Kentucky Senate candidate Matt Bevin just can’t seem to stop talking about the fundamental American right to make a sport out of watching animals tear each other to pieces, because god knows he needs to try to find some way of spinning that speech he gave at a pro-cockfighting rally last weekend. First he tried to explain that as far as he knew, it was just a pro-states’ rights group, even though the organizers said that legalizing cockfighting was pretty much the focus of the whole shebang. But now Bevin’s going to see if invoking the Founding Fathers will do him any good, since everyone knows that all true Americans want to return to the late 18th century, as long as we can still have Twitter, microwave pizza, and NASCAR.
Bevin’s evolving chicken-fighting perspective comes after Mitch McConnell’s campaign ridiculed Bevin’s claim that he was unaware of the pro-bird-massacre orientation of the event. McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said, “Only Matt Bevin would go to a cockfighting rally and claim he didn’t know what they were doing there,” although frankly we can think of any number of members of Congress who might be equally clueless. Michele Bachmann, for instance, might have attended a cockfighting event but left in horror for fear that it had something to do with gay sex.
Bevin attempted Wednesday to justify his blood and feather-flecked embrace of chicken murder enthusiasts by reframing the matter in a Tea Partyish direction: campaign spokeswoman Rachel Semmel explained that McConnell was wrong to have supported cockfighting restrictions in the Farm Bill, and that “Matt doesn’t believe this is a federal issue, and the state government can handle it,” so there. Go small government.
And then on Thursday, it was time to drag out the Founding Fathers, because why not try that, too? In a radio interview, Bevin said that cockfighting, while not something he’s into, has a long and noble pedigree:
But it’s interesting when you look at cockfighting and dogfighting as well. This isn’t something new, it wasn’t invented in Kentucky for example. I mean the Founding Fathers were all many of them very involved in this and always have been.
And apparently they’re still at it, always, because rooster fights made them immortal.
Bevins also explained that fundamentally, no one should criticize his palling around with poultry terrorists because Free Speech:
“I’m going to defend the right of people to freely gather and discuss whatever they want to,” Bevin said. “I’m a believer in the Constitution and in the First Amendment,” Bevin also said. “Not just for raising money but also for freedom of speech.”
Bevin didn’t actually take a position on whether Kentucky should legalize cockfighting, but it’s awfully good to know that he’ll be the first to jam a razor sharp spur into the eye (metaphorically) of anyone who would deny the right of people to talk about chicken fighting (not that anyone has said talking about it should be banned).
At this rate, we expect that by Monday Bevin will be praising the Emmy-nominated 1977 performance of Ben Vereen as Chicken George in Roots and calling it minority outreach.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He’d like to think this is the last chicken boxing story he’ll need to do, but that’s really not up to him, is it?