With Ted Nugent, Thompson goes all in on crazy

Imagine if Tammy Baldwin, who’s running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, suddenly started campaigning with a Hollywood celebrity who had made thinly veiled threats against a sitting president’s life, once said a high-ranking Republican was “worse than Hitler,” said he gets a “full predator spiritual erection” from shooting defenseless living beings in the head, and once claimed he soiled his pants for days to avoid serving in the U.S. military.

I know what would happen. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity would have to be hosed down six times a day for a week like Barnum & Bailey circus elephants. (Actually, they might support the shooting of defenseless animals part but would probably quibble with the use of the word “erection.” Or not. After all, it’s not like the word’s being used to teach kids basic facts about biology – it’s simply a playful reference to the indiscriminate slaughter of house pets [see below]).

As we speak, Republicans are trying to turn Baldwin into the second coming of Leon Trotsky because she once allowed herself to be videotaped supporting a single-payer health care system (which is really our best option; good for her). Meanwhile, Tommy Thompson, who suddenly finds himself in a tight primary battle with Eric Hovde and self-regenerating perma-candidate Mark Neumann, is openly campaigning with rock legend and certified frothing lunatic Ted Nugent – and the world continues on its merry way.

On Thursday, Thompson appeared at a Ted Nugent rally in Racine in support of Nugent’s candidacy for most obnoxious redneck in the cosmos. (Local press reports claimed it was also a Thompson rally, but that hardly seems accurate.)

At one point, Nugent called Barack Obama “a Chicago gangster.”

Thompson, who at that moment probably felt a little like Siegfried & Roy the second before their tiger tried to eat Roy’s head, sought to disavow Nugent’s inflammatory comment, saying, “I think in the heat of emotion some rhetoric is said that can be explosive.”

Okay then.

You might be tempted to feel sorry for Thompson who, for 14 years as Wisconsin’s governor, seemed reasonably statesmanlike. But then he must have known what he was getting into. Calling Obama a gangster is like a playful noogie compared to the firestorm of nonsense Nugent usually spews.

Here’s just a small sampling of quotable effluent from the infamous Motor City Madman:

  • In 2002, Nugent told Salon.com that he gets a “full predator spiritual erection” from pursuing “bear, lions, coons, housecats, escaped chimps, small children, scared women, and everything else that can be chased and/or hunted.”
  • Of course, his love for animals doesn’t stop there. In 2006, he told the New York Daily News that poor people should be forced to eat their animal companions: “If you’re poor, you can’t have a dog! You start by eating the [bleep]ing pets! Am I out of my mind?”
  • But since he’s holding poverty-stricken people and small animals accountable for their dissolute ways, why should women get off the hook? Did you know that feminists are nothing more than obese, sexually frustrated barn animals? Ted Nugent does: “What’s a feminist anyways? A fat pig who doesn’t get it often enough?”
  • But while he’s not much of a fan of opinionated full-grown women, he did once show a fondness for underage girls. What’s the evidence for this lurid claim? A VH1 Behind the Music segment in which he said he’d once shown a fondness for underaged girls. Here’s Ted: “I got the stamp of approval of their parents, because they figured better Ted Nugent than some drug-infested punk in high school.” Oh, you can see why those parents were so charmed.

  • While we’re on the topic of women, it’s fair to say that Ted was far from enamored with former Attorney General Janet Reno. In a TV interview, Ted once said Reno was worse than Hitler. (This one I saw with my own eyes as it was being aired for the first time.) He also once called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a “toxic ‘c-word’.” Only he didn’t say “c-word.” He said the c-word. Yes, that c-word.
  • Of course, Nugent loves to talk tough, but it’s worth noting that, according to U.K.’s The Independent, he once told an interviewer that he defecated in his pants for days to avoid serving in Vietnam. (To be fair, he later denied it, so this is sort of a “he said/he later said something different” case. Who knows which Nuge is telling the truth?)
  • And now, the biggie: “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Now what do you suppose that means?

Nugent fired off that last bon mot while campaigning for Mitt Romney, which naturally leads one to wonder: Are Republicans so desperate to appear macho these days that they need to find succor within the chiseled bosom of he-man draft avoiders like Ted Nugent?

Tommy, I think you can do better. If you want to seem manly, why not just film an awkward anti-health care reform ad in which you’re shown riding a Harley on notoriously dangerous rural roads without a helmet?

Oh, never mind.

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