There’s an article making the rounds today in which Joe the (fake) Plumber explains that he is now a union member working for Chrysler. He actually defends working for the UAW union because its “private”, while he still opposes “public” unions. I guess anything that’s “privatized” gets the right-wing seal of approval.
But much funnier than the flexible principles of plumber-boy is his complaint that one of his new coworkers called him a “teabagger” (my emphasis):
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Democrats and liberals, who are supposed to so tolerant and enlightened regarding homosexuals have for three or four years now, have been using a gay slur to describe people who they think are associated with the Tea Party.
“Tea Bagger” has traditionally been a derogatory slur used to intimidate, put down, humiliate and otherwise taunt, smear, bully or just discriminate against gays – usually gay men – based on a sex act that gay men apparently made popular.
First of all, why do straight, male conservatives feel they are the experts in what is “traditionally” a “slur used to intimidate, put down, humiliate and otherwise taunt, smear, bully or just discriminate against gays”? Probably because they bully the LGBT community every, stickin’ day. The struggle for gay rights is a struggle against the homophobia of conservatives, libertarians, and yes, teabaggers.
Second, it is actually the tea party that began using the verb “teabag” and the nickname “teabagger” in politics. The verb “tea bag” was first used by tea party protestors during the February 27, 2009 tea party protest in Washington D.C. (just 1 month after President Obama’s first inauguration).
Wait a minute! Teabaggers want you to stop here. They claim lefties created “teabaggers” out of the use of “tea bag” in this sign and teabaggers never used the term to describe themselves. NOT TRUE. Keep reading …
The use of “tea bag” and “teabagger” by the tea party continued for months.
Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey appeared on Fox with his teabags.
As you can see from the article “The Evolution of the Word Tea Bagger“, their frequent use of the verb “tea bag” and the nickname “teabagger” in language, protest signs, hats and bumper stickers continued for well over a year (try this Google search of tea bag images at tea party protests).
In this clip, that mean Rachel Maddow poked fun at their nickname in classic Maddow fashion.
Some conservative bloggers blamed others for their new nickname.
IS “TEABAGGER” THE NEW “N-WORD?” No, but when I hear someone use it, I know that nothing they say on the subject is worth taking seriously. Either they’re deliberately using it as a sexual slur, or they’re too ignorant to be worth listening to.
But “teabagger” was actually a nickname promoted by the tea party in the fall of 2010 when they sold “Proud To Be A Teabagger” badges at tea party events.
In December, 2009 the conservative National Review tried to rewrite history to make themselves look better:
So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.
Some on the right are using “teabagger,” but mainly the word is a putdown from the left.
… people who use “teabagger” and such should be called on it, especially if they smirk. “What do you mean by that?” one might ask. “What do you mean by ‘teabagger,’ and why do you smirk?” In other words, conservatives want to introduce a little shame. And the responses of liberals could be kind of interesting.
LOL. The response I’d suggest would be, “Because its hilarious that you right-wing homophobes gave yourself a nickname that depicts a gay sex act!”
The National Review asked what conservatives should do about their unfortunate nickname; “fight it, embrace it, what?”
The late Andrew Breibart answered when he posted the video, “I’m Proud to be a Tea Bagger” on his blog.
Another video created by tea party members was “Teabaggers Are We”.
Throughout 2010, the tea party tried to prevent its use but it was way too late. The cat was out of the (tea) bag. Much like those who say there is no racism on the right while their conservative pals are proving them wrong, the tea party simultaneously complained about their new nickname while their own members embraced it. As usual, they have no one to blame but themselves.
Even in the face of all this evidence, some teabaggers are still trying to use their own nickname to shame others on the left. Its been reported that a teacher from Texas wrote a letter to the President complaining that:
I watched you make fun of tea baggers …
When the President responded with
I do have to challenge you, though, on the notion that any citizen that disagrees with me has been ‘targeted and ridiculed’ or that I have ‘made fun’ of tea baggers …
Baggers around the blogosphere cried foul over the President’s use of “tea baggers”. If the letter is legit, he was simply quoting the teacher’s letter, verbatim. Now, if the President wanted to mock teabaggers, he certainly has that right. They have treated him like shit.
Which brings me to my final point; teabaggers and others on the radical right deserve NO respect. Whether its teabaggers or their cheerleaders Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter or Hannity, they have never shown one ounce of respect toward the LGBT community, minorities, women, or anyone on the political left. So, there’s no reason, whatsoever, for those of us on the left to show them any respect. They invented the nickname “teabagger” and now they take it as an insult, which is why I use the term, frequently.