And thus it is that two people from MSNBC, along with a guest, think that using pejoratives to define your political opposition is the funniest thing since David Letterman made a tasteless joke about a Palin daughter.
One such dishonoree--you knew this day would come quickly--is Keith Olbermann, who is so wonderfully objective that there is an entire website set up to him, and this website documents his recent (probably not the first, but the first I've seen documented since I wrote the theory) foray into the land of bad taste, a land with which Mr. Olbermann is quite familiar by now.
Also, as documented by Kathleen McKinley in a nice post here, Rachel Maddow and frequent guest Ana Marie "Don't Call Me Wonkette" Cox are frequent users of the offending term. (There may be a silver lining to this portion of the story...see the end of this column for more.) I could have documented Ms. Maddow's use of the pejorative term myself, except that I have seemingly blocked the short period of time during which I had MSNBC from my mind. :)
Like I said, this is MSNBC about which we are talking, so the use of a term such as "teabagger" from its on-air personalities shouldn't surprise me. But I expect more from our public officials (except my esteemed representative, Lloyd Doggett, from whom I expect little and yet still manage to be disappointed) than to disparage their political opponents in such a manner. And thus I found myself a little shocked, I suppose, and very unhappy to hear that none other than President Obama has dishonored himself and his office with a quote such as "Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care?" Lest anyone think this quote must have been made up, it was supplied to the NYTimes by a Dem representative, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, as reported by the National Review Online.
So, in case there was any question regarding what President Obama really thinks of people with whom he doesn't agree, let's make it clear: President Obama has no respect for you whatsoever. If you want to disagree with this, disavow the slur above. And don't come back at me with "well, your side has said blah blah blah..." Yeah, so that gives our president an excuse to drop down to the level of some of his critics? The president has the responsibility to be above that kind of thing. The end.
Ugh. Let's move on to a better portion of this sad story. The above-mentioned Kathleen McKinley, aka @RWSparkle (well worth following, by the way, as she is better spoken than I, and she also blogs more regularly than I apparently will be this month) challenged Ms. Cox in the post cited above to stop her use of the term "teabaggers", as shown in the following Twitter exchange (snipped so as to hold on to what little shred of a G rating this blog still has):
RWSparkle @anamariecox I have a better idea. Why don't you stop using the crude term "teabaggers" in Tony Snow's memory?
annamariecox RT @RWSparkle: Why don't you stop using the crude term "teabaggers"? // if you donate to fight colorectal cancer, I'll never use it again.
RWSparkle Why don't u stop using the crude term"teabaggers"? //RT @anamariecox if you donate 2 fight colorectal cancer, I'll never use it again// U GOT IT!
RWSparkle EVERYONE NOTE! @anamariecox promised not to use "teabaggers" anymore if I contributed. I'm the TOP contributer http://tinyurl.com/ycneyyx
RWSparkle @anamariecox I'm taking you at your word. Tony Snow would approve. A good thing to do in his memory.
If you approve of this, you should consider donating as well.
Epilogue: since I started writing this thing, I have seen confirmation that Ms. Cox has invoked the offending term once more. Way to keep your promise. (courtesy this tweet from RWSparkle) People should still donate, but Ms. Cox needs to be called out for this. This may end up as a new corollary: once a dishonoree, always a dishonoree. I certainly hope that doesn't hold up as true, but nothing I have seen so far from any dishonoree has changed my perception. Such is life in the Age of Hope and Change, I suppose.