Yesterday rocker Ted Nugent announced that he would attend President Obama’s State of the Union speech — and then hold a press conference afterward to comment.
Nugent will attend at the invitation of Republican Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas. But the message he sends is toxic for the Republican Party.
Ted Nugent is a board member of the NRA — and an avid spokesman for the right of every American to buy, carry and use military style weapons. Graciously, he will arrive at the capitol without military style weapons. He told the New York Times he would “go in at least 20 pounds lighter than I normally walk,” … “I will be going in sans the hardware store on my belt. I live a well-armed life, and I’ve got to demilitarize before I go.”
He will be attending the State of the Union speech along with 100 relatives of the victims of gun violence invited mainly by Democratic Members of Congress and sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Among them will be former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was almost killed in a gun attack in Tucson.
The contrast could not be starker. During last year’s Presidential campaign Nugent said:
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
In 2007 he said:
“I think that Barack Hussein Obama should be put in jail. It is clear that Barack Hussein Obama is a communist. Mao Tse Tung lives and his name is Barack Hussein Obama. This country should be ashamed. I wanna throw up,” he said, adding “Obama, he’s a piece of s**t. I told him to suck on my machine gun.”
As for his view of women:
“Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary,” he continued. “You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”
“What’s a feminist anyways? A fat pig who doesn’t get it often enough?”
In a 1994 Rolling Stone interview Nugent said:
“You probably can’t use the term `toxic c**t’ in your magazine, but that’s what she is. Her very existence insults the spirit of individualism in this country. This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro.”
On Asians and “foreigners” in general:
“…Yeah they love me (in Japan) — they’re still assholes. These people they don’t know what life is. I don’t have a following, they need me; they don’t like me they need me… Foreigners are a******s; foreigners are scum; I don’t like ‘em; I don’t want ‘em in this country; I don’t want ‘em selling me doughnuts; I don’t want ‘em pumping my gas; I don’t want ‘em downwind of my life-OK? So anyhow, and I’m dead serious…”
And then there are his comments on race:
“My being there (South Africa) isn’t going to affect any political structure. Besides, apartheid isn’t that cut-and-dry. All men are not created equal.”
“I use the word n****r a lot because I hang around with a lot of n****rs, and they use the word n****r, and I tend to use words that communicate,” he said.
Let’s just say that Ted Nugent is not the face of the new Republican Party “brand” that many Republican leaders have been trying so desperately to project since their November election disaster.
Nugent presents the same problem for Republicans as Todd Aiken did when he explained how the female body shut down pregnancies that resulted from “legitimate rape.” Even though many Republicans don’t entirely agree with people like Nugent and Aiken, their comments are toxic for the Republican Party brand. They drive away women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, young people.
And when it comes to the issue of gun violence, who would you rather have as your spokesperson, Gabby Giffords or Ted Nugent? Which of these two do you think would poll more favorably among the vast majority of Americans?
Nugent’s mouth is like a machine gun that riddles his own troops with friendly fire. The problem is that it is very hard for the Republican establishment to stop people like Nugent and Aiken. In fact tonight, we will be treated not only to the traditional Republican response to the State of the Union address — but two additional Republican responses: one by Tea Party Senator Rand Paul and the other by ultra-extremist Ted Nugent.
From Nugent’s point of view, it makes perfect sense to grandstand at the State of the Union and to go around making violent, outrageous statements. It drives his popularity and visibility among the narrow strata of the population that share his point of view — his fan base.
Recently the NRA posted a video that criticized the President for having tougher security for his children than ordinary people have for their kid’s schools. Most people thought the commercial was over the top — that bringing the President’s children into the political debate was out-of-bounds — and was ineffective in moving persuadable voters.
But that wasn’t the point. The video was not intended to persuade. It was intended as red meat for NRA supporters. It was intended to recruit members, raise money and mobilize the NRA’s base.
And that is the Republican problem — with the gun violence issue and so many others.
Tea Party activists have every incentive to stoke the anger of their base, make outrageous statements, and mount primary challenges that drive the Party out of the country’s mainstream — even though those actions simultaneously weaken the attractiveness of Republican Party candidates in general elections. And worse yet for the Republicans, those actions destroy their chances of attracting young people who will determine the Party’s future.
