Friday, March 28, 2014

Nugent and Friedman Making Noise | Last Word

Not since Depression-era Gov. Pappy O’Daniel has a musician given Texas political pundits so much to sing about.

This week we have two political musicians in the news.

Let’s start with Ted Nugent, not a candidate but a political philosopher who recently headlined a rally with his “blood brother,” gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.

This week Nugent is in the news for the appearance that isn’t happening.

The East Texas city of Longview, population 80,000, paid Nugent $16,000 not to headline its upcoming Fourth of July celebration.

The decision clearly had something to do with Nugent’s comments that were publicized in connection with his Abbott appearance.

Statements such as the one in which he called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” a term used by Nazis to justify mass killings of Jews.

Or this statement in a Washington Times column after the Supreme Court narrowly declared Obamacare constitutional: “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.”

Or his reference to Obama as a piece of excrement, and to Hillary Clinton as a “worthless bitch.”

Nugent’s act “didn’t really fit what we are trying to put together, a family oriented program,” Mayor Jay Dean told the Longview News Journal.

Nugent’s response in an e-mail to Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy: “I hear from reliable sources that the mayor is a racist and was offended that my band performs mostly African-American music.”

Yes, the man who calls the nation’s first black president a “subhuman mongrel” and a piece of excrement, and who thinks maybe we’d be better off if the slave-owners had won the Civil War, called the mayor who didn’t think his material was family-friendly a racist.

The other musician in the news is, of course, Kinky Friedman.

The author of that great country classic – “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” – is running a one-issue campaign to become Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

He wants to legalize pot.

It’s not as far out an issue as many might think.

Recently, Gov. Rick Perry said he favored decriminalization of marijuana and had already started Texas in that direction..

This week the decidedly sober Dallas Morning News endorsed Friedman for the Democratic nomination.

It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. “At least we know what Friedman stands for,” the News wrote.

Their support for Friedman was mainly generated by his opponent in the May 27 runoff.

Jim Hogan beat San Antonian Hugh Fitzsimons to get in the runoff while hardly running a campaign. 

He raised no money and his only expense was his filing fee.

In the few interviews Hogan has given, the News says, “he revels more in the fact that he managed to win without running than focusing on what he would do if elected.”

“His message seems to be that he’ll figure it out when he gets there,” the paper said.

Actually, it makes little difference whether Friedman or Hogan wins the Democratic primary.

Neither one could beat his Republican opponent in the November general election.

That opponent is likely to be former State Rep. Sid Miller.

He led the first round 35 to 21 percent over former State Rep. Tommy Merritt, despite spending only about a third of what Merritt did.

Miller is a Tea Party darling who refers to the Civil War as “the War of Northern Aggression.”

He expects the Tea Party to be even more of a factor in the Republican runoff than it was in the first round.

For that purpose he has one other asset: Ted Nugent is his campaign treasurer.

Same song, second verse.

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