RESOLVED: Using the term "democrat party" should be a bannable offense

I think one of the questions we (we being anyone that would identify as a democrat) need to ask ourselves is, regardless of the intention of the speaker, are we actually offended by it? I’m not. If you’re not who cares.

As an example, Shodan has explicitly stated that if he leaves out his typical ‘regards, shodan’ signature, it’s akin to saying ‘fuck you’ (or something like that, he mentioned it a long time ago). If his lack of that sign off doesn’t bother you, should it really be modded? Not only does it seem pointless, it also tells the speaker about some minor thing they can offend you with. It’s like handing them a dog whistle.

When the SDMB moderators hand out warnings for insults outside the Pit, do they check with the person being insulted and ask, “Were you offended by this?” before formally posting the warning?

I’m not a moderator here, but I would guess that the answer to that is “no.” They’re judging the intent of the poster making the alleged insult. Moreover, I can’t recall a single case where a warning was rescinded because the person being insulted said, “But I wasn’t offended.”

As far as I know, the only time people here claim “the intent doesn’t matter if no offense was taken” is when we’re discussing this “Democrat Party” epithet. Every time this comes up, some Dopers loftily declare that It Does Not Bother Them; this insult bounces off of them like bullets from Superman’s chest, and therefore it should be exempt from the “don’t be a jerk” rule.

What I and others in this thread are saying is that this insult, as well as other political epithets like “Repukelicans,” should be moderated like any other insult here.

as I asked before: What is your point?

There certainly seems to be situations where the mod doesn’t even realize in was an insult, as well as times they wait to see if it’s reported. If, outside the pit, I call you fuckface, sure, I’m going to get modded for it, most anyone would recognize that as an insult. If I call you a FIB (assuming you’re from Illinois), that might be differentt. A mod might not even recognize it and I doubt enough Illinois residents even care. Should I get modded for that?

And, what I was saying is repukelicans is like libtard. A random person would recognize "Repukelican Party) as an insult. It has the word puke (like the other has the word tard) light there in it. Show someone that word, with no context and tell them it’s what republicans are called now and they would find fault in it, or, at the very least find it someone amusing. Do the same with democrat party, and someone who’s not familiar with it, isn’t going to give it a second though. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the word. Democrat party tracks logically from democrats.

And? If no offense was taken, what difference does it make if someone said it? You’re getting offended for someone else?

And again, this seems to be an argument that only happens on the internet. I know all the people at Fox are saying it purpose, and I’m sure they are, but the offended people seem to be a very small minority and only seem to exist on the internet.

To the best of my knowledge, the leftist late night hosts (Trevor/Seth/Stephen) have yet to bring it up as some big point of contention.

This is definitely not an Internet phenomenon. You might want to review the excellent Wikipedia article mentioned above; it traces the Republicans’ pejorative use of “Democrat Party” back to the 1940s.

So if those three guys don’t talk about something, it doesn’t exist? Again, check out that Wikipedia article—particularly the extensive list of citations. The use of “Democrat Party” as an epithet has been discussed at length in the media for many years.

Yes, that’s what I’m saying and you should assume my entire argument is based on what three, essentially random people, have or have not said and ignore all the other points I’ve made throughout the thread.

I have, multiple times. I’d challange your assertion that it’s an excellent article. It’s a two or three page article mostly filled with quotes and some filler about grammar and a lot of broken or paywalled citations. That entire article boils down to ‘it’s meant to be an insult, but, like whatever’.

" Pollster Frank Luntz tested the phrase with a focus group in 2001, and concluded that the only people who really disliked the epithet were highly partisan Democrats"

" Political analyst Charlie Cook attributed modern use of the term to force of habit rather than a deliberate epithet by Republicans"

" Journalist Ruth Marcus stated that Republicans likely only continue to employ the term because Democrats dislike it"

"Hertzberg calls use of the term “a minor irritation” and also “the partisan equivalent of flashing a gang sign”

" “It is the idiotic creation of some of the least responsible members of the Republican Party.”

“Ruth Walker, who has been the long-time language columnist for the Christian Science Monitor [compares it to a grammatical error like saying ‘the Ukraine’ instead of Ukraine’]”

From the Economist " the party is simply not named the Democrat Party, but the Democratic Party. Calling it anything else is discourteous.["

I haven’t dug into the backgrounds of these people and for all I know they’re just doing damage control, but there’s a bunch of people, right from your cite, saying it’s not that big of a deal. And that’s how I feel. If repubicans want to say democrat party because they think it’s some horrendous insult, let them.
In the grand scheme of things, this, to me, feels like something to ignore. It just doesn’t feel like that big of a deal.
If a black politician started referring to white people (that they didn’t like) as crackers, ignoring the discussions surrounding the obvious comparison to another word, would you still get all bent out of shape?


It actually doesn’t happen that often in the main political discussion forums, Great Debates and Politics and Elections. I just did a search in both of those forums from the time period since the start of 2016, and the term Magat or MAGAT or Magats appears a total of 9 times in GD and 37 times in P&E, and some of those are double-counted because the search also picks up when someone quotes another person’s post.

Not exactly an avalanche of instances, considering the hundreds of thousands of political posts in those forums over the past four and a half years.

