While responding to a concerned citizen about the Affordable Care Act, president Obama allegedly used a derogatory term “tea baggers.” The president gave a handwritten response to a note he received from one Thomas J. Ritter, a school teacher in Texas who had written to Obama to complain about Obamacare and political issues in general.
“This bill has caused such a divisive, derisive and toxic environment,” wrote Thomas Ritter. “The reality is that any citizen that disagrees with your administration is targeted and ridiculed.”
Ritter also said the he was afraid of "retribution" for writing a letter to the president. “I hesitated to write for fear of some kind of retribution . . . I watched you make fun of tea baggers and your press secretary make fun of Ms. [Sarah] Palin which was especially beneath the dignity of the White House . . . Do the right thing not the political thing. Suggest a bill that Americans can support.” wrote Ritter.
In his reply, Obama said that he appreciated his “concern about the toxic political environment right now.” However, Obama addressed Ritter's concerns by saying “I do have to challenge you, though, on the notion that any citizen that disagrees with me has been ‘targeted and ridiculed’ or that I have ‘made fun’ of tea baggers,” the president wrote, echoing Ritter’s use of the derogatory term. “[I] defend strongly the right of everyone to speak their mind-including those who call me a ‘Socialist’ or worse,” Obama continued.
The term ‘tea baggers' refers to a sexual act but it is commonly used to refer to the Tea Party movement which is a strong Obamacare critic. The leftist critics have been using the term to poke fun at the right-wing protestors. However, it is important to note that the president merely used the term as used in Ritter’s letter. Ritter used the term to refer to the tea party protesters.
Letters To The President
(image via whitehouse.gov)