Should we be concerned that Ted Nugent — the paleo-rocker who said he'd be "dead or in jail" by this time if President Obama were reelected — is attending tomorrow's State of the Union address? Let's hope Nugent's sharp words about Obama and other liberal politicians were merely words, because he'll be right there in the audience as a guest of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), and he'll be readily available for comment from now until well after the speech. The Los Angeles Times' Michael A. Memoli reports today that the NRA board member, hunting advocate, and Sarah Palin superfan has been confirmed as the plus-one of Congressman Stockman, who thinks "a patriot like Ted Nugent" will "have plenty to say" following Obama's address. Stockman is quite the character himself. He called for impeachment following Obama's executive orders on guns, and he plans to "truth check" the President's speech using the #YouLie hashtag. So, depending on who you ask, the two craziest people in the House chamber tomorrow night will be arriving together.
It's easy enough to laugh off the ramblings of an aging guitar-slinger who's cripplingly allergic to sleeves. But taken at face value, Nugent has said some pretty threatening things about the President. There's that time he said at a 2012 NRA convention, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year." And his call-to-arms against the rest of the Obama administration, at the same convention speech, was pretty gory:
Our president, attorney general, vice president, Hillary Clinton. They're criminals ... Get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration ... We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.
The musician also performed this charming shtick during a 2007 concert, toting a machine gun and saying, "Obama, he's a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun ... Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch." Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz have been labeled "sub-human" by Nugent. Before meeting with the Secret Service to clear up his comments, Nugent clarified that he never meant any of these insults as threats. Still, the U.S. Army thought his remarks were serious enough to bar him from performing at Fort Knox. In this case, it looks like we can rest assured that shots won't be fired in the middle of Obama's speech — Nugent has agreed to attend the State of the Union unarmed:
In interview, Ted Nugent tells the NYT he won't be carrying a gun with him to State of the Union. "I've got to demilitarize before I go."— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) February 11, 2013
As Washington prepares for more debate over gun policy following a year full of high-profile shootings, the State of the Union guest list features plenty of gun violence victims, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and many people directly affected by the Newtown school shooting.