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Yo, vote!

July 20, 2004



Dick Cheney's use of an old Anglo-Saxon expression on the Senate floor might have piqued your curiosity about more recent (and less obscene) expressions in Washington. Below are some of the words being tracked by Grant Barrett, editor of "Hatchet Jobs and Hardball: The Oxford Dictionary of Political Slang."

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Anxious class, n. a social stratum primarily worried about its jobs and household economies.

Boy scout, n. a person who is idealistic and naive; (hence) one who is scandal-free or uncorruptible.

Chicken hawk, n. a person who advocates military aggression but avoided service (or did not serve) in the military.

Dover test, n. a determination of what level of military losses, esp. war dead, will be tolerated by voters.

Fair-fight district, n. a voting area which is redistricted to favor no political party, usu. the result of a gerrymander.

Security mom, n. a mother whose voting habits are said to be affected by concern for her children's safety.

Throw red meat, v. to appease, satisfy, rally, or excite one's (political) supporters. Usually trans.: throw red meat to the lions, the wolves, the sharks, etc.

Turkey farm, n. a department or agency staffed with political and patronage hirees; (broadly) an underperforming office.

Watermelon, n. a communist masquerading as an environmental activist.

Weapons of Mass Distraction, n. plural a tactic used to divert attention, esp. from scandal or unpopular policies.

Velcro president, n. a president caught in controversy and scandal.

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