From Fox's weekend "watchdog" show, Fox News Watch, Judith Miller thinks that one of the great things in 2010 to come out of the debate over the health care bill was the coining of the term "Obamacare".
MILLER: Yes, but it also brought a great term, Obamacare. It was something that people could really wrap their minds around.
COLMES: People who called it that though were the ones that were against it. It's not, it wasn't Obamacare. That was a negative term.
MILLER: That's because nobody could read that two thousand bill that was supposed to become law.
COLMES: It's so hard to read all those words.
Steve Benen has more from earlier this week on exactly why the use of that name is both annoying and deceptive.
In some center-left circles, Republicans' insistence on saying "Democrat Party" is about the most annoying rhetorical tic in the GOP lexicon.
"Obamacare" is arguably a competitive second.
Conservatives, even well-intentioned ones, who don't use the word to be obnoxious, aren't clear on why it rankles quite so much. It's not as if "Obamacare" is necessarily derogatory -- it's intended, at least by some on the right, to simply be descriptive, and it's easier than referencing "the health care reform law signed by President Obama." [...]
If I had to guess, I'd say Republicans started using "Obamacare" as some kind of slur as a way of undermining the president's standing. They knew they could help tear down support for health care reform, but by attaching the president's name to it, maybe they could help tear him down, too. Remember, fairly early on in the process, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) declared, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo."
But in time, use of the phrase evolved. The point wasn't just about the president, per se, but about convincing the public that the initiative was what Republicans said it was: a top-down, government imposed scheme. "Obamacare" is necessarily loaded to convey an idea -- that policymakers were replacing a dysfunctional mess with one in which Americans would receive their care from the president, or at a minimum, through a process the president directs.
And if this had any basis in reality, the slur might have some merit. But the very idea is patently ridiculous, which makes the "Obamacare" as misleading as it is annoying.
Not to mention it's another way to avoid admitting that it's a Republican health care plan that they all loved until a Democratic proposed it and now they're all pretending it's "socialism" or as Steve noted in the part of his post I didn't quote here, the Politifact Lie of the Year calling it a "government takeover of healthcare". I say this panel discussion pretty well proved his points.