Where is the line when criticising the president?
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
May 02, 2012 | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, Justin talked about the controversy surrounding Ted Nugent’s recent comments regarding the President.

He pointed out, quite correctly, that the Dixie Chicks said they were ashamed to be from the same state as then-President George W. Bush in 2003, and were called traitors or worse.

I’m not going to rehash the entirety of his rather effective editorial. I will instead say that the distinction made by many commentators is that Nugent made his comments domestically, while the Dixie Chicks made their comments abroad.

The implication is that if Nugent had called Obama “the enemy” and had said “If the coyote’s in your living room p****** on your couch, it’s not the coyote’s fault. It’s your fault for not shooting him,” in a foreign country, the conservative punditry would be just as much in arms over his comments as they were about those made by the Dixie Chicks.

As Philip J. Fry from the cartoon Futurama said, “That dog won’t hunt, Monsignor.”

No, the part of me that is cynical about politics believes that if Nugent’s comments had been made abroad, then criticizing the President while in a foreign country would then become acceptable to today’s solipsistic pundits.

I say this because the part of me that is cynical about politics observes that presidential vacations, use of a teleprompter and other such actions all became wrong in the eyes of such commentators after Jan. 20, 2009.

But that’s another point for another editorial. Back to the issue in question.

I don’t know if Nugent was really threatening the President, but I don’t begrudge the Secret Service talking to him about it. That is their job, after all.

No, I don’t see genuine threats. I see an over-entitled, attention-seeking crybaby with delusions of victimhood, especially when it comes to guns. Yet I cannot help but observe that he has lived through several Democratic presidencies, and he still has an arsenal’s worth of guns. But I digress.

Honestly, though, the President is a public figure, and I think most any comments made about him should be allowed, whether they are made abroad or domestic. When Mark Halperin of MSNBC was suspended last year for calling the President a mildly vulgar term for a jerk, I thought that was a bit of an over-reaction.

I cannot stress this enough: it wasn’t a state action against him. He still had and has the right to say that, and MSNBC, a private employer, has the right to sanction him for it. But it was still ridiculous.

All I can really ask is that the criticisms leveled be accurate. And there is no shortage of accurate, reality-based criticisms that can be made about the current Commander-in-Chief, who, for better or worse, seems to be just another politician.

And if I can say this without stepping on many toes, he does seem at times to be kind of a jerk. But I don’t know him personally, and I’m open to evidence to the contrary.

Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at fclark@cadizrecord.com.
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