Sheriff Defends Joke, Calls Critics 'Hypocrites'
Sheriff Joseph McDonald calls criticism of his joke "ironic," and adds that the joke has been around since the 1870s.
Sheriff Joseph McDonald responded to criticism Tuesday about a joke he made at the GOP 8's St. Patrick's Day Breakfast in Scituate, saying not only is the joke more than 150 years old, but he has also heard liberals make the same joke.
"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."
The sheriff then proceeded to tell the joke.
I had four presidents, the Jacob Marley character was Reagan, and Reagan tells Obama he will be visited by three ghosts who will tell you how to make this country a better place.
Barack Obama is lying awake in bed in the White House when the ghost of George Washington appears to him.
Obama asks Washington: 'How can I best serve my country?'
George Washington replies: 'Never tell a lie.'
Then the ghost of Thomas Jefferson appears and Obama asks: 'Tell me, Mr. Jefferson, how can I best serve my country?'
Jefferson replies: 'Follow the Constitution.'
Then Lincoln's ghost appears and Obama says: 'Tell me, Mr. Lincoln, how can I best serve my country?'
And Lincoln replies: 'Go to the theater.'
McDonald defended the joke and called complaints about it 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."
He added that he's had defenders on Blue Mass Group, the liberal blog that reported the gaffe.
The administrator of McDonald's Facebook page has deleted many of the comments that attacked the sheriff, which may be illegal according to a post on Blue Mass Group:
McDonald might be violating the state public record law. The Treasurer’s office says the following about its social media pages (emphasis mine):
Please note, that Records Retention Law of the Commonwealth requires the Mass.Gov portal team to preserve records created or received by a state employee. Pursuant to this retention requirement comments posted or messages received via an official state agency page on a third-party web-site (such as an official agency profile on a social network) will be treated as state governmental records and may be permanently archived.
"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."