Shock rocker Ted Nugent says he is meeting with the Secret Service Thursday to discuss recent inflammatory political comments, such as his assertion over the weekend that if President Obama is reelected “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
The Secret Service will want to know what Mr. Nugent meant, as it is illegal to threaten the life of the president. Nugent says he is happy to talk with the feds, though he finds the whole thing silly.
“The conclusion will be obvious that I threatened no one,” Nugent said Wednesday on Glenn Beck’s radio show.
What can the he say in his defense? Nugent's speech has been pretty harsh, after all. (In addition to the aforementioned verbal riff, in recent days he’s said the Obama administration is “vile, evil, [and] America-hating.” He has called House minority leader Nancy Pelosi a “varmint” and a “sub-human scoundrel.” He has tried to rally GOP forces with "we are Braveheart, we need to ride onto that battlefield and chop their heads off in November!”)
Well, we think we have a good idea as to how his talk with the Secret Service will go. Here are points Nugent and his heavy metal legal team are likely to make:
He don't speak good. Nugent’s words aren’t rhetoric, in the sense of being an attempt to convey coherent thought. It’s better to think of them as derogatory words strung together at random. Given that, where’s the threat?
After all, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year” could be seen as Nugent threatening himself, not the president. “Varmint”? To a hunter like Nugent, that’s a term of endearment. “Chop their heads off in November”? Whose heads are we talking about? Maybe Nugent’s ranch has way too many ground hogs.
It's an act. Look, we’re not talking about Sen. Joe Lieberman here. Ted Nugent is the sort of person who’s been a guest star on "The Simpsons" – twice. Homer endorsed him for president, for goodness' sake. Nugent then promised to move the White House to Kalamazoo.
The point is that Nugent is a professional provocateur. As the Washington Post points out Thursday, he hasn’t actually been a rock star for more than 30 years. He makes money as a hunting enthusiast/reality show host/autograph seller.
In this context, the recent dust-up over politics is the best thing to happen to him since he cut himself with a chain saw while filming “Surviving Nugent: the Ted Commandments.”
How was Colombia? We know – you think Nugent won’t go that far. We say predicting how far Ted Nugent will go is a fool’s errand. The Secret Service has already ousted three agents in the expanding prostitution scandal linked to preparations for President Obama’s trip to Cartegena last weekend for the Summit of the Americas. It is certainly possible Nugent will make some reference to this in his own defense.
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to call for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to condemn Ted Nugent by name, possibly while signing a petition to keep Nugent out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame forever. At this point we’re pretty sure that Mr. Romney wishes Ted Nugent had endorsed somebody else.
Newt Gingrich and Ted Nugent on stage together – there’s a moon colony gun fest we’d love to see.