February 12, 2013
Ted Nugent (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
Ted Nugent (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Repugnant rocker Ted Nugent declared in an interview at the National Rifle Association convention last April, “[I]f Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” As we will see tonight, neither prediction came true since he will watch President Obama deliver the State of the Union address from inside the House chamber. And we have Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) to thank for this disgraceful move.

This is Stockman’s second tour in the House of Representatives. He was part of the Republican wave of 1994 that gave the GOP the House majority for the first time in 40 years. And he was sent packing two years later. As Politico reported this week, now that he’s back, Stockman is determined to be “Obama’s No. 1 needler.”

Members of Congress do all sorts of things for attention. But Stockman’s invitation to Nugent is reprehensible. At a 2007 concert, Nugent said he told then-Sen. Obama “to suck on my machine gun.” That was after he called him a “piece of —-.” No wonder the Secret Service made it its business to talk to him after what he said at the NRA convention. In addition to his pessimistic premonition then, Nugent also claimed that Obama was a “criminal” who doesn’t “even like the Constitution.”

Imagine the uproar if the Rev. Jeremiah Wright were invited, let alone attended. Or what about George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin (if he were actually able to leave Seminole County in Florida)? Or repulsive gay-bashing minister Fred Phelps? Or Terry Jones, whose threat to burn the Koran in September 2010 sparked protests in Afghanistan? Each one of these men is objectionable and unacceptable in the eyes of many.

I don’t begrudge Nugent’s right to attend the speech. This is America. But he should not have been invited in the first place.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.