You may be thinking one of the following thoughts about the news that GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott took Motor City Madman Ted Nugent on the campaign trail with him this week:
- Who cares?
- Get over it, Democrats.
- Both of the above.
I hear you, but please hear me.
Greg Abbott is not responsible for every sexist lyric, racist statement, or just plain offensive thing Ted Nugent has ever said.
Greg Abbott is responsible, however, for selecting the people who represent what he stands for, and he picked Ted Nugent.
- On immigration and undocumented immigrants: He has suggested that undocumented people be treated as indentured servants, also known as slaves, building a wall on our southern border with Mexico. He also said that if he saw people entering the country illegally, he’d like to “shoot them dead.”
- On women: The Nuge’s rants are full of derogatory words for women, but he seems especially fond of suggesting that various female politicians suck on his gun.
- On girls: We know how he feels about women, but the Nuge takes a very different view of underage girls. He likes to seduce them and promise to marry them. Except, since we are talking about underage girls, that sentence should read: he likes to commit statutory rape. Trigger warning for this second link.
- On the President of the United States: In an interview with Guns.com, he described the first African-American president as “a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.” Journalist Wolf Blitzer, among others, has pointed out that the phrase “subhuman mongrel” harkens back very specifically to language used by the Nazi regime to justify the holocaust. And, lest we forget another high point in the life and charm offensive of Ted Nugent, he threatened the life of the president.
Of course, he didn’t say any of that while campaigning for Greg Abbott yesterday. So why does it matter that Greg Abbott picked him?
Let’s say Abbott wins the election and becomes governor. Think of all of the agency heads he’ll get to select. Commissioners, regents, board members, and the like.
What kind of people will he select as university regents? And what kind of leadership will those regents provide? How will they feel about supporting diversity initiatives, about Mexican-American studies, about gender-neutral dorms?
What about what kind of neighbors would we be to Mexico, under Abbott, and how would we treat the neighbors who might cross the border? Greg Abbott has already spoken, in very militaristic terms, about his plans to send more law enforcement to the border. Ted Nugent likes to talk about imposing “Joe Arpaio justice” when it comes to border issues. Is that the kind of behavior that an Abbott administration would tacitly support?
It isn’t a life or death matter, but who would sit on the historic commission, and determine who and what gets to be part of our state story? Who would determine where in the state tourism dollars were spent—and not spent? Who would sit on the business and economic development councils and boards, and what types of businesses would they attract or ignore?
If Greg Abbott, under media scrutiny while still applying for the governor’s job, is OK with Ted Nugent, then what kind of bigotry would he be comfortable with if he secured that job and faced less scrutiny? How long would our state feel the impact of Abbott’s policy decisions and agency appointments?
By the way, the job Abbott wants only lasts four years. He’d surely want to run again, having won once, and as Molly Ivins said, you got to dance with them whut brung ya.
Greg Abbott has clearly decided his dance is the Wango Tango, and them whut he hopes’ll bring him are fans of the Nuge. Ted kept it PG-13 during his appearance with Abbott yesterday, but that’s because he didn’t need to say anything incendiary. The audience he was aiming for already knows the words.
All this bother and flap about Ted Nugent is important to me because I want anyone who plans to vote to know what we can expect from Greg Abbott.
[The Burka Blog says just about the same thing in only 3 paragraphs.]