The Washington Times’ “Inside the Beltway” column gave voice to this ridiculous claim today, saying:
“The term “tea-bagger” is like uttering the “n” word, some say. Though he aspires to promote civility, evidence has surfaced that President Obama has added “tea-bagger” to his public lexicon, though it’s considered a cheap and tawdry insult by “tea party” activists. …’This remark 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,’ [Americans for Tax Reform] president Grover Norquist tells Inside the Beltway.”
Read on for a response to this foolishness by HuffPo’s Jason Linkins. – NewsOne Staff
From the Huffington Post:
This “Inside the Beltway” column from Jennifer Harper in the Washington Times begins, “The term ‘tea-bagger’ is like uttering the ‘n’ word, some say.” Oh, really? Well, “some people” are wrong!
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Granted, I understand perfectly well that people in the larger “Tea Party” movement consider the term to be mean and diminishing. And I understand that those who use it are basically shorthanding the meanness and diminishing. The word has a sexual connotation — which, by the by — the Tea Party movement embraced for itself before it became used as a brickbat against them.
But is it the equivalent of the “n” word? Uhm… you’ll notice that nobody shorthands it, “the ‘t’ word,” don’t you? That should tell you something. On the spectrum of insult, “teabagger” seems to me to be the equivalent of “moonbat” or “wingnut,” which are also popular shorthand insults embraced by political factions who use them as shibboleths — a tidy signifier of groupwide self-satisfaction.