The Wasatch Behind
There has been an uproar the past week because a rodeo clown at the Missouri State fair wore an Obama mask while fighting bulls. To read the leftist blogs, it's like the clown committed blasphemy. There has been much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth among Obama supporters.
Blasphemy has never been a problem for most liberals. You might remember the crucifix in a bottle of human urine the enlightened lefties were so proud to have displayed in a museum in New York last September. The "art exhibit" was funded with your tax dollars through the National Endowment for the Arts. Christians were outraged, but president Obama refused to comment about it and we were reminded that artists have a first amendment right to "express themselves," even if others might be offended.
Well, the sacrilege is serious this time because it happened to liberals. A rodeo clown mocked their lord and savior, Barrack Obama. Heaven forbid. This time the irreverence is offensive and there are serious repercussions.
Bowing to pressure from "progressive" politicians, celebrities, cable news outlets, newspapers and "good Americans" everywhere, the state of Missouri has groveled and apologized. The clown has been fired and "banned for life" from ever performing at the state fair again. The rodeo announcer, who was also the president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Assn. has resigned and hired a lawyer because he's afraid he might lose his job as superintendent of schools. The rodeo clown has apologized on social media, and so far, the PRCA has failed to make a statement in his defense. Everyone is hiding.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and state fair officials have called on the Rodeo Cowboys Assn. to "hold those responsible for this offensive stunt accountable." The state is also "reviewing its contracts" with the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Assn. and the stock contractor who hired the clown. The threats and intimidation are real.
Missouri Representative Steve Webb (D) said he was "incensed" by the incident. He said the stunt had "racial overtones" and people "shouldn't taunt our first black president." The NAACP has called for the secret service to investigate because, they say, the clown was inciting violence against the president by asking the audience if they'd like to see Obama run over by a bull, to which many in the audience clapped and cheered.
What happened to the rodeo clown's first amendment right to express himself? Making jokes about powerful people is what clowns do. I don't remember any of this outrage when comedians mercilessly mocked George Bush one and two, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Dan Quale and others. As I recall, there was even a movie released about George Bush number two being assassinated; this while the man was still serving as president. The NAACP didn't complain about that. What is different this time?
Rodeo clowns are harmless beings. They are brave, athletic young men who put their lives on the line to rescue bull riders in trouble. As a sideline, they provide entertainment for the crowd. Rodeo clowns have made jokes about politicians, kings and presidents since the first public address systems were installed in rodeo arenas during the era of Will Rogers, back in the 1930s. Will Rogers, you might remember, was a famous cowboy comedian who made endless jokes about congress, the president, and the great depression.
If our current president is beyond criticism simply because he's black, as some powerful people claim, we have good reason to never vote for a black man again. If his race sets him above other presidents and insulates him from scrutiny, ridicule and accountability, our country is in bigger trouble than most of us know. People didn't dare make jokes about Chairman Mao, Hitler, Stalin, and North Korea's Dear Leader, either.
All of our previous presidents and the Queen of England have endured criticism, sarcasm, political satire and cruel jokes. It comes with the job. Which political system do we prefer?
Clowns will be clowns. Some just take themselves more seriously than others.