In the near term, people like Ted Nugent are dangerous to a Democratic society. Ted Nugent is a hateful, demagogic figure that builds his own career by belittling and attacking others. In hard times, his scapegoating and racism can find a following.
But every time Nugent opens his mouth he also helps to create lifelong Progressives who would never dream of being associated with the hatred he espouses — or with the political party that countenances him.
The Republican establishment funded and fueled the revival of the Tea Party after Barack Obama was elected. They did everything they could to legitimate otherwise fringe points of view. Now they are paying the price.
What is it they say about riding the tiger? The odds are good that you might be consumed by it. Or in the case of Nugent perhaps the better analogy would be a mountain lion. Nugent was once quoted saying:
“Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians — except for the occasional mountain lion steak.”
By: Robert Creamer, The Huffington Post, February 12, 2013
“Genuinely Crazy Or Brain Dead”: Republican Congressman Steve Stockman Invites Ted Nugent To State Of The Union
Ted Nugent, the unhinged former rock star who’s now best known for his repeated threats against President Obama, will be in attendance at the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Nugent’s invitation comes from genuinely crazy congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX), whom Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy has aptly described as “the closest his state ever came to electing a gun.” Stockman — who is supported by every major “gun rights” organization, has sponsored legislation banning all background checks, waiting periods, and registration of firearms, and threatened to impeach the president over his gun safety executive orders — presumably invited Nugent as a counterweight to the more than 20 gun violence survivors who will be in attendance.
“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama,” Representative Stockman said in a statement Monday. “After the address, I’m sure Ted will have plenty to say.”
Nugent has had plenty to say leading up to the address. An NRA board member, Nugent has repeatedly threatened Obama over the president’s support for gun safety measures. In January Nugent referred to Obama as “an evil, dangerous man who hates America and hates freedom” and warned “if you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies.” In April, 2012, Nugent’s claim that he “will either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if Obama won re-election drew Secret Service attention.
Stockman’s decision to invite Nugent is almost certain to backfire on the Republican Party politically, given the contrast it creates with Republican leaders such as Eric Cantor’s attempts to moderate the GOP’s tone. If Republicans really want to stop being the “stupid party,” then step one should be staying far, far away from the likes of Nugent.
By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, February 11, 2013
America, you are an idiot.
You are a moocher, a zombie, soulless, mouth-breathing, ignorant, greedy, self-indulgent, envious, shallow and lazy.
The foregoing is a summation of “analysis” from conservative pundits and media figures — Cal Thomas, Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly, et cetera — seeking to explain Mitt Romney’s emphatic defeat. They seem to have settled on a strategy of blaming the voters for not being smart enough or good enough to vote as they should have. Because America wasn’t smart enough or good enough, say these conservatives, it shredded the Constitution, bear-hugged chaos, French-kissed Socialism, and died.
In other words, the apocalypse is coming.
Granted, such thinking does not represent the totality of conservative response to the election. The reliably sensible columnist Kathleen Parker offered a, well… reliably sensible take on what’s wrong with the Republican Party. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal spoke thoughtfully to Politico about how conservatism must change to meet the challenges of the future.
Unfortunately, for every Parker or Jindal, there is a Donald Trump urging revolution or a petition drive advocating secession from the union. And just when you think you’ve heard it all, just when you think you could not possibly be more astonished at how panic-stricken and estranged from reality much of the political right now is, there comes word of Henry Hamilton’s suicide.
He was the 64-year-old owner of a tanning salon in Key West, FL. As recently reported in The Miami Herald, he was found dead two days after the election with empty prescription bottles next to him, one for a drug to treat anxiety, another for a drug to treat schizophrenia. Hamilton, according to his partner, Michael Cossey, was stressed about his business and had said that if President Obama were re-elected, “I’m not going to be around.” Police found his will, upon which was scrawled “F— Obama.”
