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There has been a lot of speculation by progressives on whether or not the Teabaggers know the slang meaning of the term or whether they just don't care. I have decided they are willfully incapable of appreciating the joke because it requires more than the simplest understanding of a single concept.

As I have been reading the many observations made here or by progressive commentators, or seeing the signs or hearing the words of the protesters, I have detected a definite pattern. That pattern is outlined below.

We should let them keep Teabaggers and Teabagging. The odds are they will only pick something else just as nonsensical. This one at least affords us progressives much amusement.

How logic works for Teabaggers

For many of these people, life is most comforting when it is a children's book of simple concepts. American History has been boiled down into simple phrases that make for easy multiple choice answers on tests, or could be easily memorized by grade school children for pageants on Washington's Birthday.

Why does teabagging make sense to them? I want to protest this government because I don't like it. I am a true American. Founder Fathers were the other great true Americans. FFs protested by throwing tea in a river. That was about taxes. I hate taxes. Bingo! I shall protest with tea. (They would also say it happened in 1776 because everything happened in that year.)

Any other meaning of the word has nothing to do with their lives and their anger. It is irrelevant.

The simple approach also informs their view of historical figures.

Thomas Paine was a Founding Father and a Good Guy who wrote a pamphlet called Common Sense on independence. (This makes for an excellent multiple choice question. His rather disparaging views on religion do not.) "I have common sense so we think the same way about everything."

Hitler was the biggest trouble-making leader of the 20th century. Obama will be the biggest trouble-making leader of the 21st century. Therefore Obama = Hitler. They don't care what fascism is, they just know it was bad, so Obama must be a fascist. The same applies to socialism. You have to take one of those smarty-pants political science classes in an elitist university to actually learn the difference between the two. (Okay, there was at least one who compared Obama to Marx, but he was the exception.)

They say this is a grassroots movement because they are like the brave freedom fighters who left the farms to fight for freedom. Even the big Republican money bankrolling activities says it is grassroots. Therefore it is. QED

They also believe several hundred participants equals millions of pissed-off Americans. Okay, I have no clue how they rationalize this one. They just do. (Maybe Obama rounded up all the others and put them in the camps?)

Their total inability to appreciate the irony of their actions

Many of the protest sites were public parks or buildings, created and maintained by tax dollars.

They walked along tax funded sidewalks to get from protest site to protest site.

They used public transportation to get to many of the sites.

They used non-toll public roads to get to the sites.

They don't understand why people keep mentioning Social Security and Medicare when they yell about socialism.

Many of them were able to create their signs because they learned to write in tax funded public schools. (Notice I did not say spell. They may have a legitimate complaint there.)

The extra bucks they saw in their last paycheck that help them cover today's expenses came from President Obama's tax cuts.

They are protesting the day we pay Bush's taxes, not Obama's.

They can't admit or understand their own motivations

If it was about government spending, why were all the persons mentioned on signs Democrats, and in particular, President Obama, who has only been spending money for barely 3 months? The signs should include Bush and several other Republicans who both wasted money and drove up the debt for eight years.

Why did so many signs about Obama have a strong racial tinge. Disagreements about taxes and spending should be race neutral. I certainly didn't notice any racially tinged signs about Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, etc.

These are people who have willfully created a story about their life and the world that gives them something to cling to. They are not interested in editing, rewriting, annotating or expanding it.

I just heard this joke, and as recalling them is not a great skill of mine, forgive me if you know it and I don't get it quite right.

A young girl is outside the White House fence with a box of puppies. Laura Bush sees her there and goes over to look.

"What kind of puppies are they" asks Mrs. Bush.

"They are Republican puppies" replies the girl.

"That's so cute" chuckles Mrs. Bush as she walks away.

Two weeks later, she is with a friend outside the White House when she sees the same girl with the same box, talking to a man. She says to the friend "Want to see something adorable? Follow me."

As they approach, they hear the girl tell the man "These are Democratic puppies."

Mrs. Bush exclaims "Two weeks ago you said they were Republican puppies!"

The girl says "Yes, but now their eyes are open."

Originally posted to Belle Ame on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:20 PM PDT.

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