A writer named Mike Elk has produced an entry in that venerable genre of contrarian-liberal writing, the "We Should Talk with the Right-Wing Grassroots Rather Than Demonize Them" essay. I'm always in favor of open-minded conversations that cross ideological lines, so in theory I applaud what he's doing, but I had to chuckle at this tone-deaf sentence:
It's time that we raise up above immature name calling and start talking to the teabaggers.
I'm sure Elk was genuinely unaware that the Tea Party marchers consider the word "teabaggers" an especially obnoxious example of "immature name calling." Nonetheless, he sounds like an earnest Special Olympics volunteer who doesn't understand why his "Go, retards!" chant isn't catching on.
As long as I'm on the subject, here's a question: When did the "teabagging" tag start getting attached to the protests? I was under the impression that it was a product of this photograph:
…which was taken at an early tea party and thus suggests that a single clueless demonstrator might be responsible for everything. But if anyone heard the word in this context before that picture started circulating in late February, I'd be interested to see your citation.