet and employ it at every opportunity.” Dismissing lame puns such as “Republicants” and “Republicons,” Waldman believes that true victory can be found in undermining Republican naming conventions in the form of deliberately mispronouncing their name. Some suggestions by Waldman include calling the GOP the “GOB,” or calling Republicans “Republicanists” instead. Waldman also greatly enjoyed the prospect of mislabeling the GOP as the “Publican Party”, as it brought up the “delightful prospect of a Pelican Party, which would scoop all Americans into its capacious beak….”
The word "publican" is used in the New Testament and refers to tax collectors. The irony appears to be lost on Democrats, as they are both unfunny and biblically illiterate.