The Biz vs. the Nuge

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 13 2013 9:18 AM

The Biz vs. the Nuge

My State of the Union take, from late last night, focused on the Republicans who have nothing to lose from opposing everything Obama proposes. My focal point was celebrity guest Ted Nugent, the invited guest of a safe-seat Republican who's already threatened to impeach Obama.

As Nugent talked to reporters, his sponsor, Rep. Steve Stockman, was standing more or less alone, discussing the lack of depth behind any gun bill push. “I was listening to NPR this morning,” said Stockman. “Yes, I listen to NPR! The senator from West Virginia was on, and he said, ‘Yeah, I’m for more gun control.’ They said, ‘Give us specifics.’ And by the end of the interview he didn’t really have any.”
Nugent just kept moving from camera to camera, from the set-up satellite feeds in Statuary Hall to the hand-helds of independent reporters. Like the median House Republican, he had his constituency, and he knew it was bigger than the liberals’. “If you walk the halls with me,” he told a National Review writer, “every military guy, every cop, has an Uncle Ted story. See the smile on my face? These are my buddies here. I’m surrounded by working hard, playing hard Americans.”

The point is that Obama continues to publicly shame Republicans for not allowing up-down votes on issues that poll very well. Democrats probably helped correct this, to a point, by bringing gun violence victims' families to shame the GOP in real time. Reporters' heads jerked right when they heard one woman yell the name of another victim during the "they deserve a vote!" litany. But Republicans are holding fast to an electoral dynamic that advantages them.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

Are You Attending the People’s Climate March? Nine Reasons You Should.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 1:38 PM The Gaffe Police Are Back to Make Politics Glib and Boring
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Never Remember Anything
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.