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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

‘GOP’ Means…What?

Apparently there has been some hand-wringing going on at the Wall St. Journal about using the term “GOP,” as Francie Grace reports in her post, “What Does ‘GOP’ Stand For?” at CBS News Politics:

The elephant – symbol of the Republican Party since 1874 – remembers that GOP stands for “Grand Old Party,” but increasingly, the elephant is standing alone…At least that’s the thinking at The Wall Street Journal, which has decided to stop using the acronym to refer to the 148-year-old political party.
In an internal memo issued to staffers last week, Journal higher-ups said the term GOP will be dropped because not all readers know what the letters mean, and some may not realize that they are a reference to the Republican Party.

Grace adds that reporters will still be able to use the term in quoting people who say it. There’s a bit of convoluted logic behind the WSJ’s reasoning, having to do with the word “Grand” supposedly indicating some pro-Republican bias. Horrors, you say, aghast that the Journal would stoop to such political bias. Here’s a taste of the tortured soul-searching behind the decision from the text of the memo:

“Because the short form may seem baffling (or even spin-doctored) to some new readers, we want to avoid its use in articles and headlines,” says the memo. “Beginning in December, use it only in the direct quotations and then be sure to explain what GOP means. Even among people who know that GOP refers to the Republican Party, many may not know that it stands for Grand Old Party.”

We’ll all sleep a little better, knowing that the WSJ remains ever-vigilant against creeping conservative bias. ‘Grand’ indeed. Harrumph.
But the fun behind Grace’s post is in the comments section, where wisecracking Dems have their say. Among the printable responses: “This is the party of Greed Over Principle whose goal is to create a Greedy Oligarchic Plutonomy,” writes ProgressiveRepublican. “(G)reed, (O)bstruction, & (P)aranoia party,” says mb99. “greed Over Prosperity,” adds wdrussell1. “Guardians of Privilege” from 88 Ronin. It continues in similar fashion with some of the funnier ones on the randy side.
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