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Bevin: Founding Fathers Involved in Cockfighting and Dog Fighting

Matt Bevin, the Tea Partier challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell from the right in the Republican primary, has been taking some heat for addressing at a rally put on by a group trying to legalize cockfighting in Kentucky. His response is to make this absolutely bizarre claim:

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin continued to address his presence at a rally for supporters of legalizing cockfighting by saying America’s Founding Fathers were very involved in the cockfighting world too.

“But it’s interesting when you look at cockfighting and dogfighting as well,” Bevin said in an interview on the Terry Meiners Show on Louisville’s WHAS on Thursday. “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 [sic.]“

Uh, what? Evidence, please.

In the same interview Bevin said he’s never “been to a cockfight” and doesn’t “condone cockfighting.”

“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.”

Oh yes, of course. Because defending their right to free speech obviously means you have to attend the event and speak to them. Just like you can’t defend the right of the KKK to free speech without putting on a white sheet and lynching a black person, amirite?

Comments

  1. says

    “I mean the Founding Fathers were all many of them very involved in this and always have been [sic.]“
    Still? So, the Founding Fathers are/were Highlanders?

  2. observer says

    Even if the founding fathers were involved in those things, so? A lot of them were involved in slavery z, too. Things don’t automatically become ok just because some founding fathers did them.

  3. Sastra says

    As Steven Pinker pointed out in Better Angels of Our Nature, our attitude towards both other human beings and animals have steadily progressed since the 1600′s, so that cruelties which were once commonplace are now regarded with horror. The public used to be happily entertained by hangings, bear-baiting, public whippings, and putting cats in bags and setting them on fire. Haha!

    Yeah. What was once amusing has become appalling. Bevin seems to have allowed his “Jesus was the Perfect Man” attitude to color his view of the 18th century.

  4. jamessweet says

    FWIW, it would shock me exactly not at all if some of the Founding Fathers were into cockfighting. Doesn’t mean they were, but it doesn’t seem inconsistent with the time period in any way.

    A little googling suggests that cockfighting was quite popular in colonial America. As far as any of the founding fathers specifically being fans, I found some links supporting that idea but none of them were even remotely reliable (one even claims that Abraham Lincoln got the nickname “Honest Abe” for his integrity as a referee in cockfighting… hahaha, if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.. and a Tea Party candidate you can vote for!). In any case, it doesn’t appear to be an absurd claim by any means…

    Of course, the idea that this in any way shape or form ought to dampen our opposition to cockfighting, that is an absurd claim!

  5. says

    I have it on reliable authority that the founding fathers were into shitting in chamber pots, outhouses and the woods. They were also into dying of smallpox, malaria, cholera and other infectious diseases. I want to see this asshat go full pioneer.

  6. jamessweet says

    Depending on how you parse the sentence, the NY Times may have claimed that some of the FF’s were into cockfighting in a 1995 article:

    Many cockfighting enthusiasts like to say that theirs is a gentlemanly pastime, one that was favored by Asian emperors, English monarchs and American Presidents, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/11/nyregion/blood-sport-gets-blood-fans-cockfighting-don-t-understand-its-outlaw-status.html

    Now, you can parse that with emphasis on “cockfighting enthusiasts like to say”… but the article does not at any time contradict this. I maintain skepticism (I think the author of the article just didn’t bother to research it beyond the claim), but Bevin would be forgiven for taking this at face value.

  7. Larry says

    So does this mean its OK with Bevin to permit the squire of the estate to fuck the household slaves?

  8. Chiroptera says

    I don’t know whether the founders of the nation were into cockfighting, but it would surprise me if none of them were.

    But if they did enjoy cockfighting, that just tells me that the founders weren’t the paragons of morality and good sense that some people claim, and that I shouldn’t run to them (or to their writings) if I want to make a decision about how modern society should be structured or how to run a modern democratic republic.

  9. dingojack says

    Demo – OK. exactly how many of the so called ‘Founding Fathers’ died of:
    a) smallpox
    b) malaria
    c) cholera
    d) other infectious diseases (if so which)
    Enquiring minds & etc….
    Dingo

  10. says

    So, the founding fathers are just like the Bible. Whatever a teabagger supports, they supported. And whatever teabaggers hate, why Thomas Jefferson and George and Benjamin hated the crap out of it too.
    Isn’t that convenient?

  11. Abby Normal says

    I wonder how he feels about the founding fathers attitude toward growing hemp/marijuana.

  12. says

    dingojack:

    I should have said that, during their time on the planet, those diseases were epidemic. Can’t honestly say what they all died of but any of those are possibilities

    This:

    “Philadelphia experienced more than fifty epidemics, on average about one every two years, from 1699 to 1799. This paper traces and catalogs those epidemics, defines the diseases in terms by which they were known from a contemporary observer’s account if possible, and looks at the estimated mortality in relation to the population of the city when these figures are available.”

    is from here:

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/2007_winter_spring/epidemics.html

    Malaria was endemic in the U.S. South and during both the Revolutionary War and the War of Southern Treachery, soldiers returning from the southern states carried malaria back home with them. The book, “The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years” was an eye-opener for me on the subject.

