FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Have You No Dignity, Mr. Abbott?

by

Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.

— Euripides, Phoenix

Because of his appearances with Ted Nugent during the Texas spring primaries in the race for governor, people will, for good reason, assume that this is nothing more than another example of Greg Abbott’s never ending association with people who are red neck sexists and complete and utter boors.  Of course it might have been that they thought the Abbott supporter was a connoisseur of great art.  They were wrong.  She is not.

Ted Nugent is a faded Rock Star of the more unsavory variety.  He is an unabashed fan of any device that can dispense bullets and, as Mr. Abbott has repeatedly pointed out when on the campaign trail with Mr. Nugent, a devoted fan of the Second Amendment.  There was also a time many years ago when Mr. Nugent was a devoted fan of under-age girls.  As he explained in an interview:   “I was addicted to girls.  It was hopeless. It was beautiful.” That was, of course, 30 years ago, and he has outgrown that particular addiction and was never prosecuted for it.  His views on contemporary matters, however, remain on the lunatic fringe which keeps him in the limelight when he accepts the embraces of candidates seeking public office in place of embraces from under age-girls.

During the 2012 presidential election Mr. Nugent was an enthusiastic supporter of Mitt Romney.  While supporting Mr. Romney, Mr. Nugent said:  “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year . . . .”   He went on to refer to the Obama administration as “this vile, evil America hated administration.” His views have not changed.

In a January 2014 interview with Guns.com he reflected on the fact that Mr. Romney was not elected president:  “I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist nurtured subhuman mongrel like the Acorn community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America.”  Some candidates might try to put distance between themselves and the mouths from which that sort of language comes.  Mr. Abbott is not one of them.  When Mr. Abbott was confronted by reporters about his association with Mr. Nugent, Mr. Abbott said:  “I don’t know what he may have said or done in his background.  What I do know is Ted Nugent stands for the Constitution.  He stands against the federal government over-reaching.”  That is a terrific explanation for why it was helpful to have Mr. Nugent by his side at campaign rallies during the primary season.

Mr. Nugent’s talk may cause some people to attribute the latest Abbott flap to a kind of sexism and extremism to which associating with Ted Nugent gives rise. Others might conclude that it was nothing more than an artistic endeavor.  What I refer to is what happened in California when Wendy Davis, Greg Abbott’s Democratic  opponent in the race for governor of Texas, went on a fund raising trip to Los Angeles.

Upon her arrival Ms. Davis was confronted with posters that superimpose  her face on a Barbie Doll’s body that has a plastic baby coming out of its stomach. The San Antonio Express-News said that Texas resident, Kathryn Stuard,  is the Abbott supporter who commissioned the poster.  Ms. Stuard was quoted as saying of the poster that “It hits people with the truth.  The artist is very edgy.” That language suggests that Ms. Stuard is a great supporter of the arts who knows “edgy” when she sees it.  That is not the only thing that would lead an observer to that conclusion.

A few days after news of the California poster came out,  it was reported in the New York Times that Aby Rosen, a New York real estate mogul and art collector has placed a 33-foot painted bronze sculpture on his lawn in Old Westbury, New York.  It is a statue called “The Naked Virgin Mary.” It was created by the well-known sculptor, Damien Hirst.  It portrays a very pregnant walking woman whose skin has been stripped way from the right side of her body exposing her unborn fetus.

Those are the amazing similarities between the poster funded by Ms. Stuard and the “Naked Virgin Mary” statue that might cause some to conclude that Ms. Stuard is a devoted and knowledgeable supporter of the arts who was simply trying to carry Mr. Hirst’s creation one step further by creating a poster. There are differences, however. One of them involves putting Ms. Davis’s face on the poster instead of the anonymous face that appears on the statue. The other is adding the words “Abortion Barby Wendy Davis” across the bottom of the poster.  Those touches put an end to any notion that Ms. Stuard knows anything about art. Her poster makes no artistic statement.  Its only statement is that nothing is beneath the dignity of the Abbott campaign as it seeks to help Greg Abbott become the next governor of Texas.

Christopher Brauchli can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 25, 2016
Mike Whitney
The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
The Louisiana Catastrophe Proves the Need for Universal, Single-Payer Disaster Insurance
John W. Whitehead
Another Brick in the Wall: Children of the American Police State
Lewis Evans
Genocide in Plain Sight: Shooting Bushmen From Helicopters in Botswana
Daniel Kovalik
Colombia: Peace in the Shadow of the Death Squads
Sam Husseini
How the Washington Post Sells the Politics of Fear
Ramzy Baroud
Punishing the Messenger: Israel’s War on NGOs Takes a Worrying Turn
Norman Pollack
Troglodyte Vs. Goebbelean Fascism: The 2016 Presidential Race
Simon Wood
Where are the Child Victims of the West?
Roseangela Hartford
The Hidden Homeless Population
Mark Weisbrot
Obama’s Campaign for TPP Could Drag Down the Democrats
Rick Sterling
Clintonites Prepare for War on Syria
Yves Engler
The Anti-Semitism Smear Against Canadian Greens
August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail