Tea Speak

As you probably know, the Tea Party Convention is taking place right now in Nashville. A couple of other Tea Party groups and some Republican leaders have been a bit cross with Tea Party Nation for charging a $549 registration fee plus airfare and hotel to attend this little soiree. Two tea party groups in particular, the American Liberty Alliance and the National Precinct Alliance, are boycotting the meetings, and Representatives Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn have both withdrawn from speaking engagements at the convention because the House Ethics Rules forbid members supporting a commercial venture. Spokesman Mark Skoda, however, says that no one should be surprised that Tea Party Nation is a for-profit venture. He told Time magazine (and I quote) "It's a misnomer that in order to be a grassroots activist, you have to be a pauper."

Given his misuse of the word "misnomer" I think it's perhaps a misnomer to call him a "spokesman." Now, I'm kidding a bit, but this slip of the tongue is actually a beautiful example of what's wrong with our understanding of the Tea Party movement. The term he was probably looking for is "misconception" - "It's a misconception that in order to be a grassroots activist, you have to be a pauper" - and even then his statement still doesn't make sense. By definition, a grassroots activist is someone who is working outside the traditional power structure, usually for little or no pay. You see, Skoda is redefining the term "grassroots activist" in a Tea Party way, and once you understand that, Tea Party rhetoric is much easier to comprehend.

My initial investigations have indicated that Tea Speak is not a completely new language – rather it is a dialect. They have a long list of words they have repurposed. Some of the most commonly misunderstood words in Tea Speak include Socialist, Communist, Nazi, Stalinist, Totalitarian, Oppression, Impeachment, and Racist. For the most part, they have no idea what these words mean in English, but each has been redefined in their own unique Tea Party way. For example, "impeachment" no longer means “the legal process of removing an elected official from office for misconduct." In Tea speak it means "we're still pissed off that our guy lost." Socialist refers to "not Republican" and "Totalitarian" translates as "guy who regulates banks." "Racist" has come to mean, "successful black man," "bipartisan" means "we want it our way even though we don't have the votes," and I'm not sure, but I think "Nazi" now means, "someone please pay attention to me!"

Now, far be it from me to stop these folks – I’m all for anything which splits the Right and insures that the Republicans can’t win in 2012, but the real misnomer here is to call this group of idiots a "political party." They are Jonathan Swift's confederacy of dunces, but old J-Money was only partly right. They don’t oppose Obama because he is a genius as Swift predicted, but rather because their masters and organizers see that opposing Obama is profitable. The money made this week in Nashville is small potatoes compared to the advertising revenues of Fox News and talk radio.

I’m new to this Tea Speak translation thing and I’m not fluent yet by any means, but I think “grassroots activist” now actually means "opportunistic whore.”


MickeyWhite said...

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :

His Sinfulness said...

Ok - this post has been up less than 40 minutes, and already a Tea Bagger has commented. True to form, he ignored the bulk of the message and used the comments window as a pulpit to blather about his personal agenda. (sigh)

Cerus said...

If a teabagger ever gave a substantive response to criticisms levied toward the "movement," I might very well die of shock.

Mayren said...

heheeheh Muauahahahah.
These Tea Baggers are sooo freaking annoying.
My own aunt in Texas has joined up and it makes my physically ill. I tried being sarcastic about it to make a point to her and other family members who are "online" and they just didn't get it. They really thought that *I* had finally given up my independant thinking ways to join the cult. (le sigh)

heheh I wonder if they get any enjoyment
from being teabaggers. (giggles)

His Sinfulness said...

In my experience, teabagging makes me feel naughty and a bit guilty afterwards... your mileage may vary.


Mayren said...


MsEmJ said...

Any time anyone of any political stripe calls someone a "nazi" I tend to blank out. It usually means, "I'm losing the argument, and don't have anything else to say".

Although, I admit that in college I probably overused the word "fascist" a lot.

I'm convinced there's a section of Tea Baggers who do nothing but sit at a computer looking for sites or blogs that mention tea baggery. Or looking for blogs that mention Sara Palin in order to comment: FU! Sara is a hottie! PALIN 2012!

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