On the Use of “Teabagger”

President Obama is feeling some heat from the Left and Right for allegedly bashing the Tea Party. Progressive commentator Jonathan Alter’s new book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, features the commander-in-chief opining that the GOP’s kneejerk refusal to cooperate with Democrats over the stimulus package “set the tenor for the whole year … That helped to create the Teabaggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where [the radical conservative element] now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”

Many of these Tea Party reactionaries are plenty steamed. Even Democrats as highly placed as Rahm “Non-Lipsticked Pitbull” Emanuel found Obama’s use of the controversial title ill-advised. This is not surprising: The term teabagger has an alternate meaning that can be seen as rather rude in polite circles, and there are many on the Left who use that double entendre to mock the New Millennium Know-Nothings.  But many on the Left employ the term because it is accurate.

The reactionary Right proudly embraced the term Teabagger at the beginning.

The reactionary Right proudly embraced the term Teabagger and obstructionism almost from the start of the Obama presidency. Photo from Brendan Calling

Yes, accurate. Did that group employ tea bags in its protests? It did. Look at the above photo. Thus, as far as I am concerned, those protesters are Teabaggers. I do not in any way refer to a sexual practice; it is not my style. So when I say Teabagger, I mean one who uses tea bags to protest against the Dusky President, progressive values, and equality for all. Period.

Here is the funny part: As the photo shows plainly, the right-wing radicals embraced the moniker. They disavowed it later only when they learned about the word’s alternate meaning. And you know what? Too bad for them. Just because they disavow the term does not reduce its accuracy. The term as I employ it is accurate, so it is the one I will continue to use. No guilt. No insult intended. Just accuracy. Besides,  I love high tea and refuse to be complicit in handing over something I love to people I fear, to people who plan evil for this country and the world. Yes, in my view, anyone who supports their philosophy is doing no favor to anyone on the planet save for those who think as these frightening first-class citzens do.

Whether the GOP and its militant wing like it or not, they are Teabaggers. Theirs is the Teabag Movement. And this country is indeep trouble if they win. The Teabag Party/GOP oppose equality for women and gays — more than a few have said to me that despite their admiration for gun-totin’ TV star Sarah “Pitbull with Lipstick” Palin, they believe all other women should “get back in the  kitchen.” Their antigay antipathy is violent in its intensity. These people want to take rights away from particular groupings of their fellow citizens; their only interest is the care and feeding of the rich. Many of them would be happy if the poor died because they lacked access to health care — I truly believe that, especially when recalling the incendiary and inhumane rhetoric used at the 2008  Republican National Convention.

The scary thing: While they may have some legitimate gripes, most are just laughable. Most are not feeling the worst of the suffering that is part and parcel of the Dubya economic crisis. According to a recent CBS poll, most Teabaggers are not poor or in danger of losing their homes. Many went to college (but apparently learned little; their careful teaching in hate seems to be  stronger than anything presented to them in civics classes).  They fear some nebulous future threat to their god’s dominion over nonbelievers or that they will lose their right to discriminate in the worst ways possible.

What frightens me most: Their movement is gaining traction and could win control of the country. This cannot happen. These are people who insist that they want/need the bigoted US of old; Teabaggers want to take the nation backward in time. Do you remember that United States of America (which, unforgivably, in many ways still exists)? It was not a good place to live for anyone who didn’t or doesn’t fit into the Teabagger majority. But in Teabagger eyes, if you aren’t on the Right or Joe Lieberman, like brown-skinned citizens in Arizona, you don’t matter. The Right would say some Lefties automatically hate Republicans, and for some, sadly, that may be, but the truth is:  Only one side wants to take rights away from folks, to keep certain people as second-class citizens under law, and to reclaim America for (and only for) Christ. It is not the Left.

Love this nation? Dunk the Teabaggers. And remember: It’s all eyes on the Supreme Court, the next arena where obstructionist Republicans and Teabaggers will seek to force a NO that could destroy the nation.


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