Angry Experts: Don't Call Hobbits Tea Partiers

John McCain's insults irritate Tolkien scholars
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 8, 2011 4:04 AM CDT
What about Orcs and Tea Partiers?   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Not so fast, John McCain. Insults linking the Tea Party to hobbits are making some Middle-earth experts as irritable as Saruman. McCain might have derided unrealistic demands by "Tea Party hobbits" during the debt-ceiling debate, but he was exposing his lack of knowledge about the height-challenged creatures, they say. For one thing, hobbits are happy and mostly quiet, unassuming types, hobbit defenders point out. "Is it fair to compare the Tea Party and hobbits? In a word, no," Tolkien scholar Jason Fisher tells the Christian Science Monitor. “The Tea Party might aspire to be hobbits, but at this point the two groups have just about zero in common.”

Hobbits are "agrarian, simple, they don’t have guns, they don’t pay taxes, they don’t complain that their rights are infringed,” Fisher explains. “The Tea Party is about being dissatisfied. They feel they’ve given too much and gotten too little in return. This isn’t how hobbits think. Hobbits are content. They are about preserving the status quo; the Tea Party is about changing the status quo.” Some hobbit fans are downright ugly about the issue. One critic hails Frodo's selfless sacrifices on behalf of all Middle-earthers, supported by friends motivated by a "sense of obligation" to humanity. "Tea Party members seem to share none of these values," sniffs Wayne Hammond, author of The Art of the Hobbit. (Read more John McCain stories.)

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