As politicians become increasingly comfortable with social media, they’ve also begun dabbling in its darker impulses, employing tweets and Facebook posts as bait in a partisan war of words. Yes, trolling—the act of gleefully using the Internet to intentionally provoke or anger someone—is fast becoming a substitute for political discourse in America.
I’m an egotist, I’ll confess to that. I like to get things done, and you get things done by having power.
— Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), quoted by the Daily Reveille.
2 to 1
Margin by which Americans say the best way to make positive changes in society is through volunteer organizations and charities, not by being active in government, a new USA TODAY/Bipartisan Policy Center poll finds. “Those younger than 30 are particularly put off by politics. They are significantly less likely than their parents to say participating in politics is an important value in their lives.”
We’ve got a politics that’s stuck right now. And the reason it’s stuck is because people spend more time thinking about the next election than they do thinking about the next generation.
— President Obama, quoted by Reuters, at a fundraiser for House Democrats.
Got some time to kill online? You could do worse than visit Taegan Goddard’s Political Dictionary. It’s a work in progress — probably forever — and is crowd-sourced insofar as Goddard solicits entries from readers of his Political Wire blog.
The words and phrases are presented in no particular order, though a tag cloud does provide a modicum of organization. But the point is to kind of browse through the often obscure, very often sarcastic and extremely often cynical slang expressions that have grown out of the media and common usage.
Here’s an example:
The “full Ginsburg” refers to an appearance by one person on all five major Sunday-morning interview shows on the same day: This Week on ABC, Face the Nation on CBS, Meet the Press on NBC, State of the Union on CNN and Fox News Sunday.
The term is named for William Ginsburg, Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer during the Clinton scandal, who was the first person to accomplish this feat, on February 1, 1998.