A rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair donned an Obama mask during part of traditional rodeo activities, and the crowd reportedly enjoyed the jab at President Barack Hussein Obama, who recently ended a long silence by appearing as a guest on comedian Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” last week.
The clown, Tuffy Gessling, has reportedly received a lifetime ban for the gesture, which was part of his clown act for an event focused on entertainment.
The taxpayer funded Missouri State Fair Commission, reportedly given Gessling a lifetime ban from performing again at the fair. It is not clear to what extent this could be a violation of Gessling’s first amendment rights to free speech, but many have noted that the United States has a long tradition of satirizing presidents and politicians.
In reaction to outrage by the president’s handlers on the left, the commission has required that anyone hired by Missouri’s rodeo association must participate in “sensitivity training,” before being allowed to perform from now on.
Talk show radio host Rush Limbaugh, commented on the issue, noting that “The Obama clown was supposed to be a dummy on a stick like a scarecrow, who suddenly comes alive when the bull chases. That was the shtick. That was the routine. It’s an old rodeo tradition. All these learned leftists who disdain American culture don’t even know that.”
Critics of the sanctions against the clown have drawn a comparison between the reaction of Democrats in this instance, to the reaction of Muslims in Denmark over cartoons involving Mohammed in September, 2005, which resulted in international protests and riots demanding that the cartoons be removed.