Watch out for rug burn
Having absented myself from the political blogs and analyses over the past few days, I was puzzled today to see the word astroturf crop up in references to the tea party protests about federal spending and taxes.
A moment of reflection led to the obvious conclusion, that astroturf protest was being set up in opposition to grass-roots protest to suggest that today’s events are an artificially concocted stunt rather than a genuine popular uprising.
Determining whether that is the case or not is outside my writ, but I am impressed by the rapidity with which the term has taken off — a tea bag astroturf search on Google turns up more than 12,000 hits.
AstroTurf, let me remind you, is a capitalized trade name, though it was already well on its way to becoming a lowercased generic word before today’s brouhaha.
Though I saw John Waters’ film Pecker and understand what the term teabagging means in gay bars, I lack an impulse to explain it on these premises. But if you are involved in these protests, I advise you to make a careful distinction between tea bag (n.) and tea bag (v.).