Talking Points Memo, uh, points us to this post over at National Revue and Sideshow by Jay Nordlinger, regarding the history of the term “teabagger/teabagging,” and discussing the possibility of “taking it back” or “reclaiming it for the movement. Following is the letter to the editor I composed after ruminating on the post:
(my nom-de-jape):Pablo “Dirty” Sanchez
3596 Angry Pirate Ln.
Blumpkin, TN 37095
To the editor, National Review Online:
I would like to commend Jay Nordlinger on his concise and accurate summation of the modern-day rise in usage of the term “teabag.” Too many conservative partisans, not liking the petard of their own devising upon which they have been hoist, have tried to rewrite history, retreating to form and simply attempting to lie their way out of the fiasco by claiming that it was those blackguards in the mainstream media at places like CNN and MSNBC who pounced upon a perfectly innocent revival of the term “tea-parties,” besmirching it forever with little-known and unspeakable gutter slang, while ignoring the fact that the phrase “teabag” was initially freely chosen by conservative activists.
But look, Nerdlinger, I have a bone to pick with you regarding the “worst word” in American English. As awful and loaded an epithet as the word “nigger” is – and as shameful a history as it calls instantly to mind, I think most people would agree that the honors for the “worst” – and perhaps dirtiest – word in American English would have to go not to that terrible epithet for African Americans, but instead simply to the word “cunt.” For evidence, I offer the fact that, while it may be the case that inebriated male Scotsmen of the modern age are apparently fond of habitually referring to each other semi-playfully as “cunts,” the word has never, to my knowledge, been similarly used by American women in a genial way or in fact any way other than insultingly to refer to each other, and certainly never by American men to refer fondly to women, while, as you point out, “nigger” is in the process of a conscious attempt at “reclamation” that has been going on for at least a decade. I think this establishes “cunt” as the worse of the two words.
Therefore, if your goal is to find a word that would be truly “radioactive” outside the narrow confines of the Axis of Bachmann & DeMint, but might possibly be adapted or “taken back” as a term of insider-cool within the community, amongst confirmed members, I feel secure in speaking for the left at large in saying that none of us would mind if The Activists Formerly Known as Teabaggers made a conscious choice to start referring to each other, conspiratorially and in good humor, as “cunts.”
You’re welcome for the suggestion; good luck with it!
Wonder if they’ll print it? 😛