Why Republicans Say "Democrat Party" Rather than "Democratic Party": Because Joe McCarthy Did So. WSJ Washington Wire explains all:
Washington Wire - WSJ.com: From the President, a Two-Letter Jab at the Democrats: President Bush departed from the prepared text of his State of the Union address to... take a jab at Pelosi and the rest of the new Democratic majority of Congress. In the prepared text of the speech, sent out by the White House some 40 minutes before Bush ascended the House rostrum, the president was to say... "I congratulate the Democratic majority." When Bush delivered the line, however, he paid tribute to the "Democrat majority."
Dropping the "ic"... was almost certainly a deliberate move by Bush... the phrase was a particular favorite of former Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy. A recent Washington Post column filled in the backstory: according to the Columbia Guide to Standard American English, McCarthy "sought by repeatedly calling it the Democrat party to deny it any possible benefit of the suggestion that it might also be democratic"
The phrase lay largely dormant for years, however, until President Bush resuscitated it during last fall's midterm election season and made it a mainstay of his public remarks about the opposition party. It has since been widely adopted by many Republican lawmakers, conservative political activists, and conservative commentators and pundits at media outlets like Fox News.
For all of Bush's talk tonight about crossing party lines to work with the new Democratic Congress, it is the missing two letters that may offer the clearest indication of whether partisan tensions are really like to fade in the waning years of Bush's presidency.
--Yochi J. Dreazen