Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Down With “Obamacare”!

The locution, Obamacare, “stands for everything people don’t like about the [Affordable Care Act] law”. So writes Chris Cillizza in the WaPo blog, The Fix. And he’s dead right.

Nevertheless, like clutching an asp to its breast, the Administration, along with countless sappy liberals and legions of lazy reporters eager to adopt a usefully catchy, one-size-fits-all expression, has embraced it willy nilly; apparently insensible to the fact that it has become--like the term liberal itself-–a toxic label, applied with glee by slogan-adept conservatives to skewer progressives as feckless do-gooders.

The Administration seems to think that it can turn the expression to its advantage by exploiting the seemingly felicitous conflation of Obama and Care, but they’re wrong. It’s too late. That ship has sailed. Hillarycare comes inevitably to mind, and we all know how that turned out.

Let’s face it, effective sloganeering is not liberals’ long suit. We don’t like it. Slogan-slinging is the antithesis of meaningful political dialog; a tactic to which we reluctantly revert when we can’t think of anything substantive to say in the few words that constitute a sound-bite.

For the moment at least, the GOP’s word-merchants own the genre. Let’s not make their job easier by clumsily trying to re-purpose one of the deadliest arrows in their rhetorical quiver.

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