Rep. Jeff Roorda (D – Jefferson County) is the delightfully angry politician who decided to call about half the state a term used for sexual slang. These are the same people who had their menstrual cycles when Joe Wilson shouted “Liar!” on the floor, by the way. You know, the same people who defined the floor as a sacred place of political haranguing.
Branson Tea Party leader Eric Farris wrote Rep. Jeff Roorda:
Representative Jeff Roorda:
This communication is to demand that you issue a formal, written apology posted to the Clerk and Leadership of the Missouri House of Representatives directed to the thousands of citizens across our state who have participated in the political process through various tea parties in the last year for your rude comments today on the House floor and in particular for calling these individuals, including myself, the sexually derogatory term of a “teabagger”. How dare you, as a servant of the people of this state and your legislative district, lash out at Missouri citizens who exercise their free speech rights in such a vulgar manner? It truly is difficult to fathom how an individual in a position of leadership in Missouri State Government could demonstrate such insensitivity.
Sir, if you, as an elected politician is interested in dialogue with the people you claim to represent, such a dialogue must begin with respect for the citizens of this State. That show of respect will begin when you acknowledge that mocking and demeaning well-intentioned, peaceful citizens who love their country is the height of arrogance, and a terrible mistake.
A copy of this communication has also been forwarded to the leadership of the House. If your apology is not issued as requested, then I am asking that they pursue appropriate sanctions including but not limited to a House Resolution reprimanding you for this conduct which is not fitting for a Representative to be engaged in, especially on the House Floor.
This apology is expected within seven days from this date.
Eric A. Farris
Jeff Roorda has a choice here: he can either acknowledge or apologize for his remarks or lie about them because seriously – everyone know what the pejorative means. Roorda, being such a stand-up guy, chose:
I did indeed use the term “teabagger” on the House Floor during the debate on HCR 18. I know nothing about any sexual connotation attached to the term but I do know that the term is widely associated with the anti-healthcare movement. I used the term because everybody knows who I’m talking about when I use it. There was no intention to derogate members of the so-called “teabagger” movement. My intention was only to satire the fact that the Missouri House spent an entire legislative day debating a non-binding resolution telling Congress that we are against a bill that is still in the process of being written. I make no apologies for pointing out that the Missouri House could have spent it’s time talking about more important issues overwhich the State Legislature has some control.
Thank you for writing,
State Rep. Jeff Roorda
Yep, he chose the latter. KLASSY ROORDA! Is he so out of touch with his constituents that he defines the tea party on health care as being “anti-health care?” Because as I’ve said eleventy frillion times before, no one is against health care but the majority of Americans are against a bill that does nothing in terms of real reform and unconstitutionally forces individuals to purchase a product with the government. He doesn’t believe that discussing state sovereignty with the respect of federal fauxcare and the abuse of the commerce clause is worthy? I mean, if the guy is that out of touch what on earth is he doing serving in an elected capacity? He’s so eager to cover up his wrong-doing that he’ll make himself look even more incompetent? What a glutton for punishment! He brushes aside his intent but circles back on it by incorrectly using the term “satire” to describe that he used sarcasm (which compromises his original statement on being unaware that the term was negative) to devalue the concerns of voters.
You may have been born at night but I doubt that you were born last night. Do you honest expect others to believe that you throw out the term “teabagger” without understanding its meaning? Do you really want others to get the impression that you walk around in our State’s Capitol building using words and phrases even through you don’t know what they mean? Even in your response to my email, you continue to call the tea parties a “teabagger” movement after you supposedly had heard for the first time in your entire life through my email that it is a derogatory sexual term. Do you really expect for others to believe you in your defense that you were oblivious of the meaning of the word and that even though you now know it is has a sexual connotation, that you will continue to use it?
Before you speak again, do all of us an favor and invest five minutes of your time to research the term and decide whether you wish to continue to call Missouri citizens and taxpayers this despicable term. “Google” it online or merely ask some of your more learned fellow House members what it means. If you are capable of researching proposed bills, you are surely capable of researching a derogatory term, dropping it from your vocabulary and offering an apology. If you are a gentleman, then act like one. If you aspire to be respected, then act respectful.
My demand for an apology still stands. You can take a stance or posture as to the work of the House all you want, but you should immediately issue an apology and a retraction for using the subject derogatory term since you “now” know it is an inappropriate way for an elected leader to describe any citizen of this State.
Eric A. Farris
Farris sought clarification from others in the state house:
Representative Richard and Representative Levota:
Please be informed that I have not heard any response from Rep. Roorda to my last email. I would like to inquire as to what steps will be taken or have been considered as to discipline by the House for Rep. Roorda’s recent foul, derogatory and inappropriate remarks on the floor of the House?
I am a bit confused. I thought I was copied on an email where Rep. Roorda apologized.
Write your representatives below and ask them if state Democrats support turning the House floor into a bully pulpit and use such pejoratives against voters with whom they disagree.
Ronald.Richard@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Bryan.Pratt@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Steven.Tilley@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Tom.Self@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Brian.Nieves@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Ward.Franz@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Marilyn.Ruestman@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Paul.Levota@house.mo.gov‘; ‘JC.Kuessner@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Terry.Swinger@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Shalonn.Curls@house.mo.gov‘; ‘Sara.Lampe@house.mo.gov‘; Jeff.Roorda@house.mo.gov
Just when I honestly thought that this could not get any better, LO, IT DOES. From Dan:
I have no control over what you choose to believe or not believe. Nor, do I have control over the fact that a whole bunch of words in the English language have unfortunate double-meanings.
The founders of your movement (no offense, I know that word also has a double-meaning) chose the teabag as your symbol of rebellion. I assume they didn’t know of the unsavory double meaning of the word when they chose that symbol. If they didn’t know, why do you expect me to know?
Let me be clear, I do not appologize for using the word “teabagger” to describe your movement. No offense was meant. If you found it offensive, you should talk to the founders of your movement about their choice of symbol for the movement.
Now that I know you find the term offensive, I will refrain from using it. I don’t expect that to be good enough for you but it is the best I can do.
Rep. Jeff Roorda
My email to Jeff Roorda 01/22/10
I do not believe your explanation, that you did not know of the sexual connotations of the term “Teabagger” You owe the movement a sincere apology.
My emphasis – and it undermines his previous statement of ignorance on his quasi-double entendre. Tea partiers didn’t adopt a tea bag as their “symbol;” we in the St. Louis Tea Party actually use a tea pot. But then again, this Alan Grayson-wannabe is neither familiar with the historical underpinnings for its use nor his voters. It’s sad because Jeff Roorda is NOT the best Jefferson County can do.