“Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil.”

This is exactly what I’m talking about:

[There has been] outcry over comments [Ted] Nugent made at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, which took place in St. Louis this past weekend.

“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” Nugent said, according to a video posted on YouTube by the NRA. “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”

Many have questioned whether Nugent was alluding to violence against the president in his remarks.

The Nuge, of course, will not be charged with anything, as it’s perfectly clear that he’s nothing more than a blowhard and a tool. But Ted Nugent is guilty of something: injecting this (not very) coded language of revolutionary lawlessness into the political discourse, where it doesn’t need to be, and where it contributes to a culture of fear and the idealization of violence as a balm to that fear.

It’s completely unsurprising that (a) he was speaking to members of the NRA and (b) the target of his imagined violence was an uppity black man. The NRA has traded for years in exactly this kind of fantasy — it allies itself explicitly with the idea of righteous violence against offensive and frightening others, and I can’t imagine the organization repudiating or apologizing for this kind of rhetoric at one of its events. Why would it? This is its bread and butter.

And of course the Romney campaign murmurs bland appeals to civility while carefully avoiding alienating its creepy base.


[Nugent] labeled members of the Obama administration, including the vice president, attorney general and secretary of state “criminals.”

“We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Am I, any questions?” Nugent said.

Too on the nose?

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