At a Massachusetts Republican Party St. Patrick’s Day breakfast Sunday, Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. (R) “joked” that the nation would be better off if President Obama were assassinated.
Blue Mass Group reports that the Boston Globe noted the stunning comment Sunday:
McDonald offered a joke about Barack Obama being visited in a dream by three past presidents, who offered advice on how to improve the country. Lincoln’s advice: “Go to the theater.”
We get the wildly offensive “joke.” Sheriff McDonald is trying to drum up Republican laughs by joking about the assassination of President Barack Obama.
This joke goes way beyond the typical sometimes-off-color fare at a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. For the average person on the street, a joke about the assassination of a U.S. President is wildly inappropriate, to say the least. The offense is compounded by the fact that gun violence is, for extremely obvious reasons, a highly sensitive and salient issue these days. The offense is further compounded still by the fact that the person making the wildly inappropriate joke is someone in the elected position of being responsible for public safety, i.e. someone who should both know better and should be held to a zero tolerance standard regarding jokes about murder and Presidential assassination.
What does this say about Sheriff McDonald’s judgment? If someone is entrusted with our public safety and still decides that it’s hilarious to make jokes about murder, in fact to make jokes about a Presidential assassination – with mass shootings happening on a fairly regular basis lately, mind you – shouldn’t that elected official resign his office? Judging by the comments piling up on the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page, the consensus is yes. [UPDATE: Whoever maintains the Plymouth County Sheriff Department’s Facebook page has been very busy deleting user comments calling for the Sheriff’s resignation. Dozens of comments have disappeared. Meanwhile, I still haven’t seen any public comment, apology, or other response from the Sheriff himself on his “joke.”]