So the Prez is gonna give his State of the Union address this evening, and in the audience as an invited guest of a crazed Republican legislator named Steve Stockman, who hails from the Houston suburbs, is noted gun enthusiast, draft-dodger, and former rock musician Ted Nugent. Nugent’s previously made threats against President Obama, threats taken seriously enough that the US Secret Service briefly investigated.
Nugent’s actually just an exhibit for the insanity which has overtaken part of the Republican Party, though. As Greg Sargent says:
this episode is significant for reasons that go well beyond Nugent. The key actor here who matters is Steve Stockman. The problem lies in all the over-the-top stuff GOP lawmakers say regularly that isn’t quite crazy enough to earn widespread condemnation, as Nugent’s quotes have, but are still whacked out enough to encourage an atmosphere that helps keep millions of GOP base voters sealed off from reality. The problem is the perpetual winking and nodding to The Crazy that is deemed marginally acceptable – the hints about creeping socialism, the claim that modest Obama executive actions amount to tyranny, the suggestions that Obama’s values are vaguely un-American and that Obama is transforming the country and the economy into something no longer recognizably American, and so on — more so than the glaringly awful stuff that gets the media refs to throw their flags.
Yep. Until the Republican Party returns to something resembling a political party rather than an assemblage of extremists representing a smaller and smaller proportion of the American populace, I’m afraid we’re stuck in this distressing and frustrating period of governance by crisis. It would be useful if the American media got up enough nerve to point out the lunacy of some of the remarks these elected people say about members of the other party up to and including the President, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.