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Opening Arguments

Your first rodeo, clown?

Oh, for God's sake, people, chill!

The fallout from a Missouri rodeo clown’s mockery of President Obama continued as the Missouri State Fair said it will force all clowns to undergo sensitivity training and the head of the state rodeo-clown organization resigned.

The state fair commission voted Monday to ratify its decision to ban for life the clown in question who wore an Obama mask. The rodeo announcer and a second clown wearing a microphone asked whether the crowd wanted to see him get run down by a bull.

Sensitivity training for what? To learn not to mock those in power? to browbeat us into not disrescpecting our betters?A lifetime ban? Where was all this outrage when President Bush was in office?

As Byron York reminds us:

Any president comes in for a fair amount of public mockery, and what happened at the State Fair does not seem worse than the mockery of the president that occurred — without consequences like lifetime bans — during George W. Bush’s years in the White House. It’s not necessary to recite all the insults, threats, and other offenses directed at Bush during his presidency; if you were awake during those years, you know there were a lot of them. But perhaps it would be useful to list a few, and ask whether they resulted in punishment and professional exile for those involved.

As far as disrespect and ridicule are concerned, in 2007, TV newswoman Erin Burnett, who then worked for MSNBC, repeatedly referred to Bush as a “monkey” during a report on an economic summit. Burnett, who later apologized, was not banned from television; she is now a prime-time anchor on CNN.

Burnett was not alone; depictions of Bush as a chimpanzee, in particular, were common on the Internet during those years.

This is all partisan crap. Every president is mocked by the other side, all of his supporters are outraged, and the beat goes on.

Last word to David Burge at Iowahawk:

Key issues of the American left

2007: war, deficits, civil liberties

2013: impertinent rodeo clowns