TEA Party member asks for apology for Walt Havenstein’s teabagger remark, Havenstein refuses

by Skip

Update: this will be topmost for a while – newer posts after this one

Nice.  As Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit says – punch back twice as hard.  Here is the video:

Here is the background:  I am a co-founding member of the NH TEA Party Coalition and I believe in the TEA Party’s three (and ONLY three regardless of what the Left, the Democrats, or the Establishment wing of the Republican Party says) Principles:  Constitutional bounds for Government, Fiscal Frugality, and Free Markets

Everything else is merely what those others wish.  So since the TEA Party began, that is what I have advocated and worked for.  Any other issue is outside of that sphere.

I also have Rule #1  here at the ‘Grok, which I have made VERY clear to the writers; adult themes, but kid friendly.  If that is violated they can write somewhere else.

Now, I have to break it myself.

“Teabagger” was a term first introduced into the political lexicon by CNN’s Anderson Cooper back in March of 2009 (I think I have that right).  Havenstein’s usage was just after the Nov 2010 election – again, after that amount of time, I find it hard to believe that a person at the C-level suite doesn’t know politics.  That being CEO of two defense organizations meant that he didn’t know about the politics at DoD – or the Congress. Or, given how it could affect his business, the politics at large.

Thus, I asked for the apology and called him out on his usage of it (short version here, longer and with more context here)- I REFUSE to let the Left, the Democrats get away with its usage (and yes, Carol Shea-Porter has called me that to my face, along with other Leftie political operatives.

There is NO WAY that I am going to allow someone in the Republican Party in a Primary that wants my vote call me or any other grassroots person that attribution.  In fact, once I process all of the video (for GraniteGrok ALWAYS provides as full a context as we can possibly muster, you will see another person WHO IS NOT A TEA PARTY person but is a prior Marine ask for an apology as well (note: he is a personal friend of mine and he hates seeing stuff that is wrong in politics).  At tonite’s Belknap County Republican Committee (New Hampshire), I did just that.

As to the subtitle of: “Wife says of her husband’s rival: he’s just a young man out to make trouble.”  A I was taking down my equipment, she had come over to the table next to me and began to be an apologist for her husband’s words and started to run down Andrew Hemingway (who we just gave a GraniteGrok endorsement to at the CNHT Annual Picnic this past Saturday).  I listened but said nothing and never approached the older ladies she was talking to but that was what was said.

After talking with several other people, I did make my way back up to Walt who was standing with his wife and said that as a double Blue Star dad, I thank you for your service.  A couple of other words were exchanged, including mine of “Do you realize the tremendous PR problem you now have with the conservative / TEA Party / Libertarian / Constitutionalist wing of the NH GOP?  He sighed and walked away (I was actually trying to be helpful, not a confrontation moment).

Well, generally I make it a rule that family member of political types are off-limits – until they insert themselves into it.  She did, and was repeating what Havenstein had said earlier.  THen she started to run Andrew Hemingway down.

Me: Look, I have known Andrew for 10 years

Sidenote: in thinking back, not quite that long – 2006 is my earliest recollection of that dark stormy nite that he called me out of the blue (I am SO horrible at dates in my own life….sigh).  So

 She:  Then you know he is just making trouble.

ME: (slightly raised voice to display ire): MA’AM, YOU HAVE JUST SAID THE WRONG THING!

and I quickly walked off and out the door.  I am probably one of few guys that still thinks that Chivalry should be followed.



NH TEA Party Coalition co-founder Skip Murphy confronted Walt Havenstein and requested an apology for Havenstein’s “teabagger” comment.

He refused.

Leave a Comment

  • Against – Even as he acknowledged our ability to make corrections to our government every two years, there was no line drawn which connected the TEA Party with the nationwide success of the GOP.

    In his defense – it is entirely possible that he thought of “Tea-bagger” as some kind of mildly disparaging slang, but did not grasp the full import.

    #FAIL – Simply saying that he tried to be funny, wasn’t aware of the obscene connotations, and wanted to apologize to those hard-working activists that his mistake offended, could have closed this issue on day 1, and yet he would rather say that the context was different than we clearly observed, and the WE are the ones who are wrong to be offended.

    #FAIL2 – When his wife started disparaging Andrew Hemingway, who is very much the favorite of the older women, she very likely ignited a backlash which will not help her husband.

    It would have been easy to handle this without losing face, and without getting the base all wound up. The path not taken 🙁

    • Bill Anderson

      My vote will be for Andrew and not for Walt and I felt that way before Walt insulted my believes. Because of his actions Im going to work ever so hard to put Andrews name out there. The last thing we need in New Hampshire is not another politicans politician but a man who will work for what’s best for the citizens of New Hampshire. Vote for Andrew Hemingway.

  • ????????????

    Then you will not get my vote…..Jerk !!

  • ra44mr2

    I hope he loses. If i had any extra money id be donating to both the tea party opponent AND the democrat opponent if the TP candidate didnt win the primary.

    • gadsdengurl

      The tea party itself in NH does not run candidates or get involved in campaigns other than to critique the candidates. All Walt had to do was say he didn’t know that was not a term WE coined… and I’ve been part of the tea party since it’s origins in 2007 along with the founder of the NHTPC.

      • gadsdengurl

        Ah I guess he did defend himself that way. He was actually defending the tea party, but using the word was simply ignorance. So, he’s out of touch is what we learn from this.

