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Rude_Bear's avatar

Do you accept the TeaBaggers/Tea Party as a legitimate political movement? As a Third party?

Asked by Rude_Bear (879points) January 7th, 2010

It appears that the TeaBaggers will be holding a national convention in February. (Guest Speaker Sarah Palin) Are they becoming a legitimate political party? What will they need to do to get their candidates and party affiliation recognized on ballots across the country? What will they have to do to earn your respect?

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18 Answers

Snarp's avatar

Legitimate is an interesting choice of words, and could create a serious debate on semantics. But sure, it’s a political movement. It’s a third party as soon as they meet up and field some candidates. Getting on ballots varies by state and office, and in some cases is quite easy, in others very difficult. I would be surprised if they made it onto presidential ballots in all fifty states, just because most third parties don’t. On the other hand, they have some financial and media backing that no third party has had in recent memory. While I don’t agree with them in the least, I fully support their right to organize, field candidates, and get on the ballot.

urwutuis's avatar

As a group of “over the top” wingnuts it would largely depend on the meaning of legitimate..
What they need to do is take a big swig of reality. Dressing for the 21st century would be a start.

Sarcasm's avatar

They’re just a handful of the wackiest Republicans, fired up by Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly.

MissAnthrope's avatar

All I can think is that the radical conservatives breaking off from the Republican party can’t be a bad thing. I doubt they’ll have more success than the Green Party, so basically, I foresee them wasting their energy and being ineffectual.

marinelife's avatar

I agree with @Sarcasm about the influence of right wing talk show hosts on this “political movement”. As such, it does not have a lot of legitimacy to me yet. When they raise money, when they field candidates, then they will become a political force to be reckoned with.

And, of course, the biggest challenge: when they grow in numbers.

Sarcasm's avatar

@MissAnthrope My thoughts exactly. It’ll really only help the Democrats, siphoning votes away from the Republican candidates.
Almost like Abe Lincoln’s victory. If the Democratic party had only put out 1 candidate, they would’ve won. But since the Democrat votes were split, Abe kicked ass.

Strauss's avatar

A movement does not necessarily need grass roots to grow. The original tea party activities seem to have been orchestrated by multinational business interests masquerading as grass roots organizations, bolstered by the right-wing talk show hosts and politicians. I think the movement, if we want to call it that, can go two ways to have a real effect on elections. The first way would be similar to what the Green Party did for the Dems in ‘00, and siphon votes from the Republican candidates.But, if some of the “real people” affiliated with the movement take it seriously and provide some real leadership, they could put pressure on the Republican party, and become a real force within that party. I think the first way is more plausible.

poisonedantidote's avatar

before i can take them seriously about anything, they will need to change their name to something less halo and testicles. but yes, they exist and do things, i guess is all you can say.

trumi's avatar

I seriously suggest that they take up the moniker “Know-Nothing” for three reasons:

1. It’s less ridiculous, and far less crude. Teabaggers? Really? Why don’t we just call them “Muff Stuffers”

2. The Know-Nothing Party and the Tea Party have similar platforms.

3. It’s true.

Blackberry's avatar

Wow…..I’m literally laughing out loud…..that’s all I can really do. This can’t even be taken seriously…like…at all. Nothing they can do can sway me, and in my opinion, which is very apparent and seemingly common sense, no they can not become a 3rd party.

Sarcasm's avatar

But @trumi, “teabaggers” is a PATRIOTIC (I wish I could make my text here red white and blue. Just imagine it) reference to those who participated in the Boston Tea Party! You know, when the Colonists revolted over how the British government was swayed so easily by a company (East India Tea)! That’s what T.E.A. stands for- Taxed Enough Already. DUH.

LostInParadise's avatar

With the economy in the doldrums, the Teabaggers provide a much needed comedic outlet. Quite frankly, neither McCain nor Obama was very funny in the least election and we had to rely on Sarah Palin. She does pretty well on her own, but things should get even better now that she has some backup. This may provide a challenge to SNL and other satirists. I mean, how do you satirize people who satirize themselves?

Mamradpivo's avatar

Not only do I not accept them as a legitimate political organization, I can only hope that they run candidates in every congressional district to split the republican vote between moderated and crazies.

Strauss's avatar

The term “teabaggers” was originally used by various left-leaning radio talk-show hosts to describe the members or the “Tea Party”. I first heare it used by Thom Hartmann.

Rude_Bear's avatar

@Yetanotheruser : actually it was first used by the tea baggers themselves… at their first rally/ protest/ whatever.. a participant had a sign that said “lets Teabag Washington before they teabag us”. It’s been floating around on the web…. Beyond that, like it or not it has become part of the vernacular. I use the phrase because people know exactly what is meant when the word is used.

Rude_Bear's avatar


“Teabagging” controversy
A protester’s sign at the April 15, 2009 Hartford, Connecticut Tea Party reads: “Teabag Washington? They have way too many NUTS Already!”

The label “teabagging” has been applied to Tea Party protests in general,[120] and to the specific protest gesture of mailing a tea bag to the White House.[121][122] The label has prompted puns based on pre-existing use of the word to denote oral–scrotal contact as a sex act or prank. This has been deplored by Tea Party activists.[120] An article in by Alex Koppelman traced the controversy to a photograph by David Weigel posted on The Washington Independent website on 27 February,[123] showing a protester holding a sign that read “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You!!”[124] Weigel’s report was referenced by bloggers, including Wonkette, who used “teabagging” or “teabagger” in their headline.[123] In a 14 March report on Fox News, Griff Jenkins said, “ has a headline, ‘Teabag the fools in DC on Tax Day.’ They want you… to take a tea bag, put it an envelope, and mail it to the White House.”[122] Koppelman speculates that Jenkins was more likely than to have been aware of the double entendre; he summarizes, “for the most part conservatives haven’t actually been using the words in such a way as to lend themselves to double entendre. With one or two exceptions, almost all of it has actually been coming from the left.”[123]


Strauss's avatar

I still think the use of the term is hilarious.

galileogirl's avatar

I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of the Tea Party movement. After the racist name calling at African American Congressmen both inside and outside the Halls of Congress on Saturday, March 20. we see what they really represent. It looked like Little Rock’s Central High School in 1959.

Anyone who is not a racist has got to disengage from these demonstrations or risk encouraging despicable anti-American behavior

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