I have a theory about mediocre guitarist/serial ranter Ted Nugent, whose Twitter persona can be found here. And the theory is: he’s not so much a political conservative as he is just plain nuts. As in, if you think Gary Busey is a bit, uh, bizarre, Nugent makes Busey look like the sanest, most rational person you’ve ever met.
But crazy or not, Terrible Ted loves him some Sarah Palin. Last spring, The Motor City Mediocrity shared his rock ’n roll fantasies about Gov. McQuitter with Time magazine, and it was, well, kind of creepy:
If Sarah Palin played a loud, grinding instrument, she would be in my band. The independent patriotic spirit, attitude and soul of our forefathers are alive and well in Sarah. In the way she lives, what she says and how she dedicates herself to make America better in these interesting times, she represents the good, while exposing the bad and ugly. She embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government.
(H/t Huffington Post.)
(A “loud, grinding instrument”? You mean, like this?)
And Sarah, apparently, loves her some Terrible Ted:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gun rights enthusiasts welcomed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as she made an appearance Friday [July 10, 2009] on a radio talk show, whose callers included rock n’ roller turned avid hunter Ted Nugent.
Palin spoke on the Michael Dukes’ “Firearms Friday” show on KFAR radio in Fairbanks. She was in Alaska’s second largest city to sign a gun rights bill and several resolutions.
Nugent, well-known for the 1970s hit “Cat Scratch Fever,” told Palin from his home in Michigan that he was firing up the grill to cook up some Alaskan black bear backstrap in her honor.
The governor told Nugent that she thought that was “awesome.”
Really, it’s like these two were caught passing notes in study hall or something. Just ask her to the prom, Ted. You know she wants you to.
Anyway, if you dip into Ted Nugent’s utterly insane Twitter stream, you’ll normally find bizarre nuggets of testosterone-fueled rage, juvenile hyperbole about his latest crappy rock concert, and, of course, a lot of warped nonsense about hunting disguised as spirituality (not altogether unlike that “Monty Python” skit about mosquito hunting: “I’ve been a hunter all my life. I love animals – that’s why I kill them …”). But every so often Ted really lets his creep flag fly, saying things that make you wonder whether he’s just insanely stupid, or maybe genuinely depraved. To-wit, yesterday’s offering:
Wait. Final solutions?! Really? It’s not like that ominous phrase – The Final Solution – is obscure, even to a washed-out draft dodger like Nugent. I’d like to chalk it up to stupidity, that Nugent tweets like he plays guitar or writes lyrics. Which is to say, stupidly. Then again, it sure looks like Nuge chose his words carefully: As my friend Jesus’ General points out, the word “operator” is commonly used in military circles to refer to commandos (see, e.g., here); and I highly doubt a macho guy like Ted Nugent chose that word accidentally.
Of course, this is not the first time Nugent has said things that make you wonder whether he’s a bigot. Just last month at a concert in Dubuque, Iowa, he blurted out: “There’s a lot of white people in this crowd -- I like that! (Dubuque) is a white town.” Nugent also “pointed out at least one audience member and questioned his race.” And that, according to the Dubuque Tribune Herald, is par for the course for Detroit’s most infamous has-been:
This wasn’t a first for Nugent. For example, there was the Texas governor's inaugural ball in 2007. A newspaper reported that Nugent, whose conservative politics and pro-gun beliefs are well known, “appeared on stage wearing a cut-off T-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag and shouting unflattering remarks about undocumented immigrants, including kicking them out of the country.”
Enter Ted Nugent’s name in Google and you'll be treated to many racist and sexist gems. Here’s a Nugent rant delivered at a National Rifle Association conference: “Remember the Alamo! Shoot ’em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want ’em dead. Get a gun, and when they attack you, shoot ’em.”
(If you want more of Ted’s lunacy, Media Matters has gathered links to several of his more “incendiary” comments here.)
In any event, as to Ted’s use of the term “Final solutions,” I recognize that he was referring to hunting rather than genocide. So, I’ll give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I’m willing to believe that he’s not anti-Semitic – at least, not genocidally so – but he is a racist jerk.
And at a bare minimum, Ted Nugent is so out of touch with the world outside his narrow, Sarah-Palin-loving right-wing political cult, he apparently didn’t realize how stupid and offensive it is to use a phrase like that. Which speaks volumes about the both of them.