When the Tea Party movement first started, they called themselves Teabaggers. Apparently they thought the term "Teabagger" was a sexier way to market their political movement. It certainly was, but not in the way they intended.

At first, they did not understand why so many people were sniggering. Upon learning of the double entendre nature of the term "Teabagger" they quickly abandoned using the term.  The press has spared them further embarrassment, politely calling them the Tea Party.  Unfortunately, many Democrats have also played along, and seldom does anyone call them Teabaggers any more.  

I think this is a mistake on the part of Democrats and Progressives.  We should call them Teabaggers at every opportunity. However, the reason we should call them Teabaggers is not because it is such an amusing insult (that is just a bonus).

The real reason for calling them "Teabaggers" is that it exposes the fact that they are not a true grass roots movement. A true grass roots movement springs up from average folks – people who are by definition fully engaged in the everyday pop culture of the country, including the use of slang. No genuine grass roots organization would give their movement a name that would subject them to ridicule because of a commonly known double entendre. Any leader of a real grass roots movement would be sharply corrected by the rank and file for even considering such a thing. From this it follows that the Tea Party movement is not a true grass roots movement, but is instead an astroturf movement – a front for the rich disguised as a grass roots organization.

Remember George H.W. Bush’s re-election campaign against Clinton?  At one point he was shown a supermarket checkout scanner.  He had never seen one before – even though they had been around for many years and almost every single average American was familiar with them. That’s because many superrich people like George Bush live in their own bubble, isolated from the everyday lives and experiences of average Americans.

I can just see a bunch of the country club superrich, sipping champagne on a yacht and  planning the creation of their phony grass roots movement to serve as a front for their own interests.

"What are we going to name our phony grassroots movement, Charles?"

"I think we should call it the Tea Party, David.  We can use those rubes we recruit to help us lobby for super low taxes for us rich folks. And let’s have them call themselves ’Teabaggers’. I think that’s a cool name that the media will pick up on."

Of course, living in their gilded bubble, they would be oblivious to the double meaning of the term "Teabagger".

By calling themselves Teabaggers they have opened themselves up to ridicule.  Ridicule is one of the most effective weapons in politics, and Democrats and progressives are foolish not to use this opening to the fullest possible extent. We should call then Teabaggers at every opportunity. If they complain, we can "innocently" point out that this was the name they originally called themselves.  And we can use that as an opportunity to educate people on the fact that the Teabaggers are not a genuine grass roots movement but are instead a front for the rich.  

Originally posted to Scuppernong on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:11 PM PDT.

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