Professional bloviators inevitably say something stupid. It is the nature of saying so many things so much of the time. Not all of these statements are as mean-spirited or crazy as they sound. Sometimes it is merely a slip of the tongue or a case of not engaging brain before mouth. But in today’s poisoned political well, it happens and apologies don’t make much difference. Each side seizes the opportunity to make the speaker look as bad as possible for as long as possible, often overlooking the nature and severity of the statement.
However, some statements go beyond the oratorical nip slip. They may be wildly and demonstratively untrue and their meaning abundantly clear. If there is an apology, it is as sincere as Attila the Hun saying, “Oops, sorry I burned your village.” Often the apology comes only after the guano hits the fan and is delivered by a press secretary or other poor schumck shoved in front of the firing squad to defend the indefensible. The next day the speaker says something equally indefensible which, or course, makes each new statement even more indefensible. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.
First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment
Often the political response is to defend the indefensible by taking a “true” tack. When the Chief Gander and Quacker from Duck Dynasty said some disagree able things, his supporters wholeheartedly defended him. “First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment. It was only an opinion and it is not fair that he be persecuted for his view.”
Well, true enough. Under the First Amendment he can offer an opinion or stupid and unsupported “fact”. But the backlash against words that many found offensive wasn’t persecution. It was people of opposing view stating their opinion that he is a redneck, troglodyte. Neither side violated the First Amendment. Both got their say. The First Amendment guarantees you the right to say things. It says nothing about stating ignorant things. This is not persecution, it is the opposite. Everyone got their say and everyone got to choose a side they either agreed or disagreed with. If you are going to say something you know will be inflammatory, own it. Don’t hide. To his credit he didnt ‘t and that was his downfall.
But sometimes public people say things that are so off the mark, so false, or so far on the fringe they’ve fallen off the Earth they believe, with holy zeal, is flat. They have the right to say these things and people have the right to defend them, but there lies the rub.
When you defend such things you do a disservice to yourself. Making a political point by backing up some of the stupidest statements made in the history of man, you take on the same patina of ignorance. If you hang out in your favorite Twitter or Facebook refuge and not only back them up, but go them 10 times better with even more outlandish claims you lose the scant credibility you have. By defending these jugheads you create more problems for yourself than for your opponents by giving them the partial ability to say, “Look at that stupid crap, they are all that way,” whether they are or not.
‘It’s Time to Arrest and Hang Him High’
It is distressingly easy to find examples, but here are a few:
- “I know that we don’t use hanging as a method of execution here in the U.S. anymore, so be it. Whatever method is applicable for the situation, I just want justice to be served…I’m past impeachment. It’s time to arrest and hang him high.” — Joshua Black, candidate for FL House on Barack Obama
- “ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The correct answer was Lord. “…you’re stupid if you don’t believe in God.” She also said, It was “100 percent true,” that the Earth was created by God 6,000 years ago, and that evolution is “impossible” and a “stupid theory made up by stupid people who don’t want to believe in God.”– Louisiana science teacher Rita Roark, scolding a Buddhist high schooler in front if her class
- “I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first…God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.” — Susanne Atanus, candidate for House in Chicago
- [Glendon] Crawford planned to create a mobile, remotely operated, radiation-emitting device capable of killing people silently from a distance with lethal doses of ionizing radiation. Crawford’s intended targets were Muslims, Muslim-related organizations and persons Crawford believed were contributing to the demise of the United States.” — Federal indictment of Glendon Crawford of Albany NY
- “I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America.” I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, (who he also referred to as a “subhuman mongrel“) Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin, Michael Bloomberg and all of the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent. “our politicians check their scrotums at the door. Even Hillary… but obviously, she (Hilary Clinton) has spare scrotums.” — Ted Nugent, NRA board member and spokesperson for the Outdoor Channel
- “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives, who are right to life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that is who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York. Because that is not who New Yorkers are.” — NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
- Barack Obama is a, “future world dictator before Christ returns who’s going to usurp people’s personal rights [and] change God’s laws without any opposition. So people will have been conditioned long before the anti-Christ comes to accept government overreach, and that’s what you’re seeing with President Obama.” I am, “not saying President Obama is the anti-Christ. In fact, I’m sure he’s not, because the anti-Christ is going to have higher poll numbers.” — Rev. Robert Jefferies guesting on Bill O’Reilly
- “You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people. So if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.” — Pat Robertson, responding to a viewer who drove a nursing home patient to church and was angry no one disclosed the man had AIDS
- “You have three people in the White House that are in love with eugenics or whatever it is you would call it today. … Please dear God, read history. Please dear God read the truth of what these people have said in their own words, and ask yourself this one question: Do you trust these people enough to give them control over who lives and who dies? Because that’s what health care is when you have no other choice but to go to the state.” — Glenn Beck, comparing health care reform to Nazi eugenics
- Ted Cruz thinks Duck Dynasty star has a First Amendment right to be on reality TV (rawstory.com)
- Nugent Calls Obama a ‘Subhuman Mongrel’ (politicalwire.com)
- Bloggers, public have First Amendment protection – US court (theinternetpost.net)