What do you think of using the term “Repug”? Some think Republicans deserve that and a few more tons of invective. Others wince at the thought that we’re trying to out-Coulter Ann Coulter.

Those of us who blog on this site sort of accidentally got an e-mail conversation going about that topic recently. It grew out of a discussion about an article by Joe Wilson that criticized Barack Obama for being too nice to John McCain when McCain openly insulted him. Jeannette Ward, writing about Wilson’s article, happened to use, as she often does, the term “Repug”. (I include her entire e-mail because she had some interesting observations on wimpiness):

I’ve been reading the discussion regarding who, Clinton or Obama, might better  withstand and oppose attacks from the Repugs in the fall.  Everyone keeps using terms like “fight back”, etc., as though discussing a prize fight or other sporting event.  I guess it’s just our culture (even Democrats) to think in terms of fighting, conquering, dominating.

I like to point out that dominance or defending oneself does not always involve aggression or fighting.  If you are a big enough dog, all  you have to do is calmly regard your “attacker” with bemusement as if to express “do you believe this twit?”. I have seen dogs do this many times for example when a scrappy little toy stud barkingly challenges a Great Dane who could gobble him down in one bite. The Dane doesn’t bark back or go after the toy, he just looks at him like the toy has lost his mind.

I think Reagan intended to convey this type of  dominance when he famously said “There you go again…” with a big confident smile. Kerry didn’t flunk because they attacked him and he didn’t fight back.  He flunked because he was so obviously a wimp who wanted the job so badly that he couldn’t bring himself to do anything because it might be wrong and cost him the election.  Everything about him was wimpy:  his body language, the content of his speech, his manner of speaking, etc.  I held my nose and voted for him, but consider:  who wants a wimp for President?

On the other hand a hyper-reactive attack dog is not very attractive either and doesn’t really project the image of the rational, self-confident, together kind of a person that many would imagine a leader to be.

Just my thoughts on the utility of political  conflict.

After a couple of other people commented on the meat of Jeannette’s observation, BillinMidMO wrote:

I agree with Jeanette….but not with her use of the term “Repug” . I see this term a lot in Dem/left listservs and blogs and it always makes me wince. I believe it serves no purpose other than to set up confrontation at a time when many Republicans are searching for a better way…recognising what they have put the nation through in the last 7 years. Fight for progressive principles…yes…leave the name calling aside. They are Republicans; there are many who really do have common cause with Democrats on many issues and can be swayed to vote Democratic as long as they feel welcome.

My 2 cents.

Perhaps some of the people who responded to Bill will copy those responses in the comments section here. That’s up to them. But whether they do or not, you may have an opinion to offer on the use of “Repug.”