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Katy Burns

Katy Burns: Where’s the outrage in the GOP?

Some years ago, ’70s-era rocker Ted Nugent reinvented himself as a professional rhetorical bomb-thrower on behalf of right-wing causes, especially gun supremacy. He mostly blathered on the fringes, unnoticed by mainstream media but embraced by a collection of Republican candidates and conservative media figures.

Then he went into his act at a gun show in Las Vegas in January, really outdoing himself.

“I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame, enough Americans to be ever-vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America,” he said.

Well! But even then, calling the duly elected and re-elected president of the United States a “subhuman mongrel” seemed initially to be unremarked on by anyone but a few leftist bloggers.

Then Nugent went to Texas to campaign for that state’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, who’s running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. And bingo, Ted’s words were Real News.

One of the first – and most direct – reporters to denounce the has-been rocker’s inexcusable words was CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

And he did so by pointing out, directly and forcefully, that “subhuman” and “mongrel” are exactly the words used by the German Nazi Party elite to justify their unspeakable determination to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

It is almost a cliché today to say that it is unacceptable to compare any political player or policy to Nazism. But in this case Nugent – who is old enough to have grown up at a time when this country’s social memory of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust were still vivid – used the actual words, direct translations of Untermensch, or subhuman, and Mischling, or mongrel.

Words that University of California historian David Myers pointed out “were intoned with daily regularity by the Nazi propaganda machine” from 1925 on.

Nugent knew exactly what he was saying.

And I don’t doubt for a minute that all the Republican politicians who heard him knew exactly what he was saying as well. Or they’re astoundingly ignorant people who really shouldn’t hold public office.

Nugent’s words should trigger outrage and denunciation from sane Republicans. But as the party increasingly becomes a home for extremists, they don’t.

Take Abbott, the Texas candidate, who campaigned with Nugent for several days – drawing huge crowds, too, which tells you something about the GOP base in Texas. Asked by reporters, Abbott said he couldn’t respond because he wasn’t aware of the remarks. He said he “can’t read everything” about those who join him campaigning. Now, politicians almost never agree to appear with anyone without having that person vetted. Good work, Abbott staff!

And outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is likely to try a second run for president? Oh, he said airily at first, “Anybody that’s offended – sorry, but that’s just Ted. . . . I don’t take offense, no.” When that wasn’t flying too well, Perry weakly added later that Nugent’s remarks were “an inappropriate thing to say.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, not to be outdone by the profiles in courage around him, said – after major prodding by a persistent questioner on CNN – that “you’ve never heard me say such a thing, nor would I.” After which he implied it was actually President Obama’s fault because Nugent is “a passionate defender” of gun rights, which he believes the president is threatening.

All of these protestations are absurd.

A simple internet search turns up dozens of examples of outrageous sentiments espoused quite publicly over the years by a man accurately described as racist and misogynist. Any sentient American can see his record smeared across the internet. A few Nugent nuggets, those that can be printed in a family newspaper:

President Obama is “vile,” “evil,” “a chimpanzee,” “America-hating” and “a piece of s---.” As recently as last year, he likened the president to “a German in 1938 pretending to respect the Jews and then going home and putting on his brown shirt and forcing his neighbors onto a train to be burned to death.”

Obama voters are “pimps, whores and spiritual brats” and “subhuman varmints.”

While he’s aimed most of his epithets at the president, he reserved bile for some Democratic women. Hillary Clinton is a “toxic c---,” ” a “worthless bitch,” “a two-bit whore.” California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is a “worthless whore.” Sen. Barbara Boxer “should suck on my machine gun.” And a feminist is “some fat pig who doesn’t get it enough.” Detecting a theme here?

Other observations: African-American rappers are “big, uneducated, greasy black mongrels.”

Nugent on American history: “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.”

As I said, there is no way Republicans can honestly maintain they are shocked, shocked when Nugent says yet another disgusting thing.

Nugent isn’t the only offender embracing the GOP, of course. A lot of them fall into two broad categories, preachers and talk radio extremists. The preachers seem to show up every four years and, once they’re firmly planted in a candidate’s tent, loudly spout racist, homophobic, sexist cant and otherwise sulfurous opinions. They were attracted like maggots to poor John McCain six years ago.

First among the radio talkers – although there are others who are more unhinged – is, of course, Rush Limbaugh, who years ago attached himself like a leech to the GOP and, thanks to his army of dittohead acolytes, is too powerful for any Republican politician to criticize.

Remember when he went after Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who testified before a congressional hearing that access to inexpensive or free birth control was vital to the health of young women students?

Limbaugh savagely attacked her, saying that Fluke is “a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.” Fluke is “having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk.”

This was too much for many who ordinarily tolerate Limbaugh, but not for then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. After several days of being pressed by reporters, he responded only that it was “not the language I would have used.” You might say his response was a template for the later milquetoast responses of Abbott, Cruz and Perry to Ted Nugent.

Of course it’s worth noting that Romney himself sought and won Nugent’s endorsement.

The GOP itself has its share of hate-mongers and crazies, and party leaders are loath to deal with them. Take the Republican birthers in Congress, who not that long ago went so far as to submit legislation that called for a probe into the president’s birthplace. Speaker John Boehner, asked about them, demurred. “It’s not up to me to tell them what to think.”

