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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Try “Colonel,” Dr. Bachmann

Dave Weigel is drawing attention to one of those mini-controversies that sometime blow up into a major brouhaha: the occasional habit of Michele Bachmann and her fans of referring to her as “Dr. Bachmann” because she has a law degree.
Like my own, Bachmann’s law degree is that of J.D. or Juris Doctor, literally Doctor of Law. Back in the day, the same degree was normally granted as LL.B., literally Bachelor of Laws. By universal consent, neither title carries with it the right to be called “Doctor,” and that’s why Bachmann is getting barbecued over the pretension.
My recommendation, at least when she is campaigning in the Deep South, is to adopt the archaic custom [warning: the 1939 newspaper article linked to here includes offensive racial language] of my home state of Georgia whereby lawyers used to call themselves “Colonel.” That has a nice military resonance which will help her compete with Air Force Veteran Rick Perry.

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