George W. Bush, a self-proclaimed straight-talking Texan, has been roundly lampooned for his weak grasp of the English language: "subliminable," "resignate," and transformationed" being only a few of his malapropisms. As ridiculous as Bush sometimes sounds, we shouldn't underestimate him or the right-wingers who put him in power, because they never say what they mean or mean what they say. Over the past few decades, the radical right has engaged in a well-funded, self-conscious program of Orwellian doublespeak, transforming American political discourse to suit their political ends. "Private accounts" became "personal accounts." "Massachusetts liberal" was used to slur John Kerry's record. And their "compassionate conservative" tax cuts were neither conservative nor compassionate, unless you happen to be a Republican fat cat. Sick and tired of their sinister deceptions, celebrated Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel set out to explode their verbal gymnastics by asking her readers to suggest satirical definitions of Republican jargon. The result was a grassroots groundswell of hilarious submissions from Americans who are mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more. She has collected the best in this very funny and very necessary book.
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