One would have thought that after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords the Republican Party would have wanted to distance itself from those who talk violent trash about Democrats. Nope. Didn’t happen. And at the National Rifle Association convention this weekend, the Romney campaign welcomed the endorsement of bat-shit crazy rocker Ted Nugent. I’ll let Nugent speak for himself, just as he did at the convention:
“Your goal should be to get a couple of thousand people per person who’s here to vote for Mitt Romney in November. If you don’t know that our government is wiping its ass with the Constitution, you’re living under a rock some place. And that there’s a dead soldier, an airman, a Marine, a seaman, a hero of the military that just got his legs blown off for the U.S. Constitution, and we got a president and an attorney general who doesn’t even like the Constitution. We got four Supreme Court justices who don’t believe in the Constitution. Four Supreme Court justices signed their name to a declaration that Americans have no fundamental rights to self defense. That sounds like a stoned hippy! That doesn’t sound like a Supreme Court anything. It sounds like a supremely intellectually vacuous punk. And if you want more of those kinds of evil, anti-American people in the Supreme Court then don’t get involved and let Obama take office again. Because 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. We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November! Any questions?” Nugent warned that unless we remove Obama’s “vile, evil, America-hating administration….we’ll be a suburb of Indonesia next year.”
Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney “after a long heart & soul conversation with [him]…I concluded this goodman will properly represent we the people…” Romney’s son Tagg praised the endorsement, tweeting “How cool is that?! He joins Kid Rock as great Detroit musicians on Team Mitt!”
Um, “great musicians”? We won’t even debate that one.
There is some kind of mental disconnect between the Republican Party and the definition of speech that incites violence. They seem to think that talking about “second amendment remedies” and “crosshairs” and “don’t retreat, reload” and “chop their heads off” don’t constitution incitement to violence any more than the years of calling abortion doctors “baby killers” led to the murders of doctors and clinic personnel. Bill O’Reilly claimed no responsibility whatsoever for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who O’Reilly had called “Killer Tiller” for years. When someone acts on these wildly irresponsible words, Republicans and right wing media personalities hide behind the first amendment, insist that words don’t kill. But when a Muslim cleric calls for the murder of Americans, it’s a whole other story. Then, words are incitement, words kill, crimes are being committed.
Hypocrisy doesn’t begin to cover the fine line the right wing draws between their violent language and the violent language of a terrorist in another country.
Thursday is the anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah office building in Oklahoma City. It’s a shame that the Romney camp cannot see the connection between people advocating violence against the Democratic Party and our government as Ted Nugent did and the deaths of 168 men, women and children.