Condemnation from tea party fanatics and the “Birthers” was withering enough for President Barack Obama, but the current verbal assault is taking on a more menacing character, and there’s a growing fear that some of these words could escalate to violence.
Of concern at the moment is the rabid mouth of former rock and roll musician Ted Nugent, who, back in the January while attending the 2014 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, otherwise known as SHOT, called the president a “subhuman mongrel.”
His full comment was: “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.”
Weeks later, his so-called apology was no less hurtful and disrespectful when he said, “I do apologize—not necessarily to the president—but on behalf of much better men than myself, like the best governor in America, Gov. Rick Perry … and the best attorney general in America, Greg Abbott,” a man for whom Nugent is campaigning.
Nugent said he regretted using “the street fighter terminology, like ‘subhuman mongrel,’ instead of just using more understandable language such as ‘violator of his oath to the Constitution.’”
We needn’t permit anymore inanity to gather the drift of Nugent’s flight into the realm of an ignoramus, and perhaps the less said about him the better. And while it would be easy to dismiss him as just another loony on the right, he appears to be just the nut of the moment.
About two weeks ago at a town hall meeting with Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, a woman in the audience claimed that President Obama “should be executed as an enemy combatant,” a comment the representative seemed to condone with his silence. Though later, with pressure mounting, he offered a weak response to her suggestion, noting, “Everybody knows the lawlessness of this president,” he said. “He picks and chooses which laws he’s going to enforce or not enforce, he does it by decree.”
These words jibe perfectly with those uttered by GOP stalwarts after Obama’s State of the Union address and his promise to use executive orders to get certain laws passed. He was deemed “commandant-in-chief” rather than commander in chief by his adversaries.
There was a fusillade of push back from Republicans after the president’s speech and his plan to invoke his executive authority. Leading the pack was Speaker John Boehner, who accused the nation’s leader of “feeding more distrust about whether he’s committed to the rule of law.” This was consistent with Nugent’s charge that the president is violating the Constitution.
Unsurprisingly, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas slammed Obama, stating, “Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.”
This arsenal of rebukes and scorn from our elected official makes it easier for, and perhaps inspires, the more vituperative attacks on Obama. And who knows where all the badmouthing and putdowns that he’s “subhuman” and thereby worthy of execution will lead?
Already, some commentators are comparing the highly charged accusations against Obama to the anti-Semitism that set the stage for Hitler’s genocidal actions, and since Obama has often been accused of being a lefty with subversive, seditious tendencies, it’s not a major leap to see him cast as a cockroach, eliminated like the victims in Rwanda.
So far, it’s only the outpouring of rage on the right, but in a country predicated on violence, the next step is not inconceivable.