Archive - Jan 23, 2007

Well-Apportioned Blame

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Memo to Rick Perry's Inaugural Ball: YOU ARE DUMB.

Bit of a switcheroo today. Normally, we take a look at one individual and the wide variety of ways they were dumb. But today, we have one particular situation where EVERYBODY involved was dumb in one way or another. I refer you to Texas governor Rick Perry, whose name anagrams to Erry Prick, and his big inaugural bash last week. During which invitee Ted Nugent got up on stage in a Confederate T-shirt, with some machine guns, and proceeded to shout a bunch of stuff about non-English speakers. That's all you need to know. Let's start the Moron Parade, shall we?

TED NUGENT. Arguably the least culpable in all this. I'm not saying I'm a huge fan of the Confederate flag or ethnic slurs, I'm just saying that if you don't want guests to lick their asses at your party, don't invite dogs. The only way Nugent could have been more Nugenty is if he'd shot a vegan in the leg with a bow and arrow. He probably wore the Confederate cutoff T because one of the three dozen that he owns was on top of the "clean" pile.

RICK PERRY. His spokesman, who we'll get to in a second, described Nugent as "a good friend of the governor's". Let's assume that's true. How can any good friend of Ted Nugent's think it's a good idea to take Nuge out in public? The man's insane. He moved from Michigan to Crawford, Texas. You know what that means? That means Ted Nugent thinks everyone in the government is out to get him, EXCEPT FOR DUBYA. If you're the governor of Texas, you don't invite Ted Nugent to a Wal-Mart ribbon-cutting, much less your inaugural.

ROYAL MASSET. No, that's not a snooty breed of dog. It's the unfortunate name of a Republican strategist who got quoted for the story, saying: "I think it was a horrible choice. I hope nobody approved it."

The embarassing thing about that quote is that it lacks the word "of" between "approved" and "it". With the "of" there, it's a noble, albeit misguided, sentiment. He'd be hoping that the good people of Texas had the common decency to repudiate Crazy Bowhunting Crackerdude. Without that all-important preposition, though, it's political ass-covering at its most craven, hoping that Nugent acted completely without sanction so that Perry would be spared political damage.

GARY BLEDSOE. I'm going to give Bledsoe a bit of a break. He's the president of the Texas NAACP, which can't be an easy job on the best of days. And it's a job he has to do, so I can see why he was forced to say "Whenever someone sports the Confederate battle flag, many Texans will be offended, and rightly so, because of what it symbolizes." Even if it's not strictly true.

Let's face it. When someone whips out a Confederate flag T-Shirt and hurls ethnic slurs at a Texas inaugural ball, Bledsoe's gotta be a bit surprised, like I was, that they're finally limiting that shit to special occasions. Treating the racism like the fine china. It's something that, to Texas, vaguely resembles progress.

ROBERT BLACK. Perry's afore-mentioned spokesman, who also claimed that: "He asked him if he would play at the inaugural. He didn’t put any stipulation of what he would play." Which is either a lame dodge or a fuckup of epic proportions. Because Black might want to make a distinction between "Rick Perry" and "All the people in charge of arranging Rick Perry's inaugural wishes", but when something like this happens, the two are inseparable. So that means that either Black is lying, or nobody on staff had any discussions at all with Nugent beyond "Be backstage by 7:30. You go on at 8." I know which one I find more likely.

And finally, THE MEDIA. Goddammit, how am I supposed to do my job if you don't do yours? If it's reported that Ted Nugent "shout[ed] offensive remarks about non-English speakers", then someone, somewhere must know what the fuck he shouted. But could I find it anywhere? I could not. And that's an important piece of the puzzle. There's a huge continuum separating "Why should we have forms in Spanish at the DMV!" and "Fuck all you Spanish-speaking el motherfuckos! Speak Jesus' language, English, or go the fuck home!" It's important to establish how egregious the faux pas was, and how big a fucking douchebag Ted Nugent is. But nobody saw fit to report it. News I can use, my ass.