Sometimes, they act — the Hannitys, the O’Reillys, the Trumps, the Limbaughs, the whole conservative political infotainment complex — as if this were all a game, as if their nonstop litany of half-truths, untruths and fear mongering, their echo chamber of studied outrage, practiced panic, intellectual incoherence and unadulterated equine feculence, had no human consequences. Sometimes, they behave as if it were morally permissible — indeed, morally required — to say whatever asinine, indefensible, coarse or outrageous thing comes to mind in the name of defeating or diminishing the dreaded left. And never mind that vulnerable people might hear this and shape their beliefs accordingly.
Did the conservative political infotainment complex kill Henry Hamilton? No.
But were they the water in which he swam, a Greek chorus echoing and magnifying the outsized panic that troubled his unwell mind? It seems quite likely.
One hopes, without any real expectation, that Hamilton’s death will give pause to the flame-throwers on the right. One hopes, without any real expectation, that somebody will feel a twinge of conscience. Or shame.
But that will not happen.
Because, what you see here is not the behavior of calculating showmen who don’t believe half the garbage they say. If it were, we might have hope.
But these, I have come to believe, are not showmen. They are zealots. They do believe half the garbage they say, and they have microphones to say it with. That is infinitely more frightening.
So one can only hope, with slightly more expectation, that the GOP will finally disenthrall itself from this ongoing affront to decency and intelligence and thereby render it moot.
Until it does, we can only absorb the impact of these regularly scheduled meltdowns. And pity the likes of Henry Hamilton.
For him, the apocalypse already came.
By: Leonard Pitts, The National Memo, November 19, 2012
Not all overheated political rhetoric is alike. Delusional right-wing crazy talk — the kind of ranting we’ve heard recently from washed-up rock star Ted Nugent and Tea Party-backed Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) — is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.
Let me be clear: I’m saying that the extreme language we hear from the far right is qualitatively different from the extreme language we hear from the far left — and far more damaging to the ties that bind us as a nation. Tut-tutting that both sides should tone it down is meaningless. For all intents and purposes, one side is the problem.
Believe me, I would prefer not to dignify the ravings of Nugent or West by commenting on them. Nugent seems to be motivated by paranoia; West, perhaps by cynical calculation. It would be satisfying to withhold the attention they seek, but this is not an option. The only effective way to deal with bullies is to confront them.
Nugent, who delivered his foaming-at-the-mouth peroration at a National Rifle Association convention, earned a visit from the Secret Service with his promise that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
That might or might not constitute an actual threat to the president of the United States. More chilling, to me, was the way his audience of gun enthusiasts applauded in agreement as Nugent compared the Obama administration to a bunch of “coyotes in your living room” who deserve to be shot. Nugent ended by exhorting his listeners: “We are Braveheart. We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Am I — any questions?”
No, I think he made himself quite clear.
Violent metaphors aside, the nub of Nugent’s argument — and I use the word advisedly — was this: “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don’t even know what you’re made of.”
Vile? Evil? America-hating? Nugent doesn’t just characterize those with different political views as misguided or wrong. He seeks to paint them as alien and anti-American — as enemies of this nation, rather than citizens with whom he disagrees. In a subsequent interview, Nugent called Nancy Pelosi a “sub-human scoundrel” and referred to liberals as cockroaches to “stomp” in November.
This is what distinguishes the flame-throwers of the far right from those of the far left. Nugent and his ilk seek to deny their political opponents the very right to believe in a different philosophy. Agree with me, he says, or be stomped.
It would be one thing if this sort of vicious intolerance came only from aging rockers whose brains may have been scrambled by all those high-decibel performances. But it comes, too, from an elected member of the House of Representatives.
At a town hall meeting last week in Palm City, Fla., West was asked how many Marxists there are in Congress. He replied, “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party who are members of the Communist Party.” That is, of course, a bald-faced lie. There are no communists in Congress. What makes the lie even worse is West’s subsequent declaration that he stands by his words because he was referring to the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, which West considers a branch of the Comintern.
“There is a very thin line between communism, progressivism, Marxism, socialism,” West claimed this week. “It’s about nationalizing production. It’s about creating and expanding the welfare state. It’s about this idea of social and economic justice. You hear that being played out now with fairness, fair share, economic equality.”
