I'm not one to use the word "disrespectful" a whole lot, because I am a fan of irreverence ("I'd never noticed."—No One.) and because I think its deployment is frequently used to marginalize along class lines. But when I do use it, it's usually in regard to the Office of the Presidency—which isn't so much about any individual occupant as much as it is about preserving some national dignity. I acknowledge, readily, that the US is an imperfect nation, but reverence for the Office of the Presidency is a reminder that we can expect more of ourselves.
People who casually disrespect the Office of the Presidency have given up on expecting more, or working for anything better.
Respecting the Office of the Presidency does not mean never criticizing the President. It does not mean never criticizing the President's decisions. It does not mean never holding the President to account. Real respect actually demands all those things. Really all it means is not treating the presidency like a fucking joke, or turning official presidential events into a sideshow.
Like I said, I don't use "disrespectful" a whole lot, but this shit is disrespectful:
Outspoken musician and gun right supporter Ted Nugent will be Rep. Steve Stockman's guest Tuesday night at President Obama's State of the Union address.And of course Nugent, who is a vile asshole, is already braying about his plans to barrage the media (who we can only hope will not indulge him) with his special brand of shrieking violent rhetoric and propagandist bullshit.
...Stockman said in a Monday news release, "I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama."
Stockman added of the "Cat Scratch Fever" rocker and ardent gun-rights supporter, "after the address I'm sure Ted will have plenty to say."
"We know that the president will have the state of the union stacked and jammed with props, children, and victims of violent crime, " Nugent said. "And my friends wanted me to attend to counter that the way that I do: with facts, statistics and common sense and logic and a celebration of self-evident truths. So I will be taking on the media orgy following the State of the Union Address."Sure. Sure he will.
Nugent said the media does not realize he is a "force to be reckoned with" and therefore he will "dominate them."
Nugent added that he would be outspoken after the event but "remain respectful to the office of the presidency and the event itself."
The thing is, my issue isn't even primarily with Ted Nugent. He's just being Ted Nugent. My issue is really with Rep. Steve Stockman, who has so little respect for the Office of the Presidency, and no doubt for the man who currently holds it, that he would invite a specimen like Nugent to the State of the Union in the first place.
The Republican Party should be ashamed of Stockman and ashamed of itself. What a contemptible lot.