Then it’s pretty odd that you said “this seems to be an argument that only happens on the internet” earlier, because if you read the article you knew otherwise.

I find the position, “I’ve never heard of it before so it can’t be a big deal” to be rather short-sighted. I’m quite sure there are all sorts of emotion-laden, meaningful concepts that I’ve never heard of, due to random chance, a sheltered life, or maybe even outright ignorance. My sample of one makes no difference to their actual significance.

@Joey_P: it’s definitely not just an internet phenomenon. I don’t think I even learned about it on the internet; I think I picked up on it when listening to some conservative commentator on the radio repeatedly refer to the “democrat party” and wondered, “what’s up with that?” so I looked it up. And once you see the taunting behavior, you can’t unsee it. It’s quite common.

In fact, a while ago I was listening to an NPR interviewer talk to somebody who repeatedly used “democrat” instead of “democratic.” Finally the interviewer asked, in a neutral, curious tone, “you keep saying ‘democrat party’ instead of ‘democratic party.’ Is there a reason for that?” Her subject brazenly denied it and said, “oh, I don’t mean a thing by it, it must just be a slip of the tongue.” The interviewer remarked, with just the merest hint of asperity, “I’m not sure I believe your explanation” and then smoothly continued the interview without further reference to it.

Anyway, it is most certainly done to taunt. Honestly, it reminds me a little of when Shoden persisted with “regards, Shodan” knowing full well it annoyed the crap out of people. (FTR, I appreciated Shodan and wish he’d managed to stay around.)

As insults go, “democrat party” is mild indeed, and it only works if we Democrats actually do get annoyed by it. I freely admit, it pisses me off a little. I’ll try to be the adult in the room and ignore it, but I wish people wouldn’t do it. Insults with content are worthwhile, things done only to annoy that have no substance are just pathetic.

(Sorry to post twice in a row; this is a different aspect of things):

I do hope we’ll continue to allow terms like “democrat party” and “dear leader” and so on. It saps a little of the color and energy from commentary if, within reason, we can’t be free to express ourselves. Take this excerpt from the Washington Post Book Club email I just got:

“Rage” isn’t officially out yet — it’s coming Sept. 15 — but The Washington Post published a rundown of its most shocking details. Among the worst, of course, is the news that Trump purposefully and repeatedly misled the nation about the severity of the covid-19 virus. The White House response to “Rage” has been unusually chaotic, even by the standards of this administration. On Wednesday, while Chief Fabulist Kayleigh McEnany was telling the American people, “The president never downplayed the virus,” the American people were listening to a recording of the president telling Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down.”

[Bolding mine.] I think “Chief Fabulist” is a marvelous insult. It’s on point and succinctly conveys a great deal about what the writer thinks. What a loss it would be if we bowdlerized our board to the point where we couldn’t hope for such gems to pop up occasionally.

Your comparison with Shodan is apt, because, like Shodan’s “Regards” signoff, “Democrat Party” is essentially trolling with plausible deniability. If someone is called out on it, they can say it was a slip of the tongue or an innocent mistake. Trump freely admitted that he uses it because it sounds bad, but he’s one of the exceptions.

I understand the rationale of simply ignoring it most of the time. Personally, I prefer the approach in that NPR interview you cited—calmly call it out for what it is. It isn’t going away in the wider world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be moderated on this board for the insult that it is. If someone is using it repeatedly to troll, then it can be moderated accordingly.

I’ll add that a rule against it wouldn’t prohibit colorful nicknames for Trump or other public figures. As iiandyiiii noted earlier, derogatory group terms like “democrat party” and “Rethuglicans” are different because they insult people on this board.

Your points are well taken. Though I personally would not moderate “democrat party” or “Rethuglicans” you are making me rethink my position a little. What you are saying seems rational and consistent.

Thank you for that; “your points are well taken” is a phrase I don’t see much on the Dope. For what it’s worth, I don’t think there will be any rule changes regarding political epithets—at least not any time soon. The moderators don’t seem to be interested in this issue, and support from members is a long way from critical mass.

It’s just one more example of the Republican “name game” thing. Like “Obummer”,“Killary”, “Ellen Degenerate”, “Barney Fag” and others too numerous and nausea-inducing to mention. Seriously, what is with you guys? I stopped doing that kind of stuff in Jr. High.

I don’t get what I’m supposed to be offended by with the phrase. And I like how it sounds.

It’s not offensive per se, but it’s designed to annoy. It’s trolling. “We don’t like you so we won’t say your name right, har har har.”

And I don’t get how you could have read through this thread and the informative links provided therein and not gotten a glimmer of what the problem is.
What a dilemma on both our parts.

I’d rather people used demon-rats or dummocrats or whatever. I find misusing Democrat to be more annoying because there’s this “little innocent me” aspect to it. If you’re going to dis Democrats and the Democratic Party, just own it.

As I’ve stated in other threads, and in my own thread, I also would love for all the childish nicknames to be banned outside the Pit, or at least banned in the debate forums (GD and P&E). They add nothing to debate, derail discussions, and piss people off. I hate things like tRump, Cheeto, etc. That said, Obummer is more honest than “democrat mayor”, for example.

I see people trying hard to get mad about something inconsequential.

Most trolling is inconsequential, but we still frown on it here.