George Bush says that it was an oversight when he referred to the “Democrat” majority in Congress during the State of the Union address, using Democrat as opposed to Democratic as has been commonly used by conservatives as an insult. “That was an oversight,” Bush said in an interview yesterday on NPR. “I’m not trying to needle…I didn’t even know I did it.”
As I discussed previously, Bush frequently uses code words understood by conservatives, and I was suspicious that he was sending a similar message to his base when he said “Democrat majority” as opposed to “Democratic” as in the prepared text. The Los Angeles Times reports on the increasing use of this by Repubicans, including by George Bush:
Bush’s usage of the term increased dramatically last year; according to the American Presidency Project, based at UC Santa Barbara, the president was recorded using the term 22 times in 2006 — more than in the previous five years of his presidency combined.
I can’t determine what was in Bush’s mind when he said this during the State of the Union. After all, as he also said in the interview, “I’m not that good at pronouncing words anyway.” What really matters is how acts in the final two years of his term. Will he really attempt to work with the Democratic majority, or will he continue to pursue a highly partisan and extremist course?