#newtone

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 6 2011 5:04 PM

#newtone

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, musing about Jared Loughner's shooting spree , January 16:

I think all of us need to be more careful about the words that we choose to use, including things like the title of the repeal of health-care reform. I'm glad that Speaker Boehner chose to verbalize a different title for that bill, but they, so far, have refused to actually change the title of 'Job-Killing Healthcare Repeal.' I think we need to be leaders by example, and when we do that, then hopefully we're gonna be able to push the shock jocks and others outside our process to take a page from our book.

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, musing about Paul Ryan's budget, April 5.

This plan would literally be a death trap for seniors.. this Republican path to poverty passes like a tornado through America's nursing homes.

The nice thing about that weeklong debate about the "new tone" in politics is that it's as unenforceable as a tornado in a speechwriter's bathroom. One irony of the first Wasserman Schultz statement, though, is that the replacement of "job-killing" with "job-crushing" and "job-destroying" is the only lasting rhetorical legacy of that moment.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.