Culture warriors on the right spent the bulk of the holiday season establishing Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty as a martyr because the millionaire was suspended from his television show after making grossly homophobic and racist statements to a GQ reporter. The strategy worked, and A&E reinstalled Robertson to his apparently First Amendment–guaranteed spot on reality TV, which in turn sent liberal bloggers back to YouTube to find more incidents of Robertson saying terrible things about the nonwhite, nonmale, nonstraight portions of the population.
The hunt didn’t take long. This weekend bloggers turned up a video from 2009 in which Robertson advises marrying underage girls because they are easier to dominate than those who’ve graduated high school.
In the video, a Sportsmen’s Ministry talk, Robertson laments that good women are hard to find, saying, “Mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em. Look, you wait until they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket.”
His advice for a happy marriage is to make like R. Kelly and hang out in high-school parking lots. “You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They’ll pick your ducks.” (No, “pick your ducks” is not sexual innuendo—Robertson is talking about cleaning the feathers off of dead birds, a miserable task often left to women to perform.) “You need to check with mom and dad about that of course,” sage Robertson wisely advises, but he does not explain how to convince the parents of teenage girls to let them marry grown men who are tired of cleaning their own dead birds.
He could start by asking his own sons. Indeed, his one son, Willie Robertson, has a daughter, Sadie, who at 16 is exactly the right age for marriage in her grandfather’s estimation. Of course, she’s pretty busy at the moment capitalizing on her family’s fame to start a career in fashion designing. Instead of doing her godly duty and standing over a sink yanking feathers off her husband’s killings, Sadie Robertson has been walking the catwalk to show off prom dresses she helped design with Sherri Hill. One can only hope for an episode of Duck Dynasty in which Phil has a heart-to-heart with his granddaughter, illuminating the very important issue of yanking teenagers out of New York Fashion Week to marry them off before they can vote. Think about it, A&E. Everyone knows what Phil Robertson is now, so why not make some money letting him be himself for a nation of gawkers.