Republicans like code words. But every so often there's a Republican who's just too dumb or lazy or arrogant to use those code words correctly.
This can lead to serious trouble.
Back in '92, Dan Quayle actually thought Republicans meant "single mothers" when they expressed alarm about the rising number of "single mothers on welfare." Quayle overlooked the obvious fact that "on welfare" was always tacked on to "single mothers" so white suburbanites, some of whom were single mothers, would think that the single mothers in question were all black teenagers on public assistance. Quayle forgot that. Stupidly, he denounced a rich white fictional character, Murphy Brown, who had a child and no husband. Real single mothers of Murphy Brown's approximate melanin level never forgave him, or the guy at the top of his ticket. (Quayle made the speech in an election year -- d'oh!)
More recently, William Bennett made the opposite mistake: He remembered a code phrase and its meaning, but he uttered the real words, forgetting to use the code. An economist had posited that aborting unwanted babies might have led to a lower crime rate a generation later; "unwanted" translated to "black" in Bennett's head, as it does in many conservatives' heads -- but he was too dumb to remember not to say "black" out loud. Big trouble for him.
And so we come to the current President Bush. He promised his supporters that he'd choose for the Supreme Court a person who'd faithfully interpret the Constitution. He thinks that's what he's actually done. Dumb bastard -- his base doesn't give a crap about that pleasant-sounding platitude; the base, as Atrios said, "wanted Bush to extend a giant middle finger to everyone to the left of John Ashcroft.... They wanted this to be their 'WE RUN THE COUNTRY AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT' moment." To the base, that's what "faithfully interpret the Constitution" means. It really seems as if Bush literally didn't know that.