John Colson: Hit and Run
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
Is that the sound of joyously victorious trumpets I hear in the distance?
Or is it the whistling of the wind through multiple wounds in my personal body politic, caused by the slings, arrows and bullets of teabaggers angered by my use of a certain phrase to describe their “movement.”
Oops, there, I did it again, I used the “t” word.
Touched a nerve there, I’ll bet. Again.
It’s not often that I use this column to comment on something I wrote in an earlier column, though it has happened.
Usually, I dash off a few words on whatever it is that’s bugging me at the moment, send it to my editor for his gentle parsing and correcting, and let the chips fall where they may.
But as noted in one letter to the editor, countless e-mails and who knows how many coronaries among the great unwashed out there, I hit a raw spot when I referred to a certain governor of Wisconsin as a “tea bagger.”
I was using the term as what I thought was a clever play on the name appropriated by a motley bunch of self-centered, right-wing, bigoted clowns. The group, by the way, was created by the Republican Party to harness a rising tide of ultra-right-wing zealots in that party who were threatening to overturn the party’s leadership.
I happen to view the group’s misappropriation of the name, which comes from the Boston Tea Party in 1773, as absolutely wrong and not to be repeated by me. So I came up with this new term, and was heartened when it immediately became apparent that they don’t like being called that. So I kept it up.
In all innocence, I had no idea that the phrase has another, more scandalous meaning, which you’ll have to look up for yourselves. I don’t wish to completely freak out my younger readers, you know. But you’ll see what I mean.
I find it interesting to the point of fascination to learn who, among my rather limited and admittedly strange circle of friends, are familiar with this term. And I’ve gotta say, so far it has been almost none – at least none who will admit it.
A letter writer from Virginia, interestingly, outed himself with a missive that fairly steamed with outraged sensibility. A little too close to home, there, buddy?
Not that I care what anyone’s sexual peccadilloes might lead them to, as long as it’s not pedophilia or some other truly twisted exercise of sexual power over the helpless.
I should note, however, that for a group that has made a mockery of political discourse in this country, that regularly uses lies and innuendo to get its points across, these people sure are touchy (oops, they probably think that’s another wise crack!).
I mean, these are the same people who expect everyone else to fall down in genuflection over their caterwauling about President Obama’s birthplace, and their attempt to slander him with the racist accusation that he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, as his birth certificate states.
There is yet another pejorative moniker applied to this aspect of their deranged demagoguery – “birthers.”
Perhaps I should look up that word to see what hidden meaning there might be that I have innocently foisted upon the reading public.
Anyway, there is an aspect of all this that is quite troubling to me. I am, to put it mildly, NOT HAPPY with the way this nation of ours is heading, and I am in sympathy with the outrage, if not the methods or the thinking, of the teabaggers.
Something has got to change, and I truly wish this group would pick the correct targets for their anger and their energy.
Who knows what could be accomplished if this much pent-up frustration were to be directed at the the monied elite and their supporting cast?
We might actually end up with a country we could be proud of.
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