    General John Bell Hood died of Yellow Fever in New Orleans in 1879, over 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

    Communicable disease epidemics occurred with distressing frequency in the Colonies and Post-1776 U.S.

  13. lancifer says

    I am puzzled that so many people, in various cultures, find cock fighting to be entertaining. Watching two chickens tear the crap out of each other doesn’t strike me as inherently interesting.

    But I am also surprised that it is a felony in 40 states and reviled by so many people as if it were two human babies slashing each other to ribbons.

    I’ll bet that the average life of a fighting cock is better than the average life of a roaster chicken, injected with hormones, its beak shorn and jammed into a cage never seeing the outside of an industrial building surrounded by millions of its fellow, soon to be nugget, chickens.

    I’m not saying that cock fighting isn’t senselessly cruel and worthy of being banned, just that I don’t see it as being the heinous crime that it is often portrayed to be. Especially when millions of other chickens suffer an arguably worse fate.

  14. Alverant says

    “Not just for raising money, but for free speech.”
    That’s disturbing. So forcing creatures to fight and die for your amusement is OK if it makes money. It seems that the definition of “speech” is becoming blurred like what we’re seeing with “religion” when it comes to freedom. Anything goes if you can wrap it up in the Founding Fathers.

  15. says

    Hmm, I went to the cockfights in the Philippines not too long ago. It’s mostly about shouting and betting.

    A sharp knife is attached to one of the cock’s spurs so the cockfights mostly end very quickly with minimal suffering though the violence can’t be denied. The birds themselves are very well taken care of with perfect plumage and clear eyes.

    Given treatment of animals in the US, I find no way to negatively judge the Philippinos in this practice, as the losing birds have lived well and are eaten upon their demise.

    When I stayed in the countryside in the Philippines, being served (a freshed-killed) chicken was the height of hospitality. A chicken that had an actual life, unlike the pasty white fowl in our grocery stores.

  16. Donnie says

    @billdaniels: I know! I thought cockfighting was about the rights of two teabaggers to well, teabag another person…..or, is thst too much?

  17. says

    As Steven Pinker pointed out in Better Angels of Our Nature, our attitude towards both other human beings and animals have steadily progressed since the 1600′s,

    That makes sense given how most teabaggers seem to be mentally stuck in the 17th century.

  18. says

    “That makes sense given how most teabaggers seem to be mentally stuck in the 17th century.”

    That, sir, is a calumnious lie!

    ONLY the Post-modernist Teabaggists are mentally stuck in the 17th century. The rest of them are stuck at around the beginning of the Reformation.

  19. eric says

    Yeah, very strange Ed. The guy is basically arguing we shouldn’t judge his candidacy for office based on (in part) the groups he panders to. Well, of course we should. If a candidate panders to pro-business interests, I can suspect that they might legislate pro-business laws. Sure he has a free speech right to pander to them – that’s not the point. The point is, voters are perfectly justified in seeing that as data which is relevant to their vote.
    Its kind of funny because he seems to be subtly admitting that politicians often meet with groups they have no interest in supporting, and that they regularly lie to these groups about whether they will support their interests when the politician gets elected. “Hey, don’t judge me! Just because I talked up cockfighitng to these guys doesn’t mean I actually support it!” We all know that to be true, but its pretty rare to hear some politician actually admit that they are doing it.

  20. dogmeat says

    Until today I never knew that cockfighting involved birds.

    Well, originally it didn’t. You know, what happens behind closed doors at a Free Mason meeting stays behind closed doors, an all that. Apparently non Masons heard about the “cock fight” and Franklin, quick thinking, pointed to a rooster and said, that’s what they meant. The rest, as they say, is history. ;o)

  21. says

    Sastra said:

    The public used to be happily entertained by hangings, bear-baiting, public whippings, and putting cats in bags and setting them on fire. Haha!

    Whereas now, if you are caught being slightly rude to a cat in a video which is posted online, people send death threats. :-/

    Kamaka said:

    Given treatment of animals in the US, I find no way to negatively judge the Philippinos in this practice

    Here’s the trick– you condemn the practice, not the country. That way you can say that both factory farms and cockfighting are inhumane without carelessly slandering or complimenting an entire population.

  22. says

    “Here’s the trick– you condemn the practice, not the country. That way you can say that both factory farms and cockfighting are inhumane without carelessly slandering or complimenting an entire population.”

    But if you’re saying that about the U.S., Gretchen, you get a twofer!

  23. Johnny Au Gratin says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Bevin is fine with cockfighting, yet can’t make an omelet lest he break eggs. This video is the first time I have heard Angela’s normal speaking voice. I see her every Saturday morning outside the clinic where I escort. There she screams at patients that they will very likely either die, be sterilized, or get breast cancer if they go through with an abortion. Employees of the Gilmours (mostly volunteers lacking medical training) can be found at the CPC next door trying to lure patients inside with promises of free ultrasound images that they later claim won’t be available today. This is likely because most of the images look more like a lima bean than anything vaguely resembling a baby, which doesn’t fit their narrative. Meanwhile, have a look at these faked pictures of abortions while we tell you what to expect in Hell.
    Pro-Life Kentuckians on Matt Bevin

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