At a certain level, I really don’t care what nonsense Ted Nugent is spewing on a typical day. He’s known for being an extremist; he hasn’t had a hit since the Carter administration; and he’s generally better left ignored.
But there is a political context to his latest unhinged harangue.
Appearing at the NRA’s national convention, Nugent was trying to rally support for Mitt Romney by calling President Obama a criminal who leads a “vile, evil America-hating administration” which is “wiping its ass with the Constitution.” The musician/reality-show personality added, in reference to the 2012 elections, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be 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?”
He went on to say, “It isn’t the enemy that ruined America. It’s good people who bent over and let the enemy in. 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.”
So, why should anyone care about Nugent’s latest ridiculous tirade? Well, for one thing, a spokesman for the Secret Service confirmed to Dan Amira, “We are aware of it, and we’ll conduct an appropriate follow up.”
For another, if the Romney campaign wants to pretend that Bill Maher and Hilary Rosen count as an extension of the Obama campaign, then Nugent certainly appears to be fair game as a key Romney ally. After all, Romney actively sought, and eventually earned, Nugent’s personal endorsement after a private discussion between the two just last month.
If the president, vice president, and everyone they know are asked to comment on Rosen’s comment last week, it’s hardly unreasonable to think Romney may want to respond to Nugent’s threatening language this week. The ties between the president and Rosen are tenuous at best, but Romney reached out directly to Nugent, hoping to pick up his support.
Romney passed on criticizing Rush Limbaugh after his misogynistic tirade a month ago. It’ll be interesting to see how, and whether, he addresses Nugent’s rhetoric now.