The Teabagger’s Guide to History

by Kevin Jon Heller

From an email urging civil disobedience to the [communist] [fascist] [socialist] Obama administration:

“The jews KNEW that they were the target of Hitler–this didn’t happen over night, they had PLENTY of warning–and they didn’t DO anything,” Dietz wrote. “They went like sheep quietly to their slaughter–they did not fight.” Dietz concluded: “WE NEED A REVOLUTION.”

I think someone needs to add Uprising or Defiance to her Netflix queue…

11 Responses

  1. For my part I am content to see you using those three adjectives interchangeably. Some people use ‘statist’ as a shortform.

  2. If I may please respond to the statement made by Dietz. I firmly believe that there is sufficient proof that, no matter how one choose to look at it, religion and law is intertwined in some form or another. To give a quick example, Constantine chose to convert to Christianity, not because he believed in the Christian trinity, but merely because he was afraid a revolution would follow. What Hitler did was stratigic in such a manner that it borders on artistic. He also bet on the winnning horse.

    Germany was in a depression due to the Teaty Versailles. The people were in need of someone to blame. Hitler thus provided such a scapegoat, namely the Jews. When Hitler first started making speeches he did not outright antagonise the Jews or anyone else, he merely gave the audience what they wanted.

    The Jews first tried to flee the country in an attempt to escape the atrocities waitin for them in the camps.

    When we take a closer look at the Jewish faith, it is said that to rebel against authority is to rebel against God. So it might be possible that they were willing to suffer in this life if it meant that they will have iternal life in heaven.

    This can be witnessed in other religions all over the world. The Jews were not only victims of Hitlers evil crusade but also victims of their own humanity.

    In life there are certain catalists which can change the course of the future or catapult us into the past. And revolution can just as easily be one of them. The result of revolution is anarchy and anarchy can be disastrous.

    Learn before you leap…
    Thank you
    Philip Bothma

  3. I have to say, it demeans this blog to use a derogatory sexual reference to refer to one’s political opponents.  “Teabaggers?” Seriously? Is “Butt Pirate” next?  I hope you’ll reconsider and retract such a juvenile contribution here.

  4. Urban dictionary “teabagger” definition #4: “a person who is unaware that they have said or done something foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient”.

  5. @Nom, @ Anon,

    while Anon’s urban dictionary interpretation of “teabagger” does make sense in this context, I would guess that Kevin ment to employ it in its current politicial usage.

    A teabagger in the current political debate in the US is a person taking part in countless protests against the governments spending habits tailored after the famous Boston Tea Party. Instead of dumping tons of tea into the sea, protesters are content with waving teabags or sending teabags to their congressmenn 

    – hence the term teabaggers – not deregatory and no sexual implication.

    So get your mind out of the gutter and join the real discussion.

  6. Thanks, Till.  As you note, I didn’t make up the term — right-wingers chose it for themselves, as you can see here.  That said, it most certainly does have a sexual connotation, and a gay one at that.  Which is why it’s so entertaining that people who are homophobic as a matter of principle have chosen such a gay term for themselves!

  7. Historical illiteracy, absurd analogies, and just plain lunacy can be found in the motivational literature of protesting groups on both sides of the political spectrum.  The antiwar movement had its share of “George Bush is a fascist whom we cannot expect to go quietly at the end of his legal term” rants.  Such foolishness no more delegitimized the widespread antiwar sentiment than this sort of foolishness delegitimizes the sentiment behind the tea parties.

    The debt and the deficit and the proposed expansions of government are real-world phenomena, just as the PATRIOT act, the Iraq war, and expanded national security measures were real-world phenomena.  The tea-partiers’ opposition to the former can no more be dismissed as not being an honest national movement with legitimate concerns than the antiwar movement’s opposition to the latter could have been dismissed merely as the ravings of a lunatic fringe – despite the overheated rhetoric to be found on each side.

    Believing that those with whom you disagree are overwhelmingly fools and bastards may satisfy the human desire to feel oneself to be in the right – but it is the short and un-intellectual way to do so.

  8. I didn’t think the inane reference to teabaggers was worth commenting on. But if a highly edjumakated lawyer really can’t see a difference between going to ‘teaparties’ and calling oneself ‘a teabagger’…

  9. I don’t know what happened to my comment, so I’ll simply say this: You have to have blinders on not to see the true implications behind the “teabagging” label. And rightwingers did not “choose” it for themselves, it was given to them by the so-called objective mainstream press, as Jay Nordlinger pointed out in September.

  10. If Kevin really believes his own line on this, then I guess the test will be whether respectable public figures will dare use that term in public.  Anyone care to take a bet that we won’t hear Pres. Obama or VP Biden use that term?  The fact that we all know they wouldn’t shows the patent offensiveness and childishness of the claims here.

  11. Professor, I tried to email you about this privately, but I cannot get your email address from your University’s page, sorry. Feel free to delete this comment after you read it.

    I urge you to reconsider your rudeness here.

    (1) The fact that the term “teabagger” is a derogatory sexual reference is not mitigated by the fact that some naive or ignorant people are unaware of its meaning. Surely there is some small subset of people unaware of the meaning of “faggot,” “fudgepacker,” or even “mother fucker,” but if anything we should be more reluctant to use offensive terms at the expense of people who don’t comprehend the insults. Your delight here in the foolishness of other people is really unbecoming.

    (2) It’s absurd to suggest that “right wingers” generally have applied the term to themselves. Surely even if some subset embraced the term, that wouldn’t make it appropriate, any more than a few black Americans’ embrace of the term “nigger” makes it acceptable for civilized public dialogue.

    (3) Did you look at your link? The author’s first sentence is “I have recently learned that teabagging actually has another meaning that I was unaware of previously.   I will refrain from using this offensive term.”

    There are three groups of right-wingers: people who are aware of the meaning of “teabagging” and properly insulted that barbarians and fools are throwing such insults in public, people who are aware of the meaning of teabagging but embrace the term for whatever reason, and people who are unaware of the term’s meaning.

    Why on earth would you think the existence of the second group gives you the right to eschew civility? I come here to read blog posts by adults.

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