The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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February 15, 2013

Our View: Ted Nugent a provocative State of the Union guest

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To Texas Republican Steve Stockman for inviting Ted Nugent to the president’s State of the Union address last week.

Following the last election. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told his fellow Republicans that “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.”

People like Stockman apparently didn’t take the advice to heart.

The problem isn’t that Nugent’s a gun advocate. It’s that he verges on unstable.

He once told the president to “suck on my machine gun.” And he’s the man who recently said: “I’ll tell you this right now: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

When the gallery was full of victims of gun violence and family members who’ve lost loved ones, Nugent’s presence wasn’t intended as a reasonable Second Amendment counter to gun control advocates — it was a provocation.

Many in the GOP know they must regain control of their party and expand its appeal if they hope to be relevant. Stunts like this don’t move them in that direction.

Boehner puts out the challenge

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Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, urged — more like challenged — Senate Democrats to pass the agenda offered by President Obama during his State of the Union address. It included such things as more stimulus spending on infrastructure, a national cap-and-trade energy tax, increase in the minimum wage and spending for early childhood education.

If this truly is the progressive agenda the president feels will bring America back and America can get behind, it is important for the Senate Democrats to either show their support or show which disagreements need to be worked out. To lay out the agenda and “dare” the Congress to come up with something different is merely a blame and shame game.

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