Incoherently overheated headline of the day


And the award goes to… The Guardian, for “Romney decision clears path for next stage of Bush presidential empire.”

I’m not even sure what it means, beyond communicating the vague idea that The Guardian really has a thing about the Bushes, doesn’t it?

The hed would almost make sense if you substituted “dynasty” for “empire.” But I think somewhere in the lower reaches of some copyeditor’s brain was the mostly-suppressed, unacknowledged thought that “empire” had a more sinister ring to it.

The story itself doesn’t have quite the ring that the hed does. It’s fairly matter-of-fact. I am a little puzzled that the paper is going with such a limited, second-day approach on the breaking story. Romney’s bowing-out has farther-reaching impact than elevating Bush, if it even does that.

Romney himself seemed to be urging Republicans to look beyond Bush to “the next generation.” Bush at 61 is more or less in the usual age range for a presidential contender, so the implication is that Romney is thinking of someone else, someone with a name less well-known.

I found the way Romney put that sort of interesting:

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney wrote. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

I heard in that a hint of, You REALLY oughta be going with me, a guy who is well known and has taken his message across the country, someone who isn’t just getting started… but NOOOO, everybody said “Don’t run, Mitt,” so you’re on your own now, losers.

Hey, I’m holding out for a GOP nominee with a sufficient grasp of the English language that he knows “Democrat” is a noun, and the adjective is “Democratic.” That would be something (he said wistfully)…

5 thoughts on “Incoherently overheated headline of the day

  1. M.Prince

    The use of “Democrat Party” instead of “Democratic Party” doesn’t stem from any lack of a proper appreciation for grammar, but is instead an intentional attempt at re-branding. The effort goes back quite a number of years, as shown by an excerpt from a NY Times article from 1984:

    “Representative Jack F. Kemp, Republican of upstate New York, placed himself in an unusual position today. He defended Democrats before the Republican platform committee.

    When a delegate asked unanimous consent to change a platform amendment to read the ”Democrat Party” instead of ”Democratic Party,” Mr. Kemp objected, saying that would be ‘an insult to our Democratic friends.’ The committee later decided to drop the issue because it lacked unanimous support.

    The term ‘Democrat Party’ has been used in recent years by some right-wing Republicans on the ground that the term used by Democrats implies that they are the only true adherents of democracy.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That’s right. And that’s what it was 20 and 30 years ago. And not just on the right wing. I remember Bob Dole using it fairly early on (and George Will taking him to task for it!).

      But now there’s a whole generation of Republicans who, I am pretty sure, actually don’t know that it is grammatically wrong. They actually think it’s the “Democrat Party,” and are confused when you correct them (which I do frequently).

      For Mitt’s part, I’m pretty sure he knows better, but long ago realized he had to conform, since people in his party had enough doubts about him already. Can anyone say, “Romneycare?”…


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