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August 12, 2013 11:06 AM Clown Show

By Ed Kilgore

If you haven’t heard about the “rodeo clown” incident from the Missouri State Fair over the weekend, here’s a brief summary from a St. Louis TV station:

The Facebook post alluded to in the news report, by Perry Beam, was republished at Show Me Progress yesterday:

Last night, Lily and I took a student from Taiwan to the rodeo at the Missouri State Fair. Just prior to the start of the bull riding event, one of the clowns came out dressed in this [photo of the rodeo clown dressed as the president]. The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull. The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather. One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy. Finally, a bull came close enough to him that he had to move, so he jumped up and ran away to the delight of the onlookers hooting and hollering from the stands. We then left quickly and quietly. Lily’s student is an inquisitive boy and asks a lot of questions about what he sees, and though he had never been to a rodeo he asked nothing about it, nor anything about America this time. We rode the sixty miles home in silence. In a way I’m glad. I had no answers for him.

There are signs the “so’s your old man” machine is warming up with conservative comparisons of this taxpayer-funded event with the depiction of George W. Bush’s head on a pike on Game of Thrones, complete with assertions that “the same people” outraged by the Missouri stunt thought HBO’s slur of Bush was “funny.” This is how the false equivalence game works.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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