Ted Nugent: Worst political endorser ever?

On Tuesday, shock rocker Ted Nugent added to provocative comments he made at last weekend's NRA convention. The Secret Service will visit him to discuss his remarks about President Obama.

Steve Marcus/REUTERS
Ted Nugent performs at a concert at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada in this 2007 file image.

Ted Nugent on Tuesday doubled down on his recent political provocation, telling the Dana Loesch radio show that the Obama administration is full of “corrupt monsters” and “communist czars” and that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is a “varmint” and “subhuman scoundrel.”

Mr. Nugent did not take back the assertion he made at last weekend’s National Rifle Association convention that if President Obama is reelected, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” The Secret Service has already confirmed that it will be visiting the aging shock rocker to determine if that phrase is an actual threat.

“See, I’m a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally ... because I have the audacity to speak the truth to identify the violations of our government,” Nugent told the Loesch show.

Wow. Ted Nugent identifies with Sammy Davis Jr. – who knew? Beyond that, we’ve got this question: Who’s happiest about Nugent’s visit to political crazy town – Democrats or journalists?

Democrats are certainly trying to take advantage of the moment, since Nugent publicly endorsed Mitt Romney last month, something the presumptive GOP nominee and his sons crowed about at the time. The Democratic National Committee has rushed out a rapid-response video that tries to hang Nugent around Mr. Romney’s neck, metaphorically speaking.

But Nugentgate has given some commentators the opportunity to set their umbrage machines to “stun." They’re calling on Romney to condemn Nugent by name, perhaps while shattering copies of the 1978 LP “Ted Nugent Double Live – Gonzo!” (The Romney campaign has issued a generic statement condemning divisive political speech.)

“Until the candidate condemns the rocker, we should all assume he’s fine with that kind of talk from a surrogate,” wrote The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart on Tuesday in an opinion column.

OK, we’ll agree that Nugent’s words are so far over the top that at this point, he’s approaching the outer rings of Saturn. (“We are Braveheart. We need to ride onto that battlefield and chop their heads off in November!” he said last week.) It’s illegal to threaten the president, as the Secret Service soon will be reminding him.

But Romney surrogate? As we wrote Tuesday, we’re not sure Ted Nugent is a Ted Nugent surrogate any longer. Many of his rants aren’t so much speech as derogatory words linked together at random. (See “black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally,” above.) He earned the nickname Motor City Madman in the 1970s. He’s had 40 years to perfect that act.

One thing is certain: The Romney campaign is marking him down as the worst celebrity endorsement they’ve yet received. On Tuesday, Nugent not only said that he stands by his previous words, but he also said that Romney agrees with him.

“Mitt Romney knows what I’m saying is true. He puts it in the words for him; I put in the words for me,” Nugent told the Loesch show.

Well, Ted, think of it this way: You’re making big problems for Romney at the moment. What if he wins? Will he be grateful for you? Nope, he won’t. We figure there’s a good chance you’ll be in trouble with the White House no matter who sits in the Oval Office next January.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.