Years ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated to get down into the
conversational mud with those who occupy the fringes of political
I clashed with Coulter, lambasted Limbaugh, berated Beck. I bashed
Bill O’Reilly and knocked Keith Olbermann.
Although it made splendid copy, I stopped. You can’t reason with
unreasonable people and all I was doing was pouring jet fuel onto the
inferno that is political discourse in this country.
More importantly, I was calling for civility while being uncivil
Today, I am a new man.
I am making an exception this week to dwell on the deeds and actions
of one Ted Nugent, a burned out rock star who spends his time these
days lying in the weeds while hunting deer with a crossbow.
You remember Ted. He had a hit record in 1977 called “Cat Scratch
Fever” about a man chronicling his long history of promiscuous sex.
It had a good beat and was easy to dance to.
Since then, he has emerged from his hunter/gatherer life style to
play mediocre rock ‘n’ roll and mouth audacious political statements,
most based on his fanatical belief in the right to brandish automatic
weapons and kill animals.
Nugent doesn’t just bear arms. He carries more weaponry than the
This endearing trait landed him on the dais of the National Rifle
Association’s annual convention recently where he whipped the already
paranoid crowd into a frenzy.
"I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if
President Obama is re-elected, Nugent declared to a gathering that
roared its approval. That line prompted a visit by the Secret Service
which doesn’t take threats against the President lightly.
In milder tones, Nugent said that the President is "vile," "evil" and
A few years back, Nugent exercised his First Amendment rights by
publicly declaring, “Obama, he’s a piece of s---, and I told him to
suck on my machine gun … Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of
these into the sunset, you worthless b---- … Any questions?
Which frames the level of discourse we can expect from a guy whose
testosterone level exceeds his IQ.
Why should we care?
Well, for one thing, Mr. Nugent is a board member of the NRA which I
presume means he speaks for its myriad members. For another, Mitt
Romney addressed the very same gun-totting conventioneers in an
attempt to garner their support.
Is Romney reaching out to the likes of Ted Nugent? Apparently so.
In his speech, Romney promised to defend the Second Amendment and
attacked President Obama for “employing every imaginable ruse and
ploy” to restrict gun rights, which Romney pledged not to do if
elected in November.
For the record, Obama has barely mentioned gun control in his four
years in office. In fact, his supporters are critical of him for not
taking a stronger anti-gun stance. He has said that he supports the Second Amendment but also backs
local gun control ordinances such as the one that exists --- for good
reason --- in Washington, D.C.
For his part, Romney, campaigning for the Senate in 1994, said he
favored strong gun laws and did not “line up with the NRA.” He then
signed up for “lifetime membership” of the NRA in August 2006 while
pondering a presidential run, praising the group for “doing good
things” and “supporting the right to bear arms.”
That’s Mitt. He has more positions than a yoga master.
But it makes little difference. The NRA wouldn’t support Obama if he
appeared before them dressed like Rambo and shot out the lights with
a Glock 19.
It demonstrates the lengths the Romney campaign will go to in an
effort to attract conservatives to their cause. He needs them to win
and from here on out, his campaign will embrace them in a bear hug.
The NRA? Hell, yes, pass me some ammo.
There is some irony here. I doubt if Nugent has ever been invited
over to the Romney mansion to swap life stories with Mitt, Ann and
I suspect if the Romneys ever saw Nugent coming up their driveway, a
Bowie knife clinched in his teeth, an AK-47 at the ready and froth
forming on his mouth, they’d call security.
Right after they secured his endorsement.