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Rise of an Epithet

Editor’s Note:  I read this article while doing some research about where ‘teabagger’ (in reference to the Tea Party) came from.  I learned many things reading this article, so I’m posting it here. 

Be forewarned — there is an adult discussion of the term ‘teabagger’ in this article.

From The National Review:

To “teabag” or not to “teabag”: That is not the most pressing question of these times, but it is a question to consider. Routinely, conservative protesters in the “tea party” movement are called “teabaggers,” and those calling them that do not mean it in a nice way. Many conservatives are mulling what to do about this term: fight it, embrace it, what?

First, a little history. After Barack Obama was sworn in as president, with his big majorities in Congress, the Democrats launched quite a bit of federal spending: particularly with the “stimulus” package. Some Americans were determined to counter this. And, before you knew it, we had the “tea party” movement. What protesters were doing, of course, was invoking the spirit of the American Revolutionaries, and their Boston Tea Party. According to the website of the Tea Party Patriots, the movement is committed to three “core values”: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.

The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was “Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.” A protester was spotted with a sign saying, “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.” So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.

I have no doubt you are sexually hip, but just in case you’re not, please know that “teabag” has a particular meaning in certain circles.

Read the rest at The National Review.


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