"Girlie-Man" Crossing Parties?

The Democrat opposition was enraged a short while ago when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger used the term "girlie-men" to refer to California legislators opposed to the budget he presented for the state of California. Not surprisingly, the term is #2 on the August PQ Index at http://www.languagemonitor.com/ (scroll down) --edged out only by Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit."

More interesting is a quote found in Maureen Dowd's latest article in which the term "girlie-men" crosses parties and lips, spoken by an anonymous Democratic insider: "'Howard Dean had the base all warmed up and now Kerry's turned into a girlie-man,' said a Democratic insider [...]".
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/12/opinion/12dowd.html (If you don't have a password to read Dowd's article, try pasting the NYTimes URL into the text box at http://bugmenot.com/.)

Considering the varying party values, this usage comes as a bit of a surprise. It is interesting though to see how what would seem a quite charged slur can make its way across the aisle. I guess this term is still in the process of crossing the aisle, however, as the Democratic insider did prefer to remain anonymous.


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