There are a lot of Democrats like myself who will wonder why the Democratic party is using what they know is an obscene word, instead of bringing up the very real issues of the election.If you who aren’t familiar with the gay community, the word “teabagging” is a euphemism for a practice that normal Grandmoms wouldn’t know about (except as a doctor, this grandmom has to know a lot of this stuff).

Apparantly, there are some Independent libertarians  and Republicans who are worried about the US budget being wasted, and taxes being raised without really asking the normal folks who pay the taxes what they think.

So, imitating a bunch of Boston radicals who threw tea into the bay in protest of high taxes that were imposed without the government (which was then in London) asking if it was okay, they have been holding “TeaParty” demonstrations. And despite the distortions in the press, in contrast to the astroturfed groups that usually protest, this one seems to be a grassroots program.

The reason I say “Distortions in the press” is that the word “teabagger” has been used by the media as a way to ridicule the movement. Usually one might think this is a slip of the tongue, but when an anchorman (who will remain nameless, but whose photos are posted with love on at least one gay fashion blog)  uses the term, I don’t think this term is always used accidentally.

But the obscene euphemism is now being used by the Democrat party to ridicule people

From the thoughtful Peggy Noonan’s column today:

Both national parties are trying to pour in money and resources, but the most obnoxious intrusion must have been the fund-raising letter this week from New York’s Sen. Charles Schumer, who tried to rouse the troops by calling Mr. Brown a “far-right teabagger.” Does that kind of thing even work anymore? Doesn’t name calling put off anyone not already predisposed to agree with it?

I think Peggy has it right. The use of the term may backfire.

Those who enjoy ridiculing ordinary folks with double entendres will enjoy it’s use, but we know they will vote for the Democratic party anyway.

But there are a lot of Democrats like myself who will wonder why obscene namecalling is permitted in party literature. If a person running for office, why not bring up the very real issues of the election?

But using the word “teabagger” to describe one’s political opponents could backfire in another way, because Grandmom is old enough to remember when one of the ways to save money was to bring your own teabag to lunch. To use the euphemism, such people were “teabaggers”.

As most people know, food is cheaper than beverages at restaurants, and one way to save money is to ask only for hot water (which is free) and insert your own teabag. If the waitress questioned you, you smile sweetly and say that you like herbal tea with your meals, or point out that the restaurant doesn’t have your favorite brand of tea.

Waitresses at diners usually don’t ask, because they know Grandmom is on a pension, and is trying to save money. Indeed, most waitresses know that there are many ways to eat out and save money. You can order the “children’s meal” and at the end of the meal, ask for a “doggy bag” to take home leftovers so to can eat them tomorrow for lunch. Or maybe you will order the regular meal, but ask for an extra dish, and share the huge meal with one of your friends.

So to those of us brought up in a more frugal time, the word “teabagger” means frugality in spending, recycling, and watching the budget.

Maybe someone should warn Chuck Schumer that for the geriatric set, calling someone a “teabagger” is a compliment.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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