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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 23, 2017
Chip Gibbons
Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Michael J. Sainato
Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine
Chuck Collins
Underwater Nation: As the Rich Thrive, the Rest of Us Sink
CJ Hopkins
The United States of Cognitive Dissonance
Howard Lisnoff
BDS, Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Failings of Security States
Mike Whitney
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate
John Wight
Martin McGuinness: Man of War who Fought for Peace in Ireland
Linn Washington Jr.
Ryancare Wreckage
Eileen Appelbaum
What We Learned From Just Two Pages of Trump’s Tax Returns
Mark Weisbrot
Ecuador’s Elections: Why National Sovereignty Matters
Thomas Knapp
It’s Time to End America’s Longest War
Chris Zinda
Aggregate Journalism at Salon
David Welsh
Bay Area Rallies Against Trump’s Muslim Ban II
March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail