The joke Sheriff McDonald made at a breakfast with mostly Republicans was DISGUSTING but not surprising coming from Republicans.
Lincoln was ASSASSINATED NOT just wounded like Cheney's friend whom McDonald claimed it was like. It is NOT the same. Millions make comments in private and on public forums like the Internet both for and against the president. Some against strain credulity but are defended on First Amendment grounds. I agree anyone has the right to say politically negative things against anyone in office. This president, however, has received more RACIST death threats than any president bar none.
The difference between simply online criticisms no matter how noxious is the fact that Sheriff McDonald is a public persona and one that is SUPPOSED to advocate law and order. It would be different if it were just another person but he is SUPPOSED to represent ALL the people of Plymouth County.
Beyond even that is that he was casting a humorous light on one of the nation's most heinous crimes; one which has had and still does have PROFOUND implications for the negative trajectory of race relations through this century. Lincoln is on Mt. Rushmore for God's sake. NOTHING is funny absolutely NOTHING is funny about the assassination or attempted one of President Lincoln or ANY president. If the shoe were on the other foot and it were Ronald Reagan, who was I might add in fact nearly assassinated, I would say the same thing against making a joke. Making a joke about it is OUT OF BOUNDS! This is NOT appropriate for the subject of comedy. Shame on those who laughed and SHAME ON Sheriff McDonald! He should be FIRED.