The Tea Party sometimes makes it hard to take them seriously. Are they unfairly maligned by a few of their own wing-nuts on the extreme who get a lot of press coverage? Maybe. But there are mainstream themes and slogans that permeate the entire movement, and they do have to own up to them, even when it casts them in an unfavorable light.
Unintentional blog fodder provider Ann, who debuted last week with her America Rising video, forwarded an email from Grassfire Nation titled President Obama “disses” grassroots Americans. A copy of the essential email text may be found here. But gist of the email is a slam against Obama for using the term “teabagger” when referring to Tea Party members.
Specifically, the email notes that “teabagger” is a highly derogatory term that “has been much used by Leftists to demean and diminish the grassroots awakening that is challenging the Obama Administration’s forced march to statism.” It goes on to state, “It is indefensible to use the term ‘tea-baggers.'”
Ummm… dude? The left didn’t saddle you with the term teabagger. You did that to yourself.
Back in April of 2009 when the Tea Party movement started, many of us, including journalists and bloggers, were absolutely agog the Tea Party was advocating teabagging. I wrote about it myself at the time. It was inconceivable the entire movement was that unaware of the slang term and no one had even bothered to Google the term before adopting it. But there it was. Fox News, Senators and Congressmen, and activists all throwing the term around in blissful ignorance. Despite all the tittering from non-conservative media sources, as late as February of 2010 there were still Tea Party activists just getting around to realizing there was another meaning to the term.
And the Tea Party can’t really claim this was an inside term—sort of like the N-word, where African Americans have license to use it amongst themselves, but outsiders don’t. There were buttons and t-shirts printed and worn proclaiming their pride in being a teabagger.
I’m sure that in retrospect the Tea Party wishes it had never self-identified with the term. It did make the movement look foolish. Further, despite widespread derision from almost everyone outside the movement, the use of the term continued within the party for almost a year. This seems pretty damning evidence that the Tea Party lives in its own reality bubble. It may think it’s fair and balanced, but it isn’t hearing a peep from outside.
And seriously, the feigned outrage at Obama using the term just makes the movement look all the more foolish. We all used it, the Tea Party faithful included.
And if the issue is that Obama may have used the term derisively, then maybe the Tea Party should look at itself. There’s a TeabagObama Twitter page for cryin’ out loud. And party rallies are rife with signs depicting the President with Hitler mustaches and Joker makeup. And the thought here is that Obama is disrespecting the Tea Party?
My brain hurts…