A day after ThinkProgress and others reported that Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. (R), Sheriff of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, told a “joke” at a Republican St. Patrick’s Day breakfast suggesting the nation would be better off if President Obama were assassinated, McDonald stood by his joke and compared his critics to Nazis.
Though McDonald’s office still has not responded to a request for comment from ThinkProgress, the Plymouth Patch reported Tuesday that Sheriff McDonald defended the “joke” as more than 150 years old and repeated it in its entirety. According to the story, McDonald attempted to spin himself as the victim of Nazi-like tactics: “The irony of it is, it’s perfectly OK for them [liberals] to make those jokes about President Bush or someone from the other side of the aisle. I can imagine what some of this place comes from not 2013 United States, it’s more like Nazi Germany in 1938.”
The report also notes:
“The joke I told was like The Christmas Carol story,” McDonald said Tuesday afternoon.”And I want to preface it by saying it’s something akin to a joke I’ve heard liberals tell.”
He said people have made death threats on his Facebook page and have called the joke treasonous. He called people who have complained about the joke and demanded that he resign “hypocrites.” …
McDonald defended the joke and called complaints about it were ironic. “The basic concept of it has been around since the Andrew Johnson administration,” he said. “The radical Republicans wanted him to take a much harder line on Reconstruction of the South, and the joke was that Johnson should have gone to the theater instead of Lincoln.”
McDonald’s defense of his comments — and his attacks on anyone who dared speak out against them — ignores the fact that as a public safety official who has taken an oath of office, he is held to a higher standard that some unnamed liberals or political activists of the 1860s.