On yesterday's broadcast of the NRA-sponsored Cam & Company, NRA board member and Washington Times columnist Ted Nugent referred to federal law enforcement agents as “jack-booted thugs,” and described President Obama as “communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-trained” and a “church-goer to the hate-America church.”
Nugent's “jack-booted thugs” comment came in response to last month's raid on a Gibson Guitar Corporation factory, in which federal agents confiscated wood, hard drives, an guitars on the suspicion that Gibson had illegally imported Indian hardwood. A federal agent's affidavit states that the Customs form for the shipment misrepresented its contents to falsely claim that the goods in question were legal to export under Indian law. According to an expert contacted by Media Matters, Gibson has a prior record of purchasing questionable wood, which likely led to the company being targeted. Right-wing media have claimed that the raid was in fact politically motivated.
After criticizing the raid by “jack-booted thugs,” Nugent went on to blame “the American people” for having “bent over so far as a citizenry” as to allow the “communist-trained” Obama to become president.
NUGENT: You know who I blame, Cam?
CAM EDWARDS (HOST): Who's that?
NUGENT: The American people. We talk about this every year before we do the NRA annuals, and I've always condemned the curse of apathy. And of course, the curse of apathy has a name, and it's we the people. We have bent over so far as a citizenry in this country that we've allowed a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-trained, a church-goer to the hate-America church, we've allowed him to become the president of the United States of America, because we bent over that far. We've allowed our federal agents to get away with this kind of jack-booted thuggery.
The phrase “jack-booted thugs” has special resonance in NRA history. In 1995, the organization sent a fundraising letter to its membership signed by NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre that used that descriptor for law enforcement. This triggered a firestorm in which former President George H. W. Bush publicly resigned his lifetime NRA membership in protest. Under pressure, LaPierre eventually responded that “If anyone thought the intention was to paint all federal law-enforcement officials with the same broad brush, I'm sorry, and I apologize.”