Anti-taxtivist Grover Norquist is backpedaling like a Lance Armstrong sponsor over his apparent Twitter endorsement of murdering women for the crime of infidelity, insisting that his praise for Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" as "pro-family, pro-2nd amendment" was actually "mockery" of some sort. It all started with this tweet:
In case you're unfamiliar, "Hey Joe" is a blues rock classic in which the titular character is asked where he's going with that gun in his hand, and replies that he's going to shoot his significant other because he caught her being unfaithful. In short order, the narrator of the song then tells Joe he has heard rumors that he murdered his romantic partner, and is informed by Joe that this is the case. Missing is the verse where the questioner says "Hey Joe, I'm going to call the cops, and maybe they can get you some counseling."
Of course, the song itself is no endorsement of Joe's behavior, any more than any blues song is an endorsement of the circumstances that inspire it. The real point is the music, as heard here at 1967's Monterey Pop Festival:
Norquist's tweet, however, was pretty specifically an endorsement of Joe's behavior, the idea being that Joe's possession of a firearm was "pro-2nd amendment," and that his enforcement of monogamy, even by death, was "pro-family." While Norquist was clearly making a joke of some sort, the average person would see the point of that joke as an endorsement of firearms and fidelity which were, perhaps, taken a smidgen too far in the song, or maybe even as a dark ode to the song's power to deter.
When everyone on Twitter pointed this out to Norquist, he quickly, and repeatedly, told them all what idiots they were:
Perhaps the best part of this is just how securely the Twittizens managed to secure Norquist's goat, because he continued his hostile backtracks for dozens of tweets.
The second-best part, though, is the trap that Norquist worked himself into, because he clearly wasn't mocking the song, which he continued to profess love for, so if his comment really was intended to mock, it was clearly intended to mock social conservatism's embrace of anything gun-related and straight-female-partner-enforcing. In that case, I agree completely with Norquist, social conservatives are patriarchal, overcompensating idiots.
The third-best part is that Norquist's taste in music is crap. "Hey Joe" was a good song, but not even in the Hendrix Top Ten. For example, Norquist is ignoring such great songs as "The Wind Cries Mary," an unapologetic ode to renewable energy, or "Castles Made of Sand," a scathing indictment of our crumbling infrastructure, or "Red House," an homage to elegantly simple home security solutions. Even more up Norquist's alley would have been Hendrix's blues riff on insufficient investment potential, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)."
Maybe next time, he should just answer "The Star Spangled Banner," and call it a day.