Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor of National Review, addresses in his latest article Rise of an Epiphet the term "teabagger" and how conservatives should handle it. He gives both the colloquial definition as well as what conservatives intended it to mean when they adopted it last April 15. Of course, after the middle-aged gun-totin' white guys found out what it really means, they back-pedaled and attempted to shift to "tea partier" or "tea party patriot". However these don't quite roll off the tongue as easily as "tea bagger". Nordlinger senses the quandary and suggests conservatives simply take ownership of the term, eventually to change its definition. He offers "Yankee Doodle" as an example, offering that "doodle" "probably relates to the male organ". The colonials took over "Yankee Doodle" and they made it their own. Think "Yankee Doodle" and "American patriot" immediately comes to mind - not 'yankin' a doodle'!
Nordlinger also provides us with "scumbag" and "putzhead" as past examples that were used in political arenas, though not with their intended meaning (i.e. "used condom" and "penis head", respectively). Like "Yankee Doodle", these are no longer the vulgar pejoratives of old. Unlike "Yankee Doodle", they still are derogatory.
Nordlinger seems to have neglected simply googling "doodle" for he would have immediately found that it doesn't mean what he thinks it does. From the Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology:
doodle simpleton XVII; larva of tiger-beetle (also doodle-bug, applied in 1944 to the ‘flying bomb’) XIX; aimless scrawl on paper XX. In the first sense — LG. dudel- in dudeltopf, -dopp simple fellow; the connection of the other senses is doubtful; the last is prob. rel. to dial. vb. doodle fritter time away.and from Wikipedia,
As a term Doodle first appeared in the early seventeenth century, and is thought to derive from the Low German dudel or dödel, meaning "fool" or "simpleton".Nordlinger should take a lesson from Condrad's Heart of Darkness - venture too far into the jungle and you just might turn native.
Most delicious and ridiculous of all, Nordlinger goes so far as to suggest "teabagger" could be the new N-word:
What about a special case — the worst word in American English, as some of us see it, namely the N-word? When I was growing up, in Ann Arbor, Mich., there was a little debate: Should school officials try to prevent black students from using the N-word? I don’t believe the issue was ever settled. And this brings up the question of whether “teabagger” could be kind of a conservative N-word: to be used in the family, but radioactive outside the family.Think of that for a moment. Teabagger = T-bagga? It's kind of catchy. You know, Michael Steele is trying to "urbanize" the GOP. And this idea is so crazy, it just might work!
Bring it, JayNord! All the T-bagga's in the house go HIP HOP HIPPITY HOP, HIP HIP HIPPITY HOP. The roof, the roof, the roof (of the socialist hospitable where grandma lies dying) is on fire! We don't need no water because it's all OBAMA'S fault! Can I get a what what?