by Robert Bell
Remember back in 2003 when Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines said something critical of George W. Bush and then seemingly everyone in the whole country music scene got their feelings really hurt over it and went bonkers and burned their albums and several of their shows were cancelled because how dare they criticize the President of the United States in a Time of War, and on Foreign Soil no less? A musician? Making political statements? Uh, the nerve!
I wonder if there will be a similar firestorm of condemnation for ol' Ted Nugent, who in the last few days has offered these bons mots about Barack Obama and pretty much all other Democrats:
* If Obama is reelected, Nugent said he will be "either dead or in jail by this time next year."
* The Obama administration are coyotes, and "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."
* This November, Nugent and his ilk "need to ride into that battlefield and chop [Democrats'] heads off in November. Any questions?"
* He's being persecuted, apparently. He told conservative radio host Dana Loesch "I'm a black Jew at a Nazi Klan rally."
Now the Secret Service doesn't always look kindly on threats to the President's life, and as such they'll be having a little sit-down with The Nuge, according to Business Insider.
It doesn't sound like Uncle Ted is sweating it too much, because as he told Loesch, "the Secret Service are my buddies. They work for me. I pay their salaries." Which some of them at least have been using for questionable purposes.
But alas, proving that most blowhards are also cowards, The Nuge told Mike Huckabee "I'm a non-violent guy, I don't threaten. I wouldn't waste my time threatening, I've never threatened anyone's life in my life. I will not threaten anyone's life. I certainly wouldn't threaten the life of the president, or anybody in public office, or anybody anywhere."
So I wonder what he meant when he said he'd be dead or in jail if Obama is reelected?
Of course, this is hardly the first time Nugent has suffered public verbal diarrhea. Here are some of his other observations, compiled by the New York Daily News:
On immigrants: "We should put razor wire around our borders and give the finger to any piece of shit who wants to come here." And also: "Foreigners are assholes; 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."
On Hillary Clinton: "This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro."
On the Middle East: "We want to go to Saudi Arabia, man, and see if we can't get a four iron and knock people's laundry off the top of their heads. Wear laundry on your head and die, is the basic theme of the Damn Yankees [his former band]."
Here's a video of him telling Obama to suck on his machine gun. "Obama, he's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let's hear it for him," Nugent says, gesticulating with his guns. "I was in New York, I said, 'Hey Hillary, you might wanna ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch!'"
All this had me wondering whether his comments might have any bearing on his upcoming show scheduled for Fayetteville's Arkansas Music Pavilion on June 10. I haven't heard about any cancellations of his concerts. No radio stations that I know of have stopped playing his songs or organized rallies to burn his CDs.
I inquired with the Walton Arts Center to find out if they had any concerns about being associated with someone like Nugent.
Through a spokeswoman, the WAC issued this statement:
As an entertainment presenter, we take into account our wide and diverse audiences when booking shows. We provide a broad spectrum of entertainment that appeals to many different types of audiences.
Cancellations can occur for a variety of reasons, such as weather, sales or scheduling issues. There is no policy for booking or cancellation based on political opinion. We evaluate each act on a case-by-case basis and work with the performer and their management to make the best decision.
So what do you think? Is Ted a real threat, someone who might snap and do something violent? Is he simply exercising his First Amendment rights to free speech and everyone should just relax, because hey man, he's just an entertainer? Or is he simply a washed-up, flaccid, has-been butt rocker who says outlandish things because he knows that a) it gets him lots of attention and b) nothing else he's capable of will?