Earlier this year Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma congressman, held a small meeting with constituents. A woman stood and said that President Obama “should be executed as an enemy combatant.” Executed!

Astonishingly, Bridenstine cordially answered the woman, agreeing about “the lawlessness of this president.” It was not until eight days later, after the tape had become an internet sensation, that the congressman weakly said he “did not condone” the woman’s suggestion that the nation’s president should be killed.

Contrast that to John McCain in his 2008 campaign for president. When an overwrought older woman at one of his rallies suggested that Obama was an Arab and a Muslim, McCain stepped over, bent down to her and said “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man . . . (a) citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”

Ah, the good old days.

(“Monitor” columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)

Legacy Comments12

To get an idea of the depths Ted sunk to to avoid the draft google it. No education, religious or normal deferral. To disgusting to even type here. As long as the target can't shoot back Ted has a backbone. A spokesman all should run from.

Funny how many of the Republicans that are so big on the military went to so much trouble to avoid getting in to it.

Well, Clinton never served but he sure could fire those cruise missles at aspirin factories. And Obama sure can use drones. Neither has a clue about war, the military or battle. Now, when did you serve Tillie, did you volunteer?

Your outrage KB should be directed ant anybody who uses vile rhetoric. For every Rush Limbaugh we have an Ed Shultz, for every Debbie Wasserman Shultz we have an Ann Coulter. In Hollywood we have very few stars that are Reps. The venom from there comes from folks who claim outrage, yet promote hate through their movies and their vile comments. Sarah Palin is still attacked and she is not running for anything. Where was your outrage with Martin Bashir's recent vile attack on her? Basically we have the media, journalists and folks like yourself promoting divide by putting forth the message that ignorance and vile rhetoric is based on politics. Yet only one party is held accountable. The other party gets a pass. Only result from that is more divide .We are divided by gender, race and the size of our wallet now. And if the left has their way, they will keep promoting the idea that everything they accuse the Reps of doing they do not do. Basically your party counts on you being uninformed.

I am a Republican who looks to be around the same age as Ted Nugent, who looks to be around 65 years of age. I am sure he was born post WWII, as was I, and I didn't know those words, as despicable as they are, were code words for Jews. Sorry, I don't believe Ted Nugent actually knew what those words would be taken to mean from a liberal, anti-gun, pro-Obama supporter. ex animo davidfarrar

Are you saying his mind would be a blank to anything that happened before he was born? This most important events of the 20th century? Some one doesn't use "code" words if he hasn't heard them before. He know enough to liken Obama to a brown shirt in 1938 Germany. I don't know why people make excuses for people in their own party by saying the other side does it too.

Ted Nugent knew what he was saying in my opinion. He is a moron plain and simple. He spouts off venom on a regular basis. He uses his past as a rocker to get attention, and the media loves him. Who else gives them fodder for the libs so often. Nobody is making excuses for vile rhetoric. We do have quite a few folks who use it though and are let off the hook if they happen to be Dems. It should not be tolerated or acceptable no matter what moron is spouting off the venom. And by the way, it is not the Dems who own up to vile rhetoric when it is spouted by one of them. They are the ones that get outraged and act like they are not guilty of the same bad behavior. KB's article is a perfect example of that.

Katys false outrage and daily demonizing every piece of political rhetoric is what is wrong with America today. "Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a cow plop by the clean end." History of political campaigns will show you that todays political environment is tiddly winks compared to the past. Liberals have sissified schools and the military - now they assault politics and intimidate businesses.

If by 'sissyfying' schools you mean the passage of No Child Left Behind, that's a law his successor signed.

Wow! That's a lot of ink wasted! Ted Nugent is, in no particular order, a serviceable rock guitarist, a damn good shot with a bow, and an over-the-top bomb-thrower for the ultra-right. Oh and Katy forgot one more thing about "the Nuge" in her column - he apologized(sort of) for his remarks. That's more than I can say for the many leftists who've done things like, a) burn George W Bush in effigy b) put a bull's eye on George W Bush c) hurled a multitude of misogynistic vitriol at female conservatives like Michelle Malkin and Sarah Palin("mashed up bag of meat with a face" or "I wanna hate-f*** her" ring a bell, anyone????) The bottom line is that no one should expect anything less(or should I say, anything more?) from Ted Nugent. And the more ink you give people like him the more powerful they become. He'll never be anything more than a guy with a hunting show and his own private game preserve who can fill the modest 12,000 seats of Cobo arena.

Don't forget Laura Ingraham and all of the progressives wishing her dead when she had breast cancer. I think it was progressives who wished AIDS on Jesse Helms children as well. Was it Jesse Helms, seems so.

In other news...Bill Maher, who has called Sarah Palin some vile disgusting things, will be filling in for Wolf Blitzer tomorrow. Spare us the phoney outrage. Everyone knows both sides do this on a regular one side has a lock on it. Katy should have paid a bit more attention to CNN's coverage of Teds comments though. Their ratings bordered on the undetectable. I'm hoping that Mike Pride might prod Katy into writing about something that people might actually be interested in reading. Phoney outrage isn't it.

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