Via Legal Insurrection:
One Halloween costume is scaring up plenty of controversy along the Tennessee-Kentucky border.
A person dressed as President Obama wearing a straitjacket is generating lots of complaints.
We don’t know if these employees at Hopkinsville’s Jennie Stuart Medical Center were making a joke or a political statement with their Halloween costumes, but they did get a reaction.
Those who fall into the offended category are upset with the portrayal of President Obama in police custody wearing a straitjacket.
1st Street Baptist Church Pastor C.E. Timberlake says it’s wrong to portray any president that way.
“I think it’s very offensive and really that shouldn’t have happened,” Timberlake said. “There are other characters they could have dressed up and put a straitjacket other than the President of this country,”
Administrators of the hospital agree releasing a statement saying “no matter who the president is they deserve respect and honor.”
WTF? Did I wake up in North Korea this morning? Since when are we obligated to respect and honor any president?
I can remember every president since JFK. As a kid we had a record of some guy impersonating Kennedy’s Massachusetts accent for laughs. I watched The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, both of which regularly lampooned LBJ and Nixon. Doonesbury started under Nixon, and G.B. Trudeau won a Pulitzer Prize in part because of his mocking of Nixon.
I can remember Rich Little impersonating Nixon. I remember Chevy Chase playing a bumbling Gerald Ford on SNL. I can’t remember how many times I saw Johnny Carson poking fun at presidents. Halloween masks of presidents are always big sellers. Every single president in my lifetime has been mocked, jeered and criticized – JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush.
Why should Barack Obama be any different?
I was raised to be polite. If I met any president – past, present or future, living or dead – I would be polite. I would shake his hand (if offered) and call him Mr. President. Of course I would be equally polite with anyone I met.
But the idea that I can’t ever make fun of, belittle, imitate, impersonate, insult, mock, jeer and/or criticize a president is flatly un-American. Presidents, Vice-Presidents, First Ladies, Cabinet members, SCOTUS justices, governors, senators, mayors – every leader is fair game.
I can stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and shout “Fuck Barack Obama!” That is one of the things that makes this country great. We are all sovereign citizens and we bow down to nobody.
And that’s how we roll.