By now, we’re all used to hearing some mind-bogglingly goofy things from MSNBC guest commentators, but this one gives even John “That press conference was TREASON” Brennan a run for his money. MSNBC commentator John Heilemann, referring to a poll that claimed 40% of Republicans agreed that President Trump had the power to shut down media outlets that engage in bad behavior, declared that he was “virtually certain” that if asked it in a poll, about 10% of Republicans would say it would be okay for Donald Trump to kill their grandparents.
I suppose you could make the argument that the question was too vague and hypothetical (What if the media outlets were broadcasting classified information? What if the grandparents were terrorists? etc.) But let’s concede that both propositions are absurd. First of all, Trump has never threatened to shut down a media outlet. For all their talk of him being an autocratic dictator, the media obviously have no fear of criticizing him constantly, which I suspect they would if they actually believed he were an autocratic dictator. Their attempts to conflate criticism of their bias and lack of fact-checking into an attack on free speech and the First Amendment itself sounded familiar, and then I remembered this famous scene from “Animal House”:
It’s also ironic that a liberal should accuse Republicans of being willing to let Trump kill their grandparents, since it’s eerily similar to an analogy that conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke made years ago to the way liberals are always advocating for higher taxes for one new program or the other.
O’Rourke explained that if you don’t pay your taxes, the government puts you in prison; and if you try to leave prison, they shoot you. Therefore, all taxes are taken at the threat of a gun. So when someone wants higher taxes to pay for some government program, you have to ask yourself, “Would I let someone put a gun to my grandma’s head and take her money to pay for this?” Maybe for necessities like national defense you would. But would you let someone rob your grandmother at gunpoint to pay for his college tuition or his cell phone or his clean heroin syringes? Not likely. Yet liberals think taxes should pay for all those things and much, much more.
Now, tell me again: which side is more likely to be okay with pointing a gun at grandma?