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Bill Maher Sees ‘Subtle Dig’ in Republicans Who Say ‘Democrat’ Instead of ‘Democratic’

What’s the difference between “Democrat” and “Democratic”? One’s a type of discreet insult, according to HBO Real Time‘s Bill Maher.

On the “Overtime” segment of Maher’s show Friday, Republican Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) referenced an education bill that passed under Democratic leadership in the House and Senate in 2007. Kingston called the bill “a Democrat bill.”

“Why do you always say Democrat when you know the word is Democratic?” Maher said to Kingston. “I know that’s a subtle dig, ‘Democrat.’ And I don’t even get it. I don’t even know why. Instead of saying Democratic.”

“Trust me, Bill,” Kingston replied. “It’s Democrat.”

Maher isn’t the only one affronted by the swap of terms. In 2009, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews took exception with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) after he referred to the “Democrat Congress.”

“Why do people talk like this?” a heated Matthews said. “Is this just fighting words to get the name wrong?”

The history between Democratic and Democrat goes back even further than that, and it’s laid out nicely by the left-wing Daily Kos blog. In short, many Republicans and conservatives have avoided referring to “Democratic” measures undertaken by the Democratic Party as a way to avoid tying the party as a whole to the democratic political system. The underlying logic is that “democratic” sounds too agreeable.

Watch the Overtime segment via HBO (“Democratic” vs. “Democrat” at the 5:20 mark):

[Photo via HBO/screen grab]

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