Obama Breath Mint Ban Leaves a Bad Taste in My Mouth

obama disappoint mintsDemocratic state Representative Joe Armstrong from Tennessee needs to see a therapist. And perhaps a dentist. After being notified that the University of Tennessee was selling breath mints that satirised President Obama, Armstrong demanded that the mints be removed from the bookstore shelves, explaining that the public university should be sensitive to "politically specific products."

The now-banned mints come in a red and white tin with a lid that reads, "This is change? Disappoint Mints."

Either Rep. Armstrong has lost his mind, or he really hates fresh breath, because this is a total calaminty.


The bookstore says they used to sell mints that made fun of Bush, but no one seemed to care about political references, until now.

People are rightfully a little irked by Armstrong's request to remove the mints -- free speech is free speech, and as constitutional law professor Glenn Reynolds told Knox News:

If you make fun of the president in a mint, it is just as much free speech as it is if you make fun of the president in a political cartoon.

Armstrong has got to pick better battles -- this is just embarrassing. The tin of mints is funny, topical, and harmless. And I like Obama!

I have to wonder if Rep. Armstrong is up for re-election or something, and just needed to get his name in the news. Maybe he's going to go on an anti-mint rampage, demanding public schools stop selling Dentyne Ice in the vending machines because "practicing safe breath" is too provocative. Sigh.

As a southerner, it's news like this that gives our region a bad name. I guess it's a welcome surprise that it's a Democratic actually responsible for a dumb move, but still. Reynolds summed it up best when he said:

It’s really quite odd to hear of a state legislator to take it upon himself to have something removed from a bookstore. It’s the kind of thing people make fun of Mississippi for.


And Rep. Armstrong, if you're out there, let me warn you to stay away from Times Square: Your head might explode and get all the anti-Obama paraphernalia bloody, which would be such a disappoint mint.

Do you think the mints should've been removed from the bookstore?

Photo via Mint maker's philosophersguild.com

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