West can’t really believe this nonsense. What he’s trying to do is delegitimize the entire stream of progressive thought that has run wide and deep through American history since the nation’s founding. Disagree with his views, West insists, and you’re not just a political opponent, you’re a godless Marxist.
There is no symmetry here. The far left may hurl insults at the right but doesn’t scream “fascism” whenever a Republican proposes privatizing Medicare.
So this is what I want to know: Mitt Romney, do you agree with your prominent endorser Ted Nugent that the Obama administration is evil and hates America? House Speaker John Boehner, do you agree with your star freshman West that “78 to 81” of your colleagues are card-carrying communists?
Speak up, gentlemen; I didn’t hear you.
By: Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, April 19, 2012
“They Do It Because We Don’t Stop Them”: Disrespect For The President And The Office Of The Presidency
My favorite song is “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. And many will tell you, respect is earned. But in some cases, it’s a given. Example? The office of the president of the United States of America. You might not like or respect the man, but you’ve got to respect the office. This is a concept many Americans agree on, even if they disagree ideologically.
Although I’m not that old a broad yet, I am seeing a growing number of Americans disrespect not only the man in the Oval Office, but the office of the president. It seems the older I get, the less respect Americans have for our commander in chief. And I wonder why that is.
One possibility is we as a nation do not hold persons who are disrespectful toward a president accountable for their actions.
This week alone we have seen two examples of great disrespect for our president and the office he holds. And where is the outrage?
1. Secret Service agents allegedly being “serviced’ by prostitutes: On a flight from New York to Los Angeles, I recently read a story by a former Secret Service agent for the late President John F. Kennedy. He never forgave himself for being close to the president, yet not close enough to stop the shooting of the president (to take a bullet for him) when JFK was shot in Dallas. Still, to this day, it haunts him. He respected both the president and the first lady. He took his job seriously, and his job was to protect the president. He not only respected the man and the office, he respected his own position, his duty, and his country. The recent reported behavior by the 11 Secret Service agents makes me wonder, if they could be so disrespectful to those women, to another country, and to our own country and the positions they hold, how could they protect our president? And what disrespect to that man, the office, and our country. How times have changed.
2. Ted Nugent and his violent rhetoric: At a recent National Rifle Association convention, these words were uttered by Ted Nugent: “I’ll tell you this right now: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” And: “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?” And further, Nugent warned listeners that if they did not “get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.” He added: “If the coyote’s in your living room, pissing on your couch, it’s not the coyote’s fault. It’s your fault for not shooting him.” He also denounced the administration as “criminals” and said a Democratic victory in November would mean “we’ll be a suburb of Indonesia next year”—an apparent reference to President Obama’s boyhood time there.
Now the Secret Service is speaking to him about “what he meant” when he said he would be dead or in jail; I’m more concerned with what he meant when he said he wanted the National Rifle Association members to “chop their heads off in November.”
Some will say this is just Nugent being a loudmouth, he isn’t really threatening the president. Perhaps that is true, but what about the idiot who will follow Nugent’s words and make a true threat or attempt to carry out such violent rhetoric? Have we learned nothing from the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords?! When will the use of such language stop?! And the disrespect!
Why is it OK to speak so disrespectfully about a Democratic president, but if the same were said about a Republican, it would be consider unpatriotic or perhaps even treason?
Although I might anger many of you with what I’m about to write, I truly, truly believe it in my heart. I feel that the Secret Service and Ted Nugent, consciously or otherwise, feel it is OK to disrespect the president because of his skin color.
No other president’s birth right has been questioned. No other president has been portrayed as a monkey on a porch, mimicking a terrible, terrible racial slur. No other president has been portrayed physically on a billboard as Hitler—more than once. Shall I go on?
The bottom line? Threatening anyone’s life is wrong, whether Democrat or Republican, and especially our commander in chief. Respect the office. Hold those accountable who use such violent rhetoric; they do it because we don’t’ stop them. And if you disagree with someone, don’t threaten to shoot them. I disagree with my husband all the time, and he is very, very much alive.
By: Leslie Marshall, U. S. News and World Report, April 18, 2012