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February 22, 2014 10:23 AM Ted Nugent apologizes for his disgusting remarks about Obama. But what about his history of hate speech about women?

By Kathleen Geier

So, heavy metal has-been Ted Nugent has “apologized” — kinda — for his gross and racist characterization of President Obama as a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee”:

“I do apologize, not necessarily to the president, but on behalf of much better men than myself,” Mr. Nugent said, mentioning Mr. Perry and Mr. Abbott. He added: “I apologize for using the street-fighter terminology of ‘subhuman mongrel’ instead of just using more understandable language, such as ‘violator of his oath to the Constitution,’ ‘the liar that he is.’”

Can’t you just taste the sincerity?

However, Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor of Texas (he’s the front-runner in a race against Wendy Davis), has offered no apology for his association with Nugent. Abbott, who had been traipsing around with Teddeh on the campaign trail, did say that “This is not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way” and that “It’s time to move beyond this, and I will continue to focus on the issues that matter to Texans.” Well, I guess that settles it, then!

Obviously, not really. It begs the question of what the hell Abbott thought he was doing parading around with someone with such a hate-filled freak in the first place? It’s not like Ted Nugent keeps his racism a secret.

What I find particularly interesting is that, in the same interview where Nugent made his reprehensible remarks about Obama, he also said that Hillary Clinton has “spare scrotums.” Yet there was little reaction to those comments. Of course, his remarks about Obama were much worse, and Obama is the president. Yet the GOP, a party that is desperately trying to distance itself from its War on Women, at the same time has been embracing a man who has a long history of vile misogynist comments and who is an admitted — and proud — (statutory) rapist.

In case there is any doubt, the excellent Adele Stan offers a highlight reel of Nugent’s misogyny. Warning: besides being upsetting, some of the language is obscene.

In an interview with Denver Westword Music magazine in 1994, Nugent called the then-first lady “a toxic cunt” and “a two-bit whore”:
You probably can’t use the term ‘toxic cunt’ in your magazine, but that’s what she is. Her very existence insults the spirit of individualism in this country. This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro.
Then there’s Nugent’s admission that he sought out underage teenage girls as sexual partners—with their parents’ permission, he claimed—liaisons he said were “beautiful.”
In 2007, Nugent issued an album whose cover featured a bound and gagged naked woman served with vegetables on a platter. The gag in her mouth was a hand grenade. (Media Matters has the image in its compendium of Nugent’s misogyny, if you dare to look.)
A 1998 episode of VH1’s Behind the Music has Nugent defining a feminist as “a fat pig who doesn’t get it often enough.”
There’s more, of course, where all of that comes from. Like the time he called Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) a “worthless whore,” and suggested that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) “suck on my machine gun.” (He also invited Obama to do the same.)

As Adele correctly points out, the reason Abbott has cozied up to the likes of Nugent is clearly an attempt to bring out the GOP base, which, especially in Texas, is extremely conservative and overwhelmingly male — and patriarchal. But I’m still amazed that a mainstream GOP candidate thought nothing of associating himself with a figure who has a history of misogyny that is this toxic. Let’s hope it’s backfired.

Yet, to my knowledge, there has been no significant public pressure on Ted Nugent to apologize for his nasty remarks about Hillary Clinton, or for any of the many repulsive things he has said about women over the years. And Ted Nugent is hardly the only public figure lionized by the GOP who has a long history of vicious misogyny. Why is this considered acceptable in America in 2014? And when will it ever end?

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee

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