  • simplulo

    I thought that the third Tea Party plank was lower taxes? Anyway, the Tea Party platform is clear enough: the uncontroversial economic part of the conservative agenda that we should be able to get broad agreement on from everybody who isn’t a progressive. Some Tea Party organizations have sullied the brand enough that one might not be quick to identify as a Tea Partier, but neither should one easily insult us.

  • SecureForPosterity

    I think I heard him say, “I made a mistake out of ignorance; but, I will not apologize for using the pornographic term.” Not smart. Typical CEO stuff where he refuses to apologize to his constituents because he thinks he doesn’t have to. Arrogance on display even though he presents as this nice grandfatherly guy.

  • HammerNH

    I feel I should add here that he DENIED it was a throw-away laugh line when he spoke with me at the CNHT Picnic. Revision 2.1 ? – Dennis Hamel (disqus only lets me log in here on disqus, not FB)

  • Fred Leonard

    While I have concerns with how the TEA Party movement has been disjointed and to some degree been co-opted by main stream Republicans, Havenstien’s comments in 2010 absolutely warrants an apology…however, at this point, any apology would not be sincere and should be taken for what it’s worth – NOTHING!

  • balencesto

    Jesus . . . that’s 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. It strikes me as the height of hypocrisy for a group of people so enamored of folks coming to NH from out-of-state for the sole purpose of influencing that state’s politics(i.e. THE FREE STATE PROJECT, TEA PARTY, et al) to be against . . . well, to be against a person coming to NH from out-of-state for the soloe purpose of influencing the state’s politics. If the FSP and the Tea Party can do it, why shouldn’t Havenstein be able to do it??? Double standard, Grok-heads????

    • Radical Moderate

      From what I have gleaned from the GG position points about W.H. they seem to be objecting to his use (whether deliberate or not) of a well known derogatory remark used by both the Progressives and Establishment Republicans targeting a conservative grass roots political movement that’s made up of mostly small (r) republicans and small (d) democrats.
      My personal opinion is that its like asking a scorpion for an apology for stinging me. Ya, you can ask for one but all the scorpion is going to do is stare at you and wait till you get close enough so he can sting you again. Its just what they do. I mean, the reality is its fairly obvious the man is an Establishment Republican at least to those that are even moderately politically aware. The exchange may have allowed more people to further judge W.H.’s personality, which can be beneficial to a voter, but I have no personal knowledge of what the original intent was. I don’t know about you bal, but I respect anyone (Left or Right) that steps up to speak truth to power in the current political climate. But as we have seen in both the D & R administrations ‘truth’ can be relative based on ones politics which is indeed an unfortunate reality.
      As far as the ‘political carpet bagging’ double-standard claim your alluding too, it doesn’t seem that way. I am a fairly regular reader of this blog and I have not seen GG make a ‘political carpet bagging’ charge against W.H. just out of the blue. What I have seen is that GG has commented on press reports about the allegations by the Democrats on the W.H. residency issue. I have also seen commentaries on GG about the Free Staters when they are in the news as well, where once again it was Democrats that brought up the ‘out-of-staters’ issue.
      Just my 2 cents.

  • pdigaudio

    This guy loses. Big. He deserves it.

  • Don

    1. One wonders where Walt gets his news if this term sticks with him and feels free to use it, CNN, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, other radical leftist? Are these the news sources that we would expect a businessman concerned about his country to rely on?
    2. I wonder how many other terms that he picks up from CNN or MSNBC or anywhere else he uses in public that he doesn’t understand? Did we miss all the slanderous terms about RINOs and Leftists?
    3. What sort of judgment does someone reveal if he or she uses terms that he doesn’t understand?
    4. When one slanders the ONLY nationwide “organization” that tries to make politicians deliver on their conservative promises, why should we believe that he actually believes the conservative sounding statements he makes?

  • Mike Ball

    Skip, you approached him as a man and gave him an open and honest assessment of the damage that his words have caused. He refused to take back his slur or apologize for it, as a man would. He is politically dead to me.

  • Great job in calling him out! The real threat to the establishment are tea party members like yourself who keep politicians like him accountable for there words and actions. I wonder if he understands NH Constitution, Part 1, Article 8.

  • Virgil Hilts

    My comment on Mr ,Havenstein would be THIS! The usual phrase is ‘Once A Marine, Always a Marine.’ There used to be only two ex-Marines; Lee Harvey Oswald and John Murtha. Mr .Havenstein has now voluntarily placed himself among that shameful pair….

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  • kervick

    I think we may be missing the point. The use of the term, “Teabagger” comes from the Rules for Radicals playbook. Cooper knew what he was doing when he used it, and later Obama when he used the same term. It became a Democrat Party sound bite that the national media gladly picked up. The idea is to ridicule your enemy so as to discredit them. As Skip knows, this is their primary political tactic. The Tea Party Movement was big and powerful. They needed to make it less influential and they pulled out all the stops. The fact that teabagger is a homosexual slur is only relevant to the extent that any form of ridicule has the effect of marginalizing someone. Essentially, what we are talking about is bullying. The Democrats win by bullying as their media accomplices cheer. Havenstein joined the chorus.

  • kervick

    Today we have the same alignment, Progressives and Chamber of Commerce Republicans, ridiculing Conservative Populists.

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