Are GOP leaders missing a ‘Sister Souljah moment’ on Ted Nugent rants?

How has a rock musician who hasn’t topped the charts for decades – “Cat Scratch Fever” was back in 1977 – become a media-ready presence, relevant and, in certain circles, respectable?

For Ted Nugent, frequent and heated statements about President Obama, guns and race have done the trick. Nugent has always been an outrageous rocker, boastful about his exploits – sexual and otherwise. Headlines and notoriety in his business are gold, especially if, as it’s being reported, he has a live album in the works. But why are Republican leaders either encouraging the “Motor City Madman” or tacitly going along?

Rather than seeing an opportunity for a “Sister Souljah moment” – named for then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s 1992 public repudiation of someone perceived to represent extremist views as a way reassure the middle — Nugent has been elevated on conservative news outlets and is a sought-after guest. He’s become the foul-mouthed bard of the right wing.

The not-guilty verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin has given Nugent new material.