Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Republic Party

Tomorrow's Doonesbury cartoon will feature, Mr. Verb sources have learned, a suggestion by an aid that Bush start calling his party the "Republic Party" to show that he doesn't "mean any offense" in referring to the opposition as the "Democrat Party". The strip will be up by tomorrow, I trust, here, but I don't find it up anywhere yet, on a quick check.

Still, Republic Party gets a ton of g-hits, about 130,000, many of course to parties that actually contain that element, but a good number to sources making the same point that Garry Trudeau does.

By the way, Trudeau has the aid using Bush's own account (see here) of the form:
… Sir, part of it may be their irritation over how often you mispronounce their name.
Again, it is surely not a phonological issue, but a morphological one.

Update, Sunday morning: We have a specialist on the topic now, including the full strip, here. For the record, Ben, I'm counting Trudeau as "remarkably prescient".


Ben Zimmer said...

In case you missed it, Bush used "Republic Party" as the punchline to a self-deprecating joke, in his Feb. 3 speech before the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference (mentioned here).

Mr. Verb said...

Yeah, I caught that, and wondered about how Trudeau was thinking about it -- Is this a kind of background story to it? (I don't want to give away the punchline of the strip if you haven't read it.)

Ben Zimmer said...

Haven't seen the strip, but Trudeau probably submitted it before Bush gave that speech, and possibly even before the State of the Union. The Doonesbury FAQ says the lead time for a Sunday strip is 6 weeks, so that would mean it was done by mid-January, a couple of weeks before the SotU. Perhaps Trudeau was inspired by the Nov. 22 WaPo column by Ruth Marcus.

Mr. Verb said...

Oh, I've always figured that they go back and shuffle things after submission to keep abreast of what's happening.

Of course the old Ruth Marcus column inspired me to use the phrase "icless Democrats", and maybe inspired the more complex "icless D-word" used here:

Sili said...

Am I the only one to think that the joke should have been "Repuplan"?

Mr. Verb said...