Contempt for Grover Norquist's swill, expressed knowingly, contemptuously, on purpose, and with a smirk...

>> Thursday, May 06, 2010

This remark [teabagger] is the equivalent of using the "n" word. It shows contempt for middle America, expressed knowingly, contemptuously, on purpose, and with a smirk. It is indefensible to use this word. The president knows what it means, and his people know what it means. The public thought we reached a new low of incivility during the Clinton administration. Well, the Obama administration has just outdone them.

-Reagan überfanboy Grover Norquist,
as quoted by Jennifer Harper,
"Inside The Beltway," The Washington Times, May 6th, 2010

See, I think there's a very slight, tiny, modest difference between having and expressing contempt for specifiable individuals based on their actual actions and statements and having versus expressing contempt for a general group of people based on objectively erroneous beliefs based on a social construct (race) whose limitations as a useful construct are fairly evident to anybody with a bare modicum of education in biology and/or history. Put another way: the person who uses the expression "teabagger" is referring to specific idiots who have singled themselves out by loudly publicizing their ignorance, while the person who uses the "'n' word" hatefully, even in reference to a specific person, is really referring to an imaginary construct invented by the white racists of a bygone era--there are, in fact, "teabaggers" while there is not and never has been nor never could be an actual "nigger" outside of somebody's absurd fantasy that all persons with high concentrations of melanin in their skins also magically share a set of other physical, mental and social traits (mostly negative, a few condescendingly positive) regardless of where or how on Earth they might have really been born or raised.

Surprisingly, that's the less-ridiculous of Norquist's false equivalencies in the above-quoted bit of nonsense.

The more-subtle, stupid and dishonest false equivalency is Norquist's stated impression that "middle America" equals "tea party sympathizers/activists/whatever." While some portion of the tea party may consist of people geographically or economically associated with "middle America," however you'd like to define it (hence the quotes), Norquist must be aware that neither all tea party members come from "middle America" nor are all "middle Americans" tea partiers or teabaggers. Indeed, there are doubtless plenty of people from "middle America" who share the appropriate contempt for teabaggers.

For the record, I've never considered Grover Norquist a teabagger, by the way. "Douchebag" would be more apt. No, make that "fucking douchebag." There we go.


Carol Elaine Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1:54:00 PM EDT  

One of the reasons I rarely post anything on my blog these days - let alone something regarding what passes for political discourse - is that I am often reduced to the oh so heartfelt, but rarely eloquent, "Fuck you, [insert name here]. Fuck you with a rusty chainsaw."

Thank you, Eric (and Janiece and Jim), for expressing what I'm thinking and feeling better than I seem to be capable of nowadays.

Also: fuck you, Norquist. Fuck your self-entitlement that thinks equating "teabagger" with "n****r" is reasonable. When teabaggers are strung up from trees and have crosses burned on their lawns just because "they're different," maybe you'll have the tiniest beginnings of a reasonable argument. When churches frequented by teabaggers are bombed and children murdered "because they're being uppity," people might possibly think about taking your claims seriously.

Fuck you, Grover Norquist. Fuck you with a rusty chainsaw in that bathtub you want to drown the government in.

Leanright,  Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 5:55:00 PM EDT  

"Specific Idiots"? Really? Okay, I don't equate in the slightest the comparison of the "n" word to "Teabagger". One relates to the ethinic, unchosen, race to which and individual belongs to. The other is a choice. I do support many of the Tea Party points, but to compare the Childish namecalling of "teabagger" to "nigger" is off base. Norquist is wrong. They are NOT the same.

Regardless, the "n" word is HORRIBLE, and calling Tea Party activists "teabaggers" is childish. Grow UP on both sides.

Childish is one thing. Racist is another. I can deal with "Childish".

Tom Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 12:23:00 PM EDT  

Calling a member of the Ignorant 18% by the name teabagger isn't childish. It's appropriate. They chose their name, no matter the unfortunate connotation discovered afterward. I didn't know teabagger had any sexual connotations before it became a self-chosen nickname for people who have the mistaken idea that the Boston Tea Party has anything in common with their own whinny complaints. What's childish is, after discovering the sexual connotations, trying to disavow their own name for themselves. An adult would say, "Teabagger in the political sense, and if you think that has sexual meaning, that's your problem." A child says, "Yuck, oh no! Don't call me that, I didn't know, take-backs!" Which just seems to be another reason to discount those folks.

And Tea Party is a misnomer if it makes you think it's anything like Republican Party, or Democratic Party. So what do you call a Tea Party member if it's not tea bagger? Tea Particrat? Tea Partican? And what do you call a politican who runs on the Tea Party platform (if they ever find one)? It doesn't matter, cause he won't win the election.

So much hoopla on names, and so little on ideology. As long as that continues, I'll continue to call them idiots.

Leanright,  Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 3:09:00 PM EDT  

Uh, Tom? The members of the Tea Party did NOT come up with the name "teabagger" to describe themselves, and it is childish.

Eric Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 6:57:00 PM EDT  

Actually Dave, you're only partly right and mostly wrong: conservatives didn't call themselves "teabaggers," they just initiated a movement to "Tea Bag the Fools in D.C." and "Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You," apparently not realizing that the term had an older history going back at least as far as a John Waters movie and had become a relatively mainstream meme at least in part due to third-person shooters such as Halo (by positioning your avatar over a recently-fallen opponent and kneeling and standing, you could crudely simulate the act of dipping the avatar's balls in the rival's mouth--which may or may not be what Waters actually meant when he used the term (he's claimed he had no specific act in mind, merely wanted to come up with an ironically bland term for an obscurely vile sexual act that would somehow be shocking to straight people)).

Since pretty much everybody in the world except the nascent teabaggers knew the phrase had an alternate meaning, it was all too easy to take the teabaggers' "tea bag liberals before they tea bag you" as meaning something much, much funnier, made even funnier by the nascent teabaggers' shock and ignorance at how they'd labeled themselves.

Subsequently, some conservatives have tried to revise the history. There are exceptions--a major source for this comment, Dave, was a post by Jay Nordlinger at the conservative National Review Online. Nordlinger ponders whether the word might be something that teabaggers can call each other without taking offense, only to be deemed offensive if used by a non-teabagger; if teabaggers feel they can own the word somehow, whatever, frankly, but unlike the other epithet Norquist and Nordlinger reference (Norquist in a toxic way, Nordlinger gropingly), "teabagger" predates its application to a class of clueless conservative ignoramuses, which is what's so funny about it.

I mean, let's face it: the real issue is that teabaggers want to be taken seriously but they have no idea how to go about it, mostly because they don't deserve to be. (Hey, c'mon: this has nothing to do with conservatism: anyone who, f'r'instance, receives medicare and protests against anyone receiving Federal healthcare is at best a hypocrite and at worst also a moron.) They came up with this stupid "send someone a tea bag" stunt because they have dim memories of the Boston Tea Party from elementary school and they remember that some liberals, such as Michael Moore, do these "stunty" things and people pay attention to them (the fact that most liberals are probably tired of Moore's act has escaped them); so they thought they were being all clever and everybody laughed at them instead of patting them on their heads and telling them they were clever and pretty. Their stunt got attention, which they wanted, but because it was ill-conceived and badly-named, it ended up being almost exactly the opposite of the kind of attention they wanted.

Now, as for childishness: is calling teabaggers "teabaggers" childish? I'm going to agree with you Dave. Yep, using the term "teabagger" to describe all those goofy, teabagging teabaggers is pretty damn childish, alright.

It's also pretty damn funny.

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