We stand corrected along with Sen. Mark Udall, 9NEWS helpfully reports:
Sen. Mark Udall is wading into a hotly contested special election on behalf of a fellow Democrat, and it’s his use of the word “tea-baggers” that has upset some conservatives.
The fundraising e-mail is on behalf of Martha Coakley, a Democrat, who is facing Republican Scott Brown in a tight race to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts.
Udall’s e-mail reads, in part, “Martha’s opponent is receiving millions of dollars in support from far-right tea-baggers across the country, claiming him as one of their own.”
The term “tea-bagger,” which is also slang for a sex act, has been used by critics of the tea party movement, a conservative push for lower taxes and smaller government…
The word “tea-bagger” has appeared on signs at anti-tax rallies but movement organizers have long sought to discourage use of the word because of its sexual connotation.
“It’s inappropriate,” said tea party movement founder Michael Johns. “Especially by someone who should know better.”
A campaign representative for Udall, who is not up for re-election until 2014, issued a statement in response to an inquiry by 9NEWS.
“Over the past year, multiple media outlets have used the term as a short-hand reference to tea party activists,” the statement read. “That is what was intended by the campaign and nothing more.”
Udall’s staff shouldn’t feel too bad, we actually have used “teabagger” innocently and mistakenly too–as well as a few other times, which, we admit, were not so much mistakes. There’s no question, as 9NEWS says, that the term has been unwittingly used by authentic “Tea Partiers” many times: it does seem like a relatively benign shorthand description if you don’t know any better. Once you read what “teabagging” actually means at the Urban Dictionary (not even linking), though, you can understand why “Tea Party” leaders would rather their members–and U.S. Senators–find a better shorthand description.