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“Caucus” and Other Election Words That Make Me Giggle

January 26, 2016

It’s silly season again. I’m obsessed with election coverage. It’s like a bizarre and twisted Dr. Seuss story, with its own language and a mad villain who looks like a giant muppet. And it’s really happening. It’s all so fucking weird.

Whatever, there’s other weird stuff, including election words that I find funny for whatever reason. Some are kind of harebrained. Some are vaguely sexual.

Caucus. Gives me a giggle every time.

Filibuster. What a perfect example of a word that sounds like what it means—the word for that being onomatopoeia—like “ooze” or “murmur” or “cock-a-doodle-doo!” A filibuster is an attempt by a Senator or group of Senators to obstruct the passage of a bill, favored by the majority, by talking on and on and annoying everyone to death. Because there is no rule in the Senate over how long a member can speak, a Senator can prevent a bill from coming up for a vote by talking endlessly. Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina set the record in 1957 by speaking for more than 24 hours without stopping. I find this hysterical.

Pundit. It sounds like “fondant.” Yum.

Hanging Chad. Who can forget: a chad is a tiny bit of paper that is punched from a ballot using a punch-type mechanical voting machine. A hanging chad is a chad that did not completely detach from the ballot. Seriously, is there not a better way here?

Boondoggle. Work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value. As in, “this list is a bunch of boondoggle.”

Exit Poll. I could go so many places with that one.

Lame Duck. A “lame duck” is one who holds power that’s about to end in the near future. When an elected official loses an election or is set to leave their office, that official is called a lame duck for the remainder of his or her stay in office. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution (which set the dates the president holds office) is actually known as the Lame Duck Amendment. Way to send ’em off with a whimper.

Pork Barrel Spending. I know it has nothing to do with it, but it reminds me of pork bellies from Trading Places and for that reason it makes me smile.

Bipartisan. Hee hee. (Yes, I’m in 5th grade.)

Stumping. Politicians on the campaign trail are said to be stumping, as they cross the country delivering speeches and attending rallies. As in the old days, when they would stand on a stump and talk to the people. I’m thinking they could update this. Then again, I use the word bitchin’.

Smear Campaign. What a great cream cheese ad it would make.

Hard Money/Soft Money. Money given directly to a candidate in an election for their campaign, as opposed to money donated to political parties to support general political activities which isn’t subject to regulations or limits that govern campaign contributions. Hard. Soft. (Yup. 5th grade.)

Mike Huckabee. Sorry, dude, you never had much of a chance with that name.

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