Every time we travel by airplane, we have to endure a humiliating sequence of security measures. You know the routine. We've ostensibly done nothing wrong, and yet we have to take off our shoes, we have to take off our belts, our personal items have to be X-rayed or searched by hand. If we really look suspicious, we're patted down and our, you know, bathing suit area is groped for weapons of terrorism. Hell, we can't even bring a bottle of water purchased on the outside through the security cattle-chutes and into the boarding area of an airport.
For a while there, some of us were subjected to the ultimate in unconstitutional humiliations: we had to enter a futuristic chamber wherein our bodies were scanned and one or more total strangers caught a glimpse of what we look like naked. Your government, in violation of at least one constitutional amendment, mandated that your body be scanned and a naked image generated in order for you to be shoehorned into a flying tube that smells of feet and stress-farts.
And yet it looks like Ted Nugent will be allowed to attend tonight's State of the Union address.
By now I'm sure you've heard the news that Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) has invited Nugent to be his guest inside the House chamber for the event, no doubt as a means of antagonizing gun control supporters by escorting a walking, talking cartoon who's threatened to assassinate President Obama and other federal officials while also having recently threatened to fire upon U.S. military and law enforcement personnel if anyone tries to take his guns.
Responding to the invitation, Nugent said, “I will be there with a deep, abiding respect for the office of the presidency. I’m not here to represent any specific cause other than freedom and independence and ‘we the people.’ ”
Here's a refresher on how much he respects the presidency.
Last year, Nugent was investigated by the Secret Service for remarking, "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. Why are you laughing? Do you think that's funny? That's not funny at all. I'm serious as a heart attack."
Nugent, along with his hooplehead buddies, threatened to kill government agents when he said, "[I]f you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies." And then he said this about the president, "He is an evil dangerous man who hates America and hates freedom. And we need to fix this as soon as possible." Interesting.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Nugent said, "Hey, Obama you might want to suck on one of these you punk," and continued by saying, "Obama, he's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let's hear it for him. And then I was in New York. I said, "Hey, Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch. Since I'm in California, how about Barbara Boxer, she might want to suck on my machine gun. And Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore. Any questions?"
Well, he's not in jail or dead for trying to ostensibly take out the president or for trying to engage in a would-be act of treason. Instead, he's actually going to the State of the Union. Again, I can't bring a tube of toothpaste on an airplane in my carry-on bag and Ted Nugent can sit within spitting distance of the president (and Sens. Feinstein and Boxer) in the House chamber during the biggest annual political address in America.
Here are a few more examples of Nugent's special brand of self-important, misogynistic, racist gibberish you might've forgotten about (via Media Matters).
On states' rights and the Civil War, 7/6/12: "Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt, I'm beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers' concept of limited government is dead."
On the Confederate flag, 4/23/2000: "Those politically correct (profane name) can take the flag down, but I am going to wear it forever."
On rappers and MTV, 10/1/12: "Those big uneducated greasy black mongrels on there, they call themselves rap artists."
On Hillary Clinton, 7/27/94: "You probably can't use the term `toxic cunt' 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 undocumented workers, 10/13/08: "In an unauthorized entry, armed, like they are right now, invading our country, I'd like to shoot them dead."
Classy. And he's a guest of a Republican member of Congress. Way to go on the outreach to women and minorities, Rep. Stockman.
I wonder how Nugent will feel about being told to leave his guns at home? After all, he recently praised an effort to shut down a gun show that banned AR-style firearms from being displayed on the convention floor.
Evidently he's okay with it, “I will 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.”
Such a self-satirical chickenhawk. Demilitarize? It's true that he carries all varieties of firearms and plays dress-'em-up in camoflage fatigues like a real-life Army soldier. Ironic given how he feigned insanity, smearing fecal matter all over his body, in order to avoid the Vietnam draft. Some other unlucky kid had to go in his place because he was too much of a coward -- a coward who currently goes around pretending to be in the military and popping off at anyone who he considers to be unpatriotic or unamerican.
And leave it to the Republicans to pull a morning zoo deejay stunt like this just over a month since Sandy Hook. This group of misanthropic, race-baiting, voter disenfranchising, election thieving cranks represent one of the two major political parties in America. They control the House of Representatives and a filibuster-capable fraction of the Senate. They're passing draconian laws in state legislatures across the nation. Yet, they're entirely unserious, and ought to be taken as such by anyone with an interested in legitimate governing.
Incidentally, this isn't about suppressing freedom of speech. Nugent can say whatever he wants, and, likewise, we can hold him accountable for his remarks. The free speech door swings both ways. However, if he threatens violence against the president, it's within the purview of law enforcement to ask some serious questions.
But, you know what? I hope they let him in. Nothing makes me happier than observing the slow self-immolation of the Republican Party on live television. That said, if they let him in, I hope it's after some enhanced security measures at the door. And don't spare the body cavities, fellas.