Look, don’t go getting any funny ideas about Mitch McConnell’s teabagging primary opponent Matt Bevin being a supporter of cockfighting just because he gave a speech to a pro-cockfighting rally. All he saw on his schedule last Saturday morning was that he was speaking to a “States rights rally,” although maybe all the feathers and cackling in the background might have given him a clue. The event’s organizer, Michael Devereaux, head of the “Gamefowl Defense Network,” said that the event’s sole purpose was to legalize cockfighting: “The movement is about changing the law, not breaking the law,” and about using the democratic process to bring back the simple civilized pleasure of watching two animals fight to the death. By golly, if Matt Bevin is going to deny that he knew he was talking to Chicken Boxing advocates, maybe he should just give some thought to what a fine group of people they are.
They’re really the essence of the Tea Party movement, just decent folks who want nothing more than to read their Bibles, shoot their guns, watch their beautiful roosters peck each others’ eyes out, and eradicate once and for all the insulting stereotypes of southerners as hicks and hillbillies.
Bevin said Saturday, following a Lincoln Day banquet (in April?), that he didn’t realize that the event he’d addressed that morning was connected to cockfighting at all:
“I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin said. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”
Also, it probably doesn’t hurt Bevin to talk to the poultry pugilists, seeing as how the Big Government Oppressor Mitch McConnell voted for the Farm Bill, with its cruel anti-cockfighting agenda.
Bevin also explained that the meeting was all about “states’ rights” and that he wanted a piece of that, since everyone in Kentucky knows that the Federal government is just overreaching and interfering in all aspects of ordinary citizens’ lives, and that’s all. Chickens, you say? Didn’t hear any talk of chickens, no sir. And yet the organizer of the event seems puzzled that Bevin would claim such a thing:
Organizers say there was never any ambiguity about why they were meeting.
Devereaux said a new federal spectator law criminalizes not only those who participate in cock fighting, but any spectators at the event.
However, wording in the federal law states that if cockfighting is legal in the state and none of the fowl have crossed state lines, the federal law is moot.
“The basic argument is that the people of Kentucky have the right to determine how this issue is dealt with in their state,” Devereaux said.
Very clearly, the state doesn’t want to crack down,” Devereaux said, noting several attempts to amend Kentucky Law to make cock fighting a felony have failed.
On the other hand, it’s still illegal, so that darn federal law still applies. So, you know, time for some states’ rights, so the cockfights can come out of the shadows.
Besides, said Devereaux, cockfighting has been unfairly compared to dogfighting in the public imagination, when in fact, they are two entirely different categories of blood sport. People have an emotional attachment to dogs, he explained, so of course it’s shocking to see them be made to fight. But chickens, they’re for eating, and so nobody should be upset at two birds ripping each other to bloody shreds for sport. And did he mention that gamecocks actually have a better life than poultry raised for eating? “Commercial poultry lives about six weeks as opposed to two years for a game fowl,” he said.
Plus, like the Plains Indians, chicken-fighters use every part of the birds that they set a-fightin’:
Devereaux said gamecocks are not just thrown in the trash. The fowl are edible. In addition the feathers are used for fly-fishing lures and for decoration.
We’re pretty sure that Michael Deveraux could just go on and on about the beauty and possibly even the spirituality of watching two animals with razors strapped to their feet peck, kick, and slash each other to death, and it’s a complete mystery why Matt Bevin is trying to distance himself from such a potentially enthusiastic supporter.
We wish Mr. Bevin well at his upcoming appearance at a prayer breakfast. He probably won’t notice the snake handlers, either.