In the final hours before the House passed the health care bill yesterday, the right-wingers protesting outside the Capitol became increasingly frothy and deranged. As the Democrats trudged closer to victory, the atmosphere of the Tea Party mobilization evolved from status quo hysteria to Russell Crowe-in-a-barfight angry. Oh, that’s right, they don’t believe in evolution.
OK, well, it wasn’t just a deep feeling of emptiness and disappointment, like watching an entire NASCAR race with no crashes that washed over the crowd. It was more like if at the end of a NASCAR race, the winning driver took off his helmet… and it was Barack Obama! That was the level of bewildered fury.
Anyway, so how do people who are normally red-faced and always screaming like the whole world was their deaf grandmother and waving Hitler-mustachioed signage express that they are even more pissed off than usual? Obviously, the less media-savvy patriots hurled racial and sexual orientation slurs at some of the more non-conformist members of the House who chose not to be straight white men.
This whole scenario was entirely predictable. What would the Tea Party movement be without uncorkable, ignorant rage?
However, in the events that followed, a truly flabbergasting opinion was voiced. Criticizing an Ohio congressman who denounced “these teabagger protesters,” Debbie Gunnoe, a Tea Party organizer from Florida, told Politico that “[calling the Tea Partiers ‘teabaggers’] is a denigrating word with negative connotations. It’s as bad as calling a black person the N-word.”
Let’s all take a deep breathe before responding.
First, I could write a book about why this is one of the dumbest things anybody has ever said, but nobody reads long blog posts, let alone books. Plus, I’m sure most people don’t need to be convinced.
Second, it’s actually not that surprising that people in the Tea Party are identifying themselves as an oppressed class, despite being white and mostly middle class. The fetishization of victimhood so enthusiastically embraced by the Right since Obama took office has manifested itself so thoroughly in the spongy brains of Tea Partiers that the most privileged people in the entire fucking world now see themselves as… America’s new n_gg_rs.
Hopefully, the police start feeling this way, too. Hey, cops, give black people a break and beat up some Republicans!