Tea Party verbing

From Gail Collins’s op-ed column “Senators Bearing Arms” yesterday, a verbing of the adjective/noun primary, as in a primary election, or simply a primary: being primaried by the Tea Party.

The context:

On the plus side, the Judiciary Committee approved a modest bill raising the penalties for “straw purchasers” — people who buy guns in order to give them to someone barred from making the purchase, like convicted felons or Mexican drug runners. One Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, voted for it. However, Senator John Cornyn of Texas expressed concern that it would “make it a serious felony for an American Legion employee to negligently transfer a rifle or firearm to a veteran who, unknown to the transferor, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Personally, I would rather not have American Legion employees negligently transferring guns to anybody. But then I am not trying to run for re-election in Texas without being primaried by the Tea Party.

More explanation in a Bloomberg story from last December (“Getting Primaried: The Dreaded Verb” by Mark Silva on 12/14/12):

No one wants to get “primaried.”

Certainly not Republican members of Congress who have seen some of their colleagues run out of office in party primaries by Tea Party-backed candidates and others who have challenged them for breaking with an anti-tax orthodoxy.

Plenty of examples, most of them (like these two) passive. But there are active examples as well, as in this story about local politics in Hudson NY:

We can only hope that 2011 doesn’t bring a repeat of 2007, when perennial mayoral hopeful Linda Mussmann primaried the candidate endorsed by the HCDC, Michael O’Hara, and, when she didn’t win, ran against him on her own party line, the Bottom Line.




One Response to “Tea Party verbing”

  1. marc leavitt Says:

    When I served as a township councilman, I was primaried twice, and, as I was reassured at time, it was no big deal. However, when I was generalelectioned in November, for a while, it was kind of scary.

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