Oct 19 / Pundit

Teabagger Silent Treatment

Sarah Palin has developed new campaign tactics that she has shared with her “Teabagger” proteges. One of them is to use visceral, graphic, almost vulgar assaults on male opposition candidates’ masculinity. It’s OK when Repulicans do it (or when they remark on Megan McCain’s breast size), but remember the absolute outrage when Obama used the previously common political phrase, “Like lipstick on a pig?” They went out of their way to gin up the Republican Outrage Machine, to create insult and offense where none was intended.

Another, more dangerous tactic is for these Teabaggers to refuse ALL contact with mainstream media. They avoid public appearances and ANY forum where there are forced to answer tough questions. Two days ago, Joe Miller, the Teabag Senatorial candidate from Alaska refused to answer a reporter’s questions and then had his security force handcuff and illegally detain the reporter against his will for nearly thirty minutes. What a total lack of regard for the law, the election and the constituents!

Joe Miller is not alone in giving the media the silent treatment. Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and others are doing it, too. Right out of the Palin playbook, and the Koch brothers’ operating manual. And it is really dangerous.

There is only one reason for candidates to not engage with the press. It is so that they will NOT BE FORCED to tell the public what they honestly think, believe or intend to do once in office. They KNOW that if they honestly respond to tough questions from the mainstream media, the public will reject their candidacies, and they will not be elected.

This wrong from every perspective. It shows an utter contempt for the process and the voters. It screams, “I don’t care what you voters think, and you don’t deserve to know what I think.” It is the ultimate disrespecting of the electorate by those running for office. It changes the nature of politics from a review and affirmation of public policy, to a high-school popularity contest, where handsome, cute and perky are all that is needed to be homecoming king or queen. We deserve better, but won’t get it unless we demand it.

When the tea party movement began, some members were offended by the use of the term “teabagger.” I didn’t know what all the fuss was about, so I looked it up on the internet. Wow! I was shocked.  But now I get it. These candidates who refuse to answer our questions ARE teabaggers. And guess what…if we don’t call them out and demand real answers to real questions, we might as well open our mouths and turn our heads upward to accept what is coming.

This “Teabagger Silent Treatment” is more than just petulance or pouty candidates. It is like the Silence of the Lambs relative to the electorate and press. If we accept the silence and go along like lambs, we’ll be led off to the slaughter. And we’ll have gotten what we deserved!