Normally this wouldn’t make the blog, but we’re talking about an election official here. She clearly should have known better.


FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — A Republican county election clerk distributed copies of an apparent chain letter referring to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as a “young, black Adolf Hitler” to two employees but later told police she intended it to be a joke.

The employees, who had voted for Obama in Indiana’s Democratic primary, discovered the letters at their desks after returning from Labor Day weekend, Deputy Sheriff Doug Cox said in a police report made public this week. One of the workers complained, and surveillance video showed Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson placing an item one worker’s desk at 5:27 p.m. on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, Cox said.

“She admitted to being responsible for the letter, but only did it as a joke,” Cox said. Jackson told police she had intended to speak with the workers upon returning to work but forgot.

Just a joke?

Well, how many of you would consider the following even remotely funny?

The letter does not mention Obama by name but makes references to his ties to a Chicago church whose pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, adheres to black liberation theology. It is heavy with racial references, criticizing the candidate’s parentage with such comments as, “He is proud of his ‘African heritage’ (a father who got a white girl pregnant and deserted her)” and asking, “Where is the pride in his ‘White heritage?'”

The unsigned letter urges readers to send it to everyone they know.

I will say this…the fact that she hasn’t been fired is certainly comical.

Moving on…

  • mike mcEachran

    Can someone explain why election officials are political appointees? Who thought this was a good idea, and can we change it?

  • Eric Weaver

    One of many good things about the Internet: increasing numbers of people like this, assuming their “secret” racist or hateful leanings can be expressed anonymously, will have their behavior outed online.

    We have SO many challenges as a nation right now, many of them external. Yet we pick at each other over tired, idiotic issues like race. Until we come to the joint conclusion that NONE OF THIS OLD-SCHOOL SHIT MATTERS, we’ll continue to split our energy and be less effective than we could be at fixing our problems.

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    I’m loving it, the Republican party is ripping itself apart and driving its bloody remnants further and further to the right. At this rate they’ll consign themselves to the wilderness for decades, that is if they don’t go the way of the Whigs.

  • James

    Now Rush is smelling fish about Obama making a trip to see his grandmother. Apparently, the birth certificate thing is up for grabs again.

    What a way to go out.

  • Yes, because we can add this person to all the people who were fired for their Bush=Hitler speech.

    What? No one was ever fired for such things? Musta just been an oversight.

    And we can put this post amongst the long list of Donklephant blog posts condeming the Bush=Hitler speech.

    hmmm….. none of those either.

    I guess its only offensive when its done to a Democrat.

    You have two options: Either such speech is always beyond the pale, or you’ve got to put up with it. The idea that someone should be fired because they have a different sense of humor from Justin, or me, or even the majority of Americans is an idea that cannot be squared with any liberal idea of free speech. That so many go along with the idea of punishing people for speech they disagree with is truly disturbing, and does little to disprove the charges of totalitarian tendencies.

    (I’m waiting for the apolplectic responses to my measured comments. Should be fun!)

  • Lit3Bolt

    Rich actually makes an important point. Right wingers are doing an amusing about face in their thoughts of the powers of an Imperial President. While Bush can do anything he wants, and the filibuster was a quaint archaic feature of the Senate back in…2005 I believe, now suddenly it’s time for the black helicopters to start circling our houses again.

    Shouldn’t this be an example of how both the left and the right should work together to try to diminish the powers of the government, no matter WHO is in office at the moment? Republican or Democrat, the government is never, ever your friend.

  • patrikios

    I remember Bush was Hitler a few years ago. I guess Obama has replaced him, even though he hasn’t even been elected yet. I remember a joke that “in the future, everybody will be Hitler for 15 minutes.”

  • And we can put this post amongst the long list of Donklephant blog posts condeming the Bush=Hitler speech.

    I believe I’ve condemned all kinds of hateful things from the left. Not sure about specifically mentioning the stupid Hitler remarks, but I clearly remember bashing Keith Olbermann and I’ve taken it to MoveOn and DailyKos and their ilk for stirring up anger and hate.

    Point taken, though. It has been irritating to watch Obama supporters get all bent out of shape over hateful speech when, for the last 8 years, people on the left have been saying all manner of horrible things about Bush. If it’s wrong to stir up hate, it’s wrong to stir up hate, regardless of who’s being hated. I’m sure I’ll get accused of false equivilancy for that remark, but hate is hate and it shouldn’t be tolerated just because it’s coming from “your” side.

  • Alan, if I thought Donklephant was a bad actor I wouldn’t hang around. (For example I’ve removed both DK and LGF from my blogroll over at IM for that very reason.)

    As for free speech, I’m a bit of an absolutist. Yes, I believe the KKK has a Constitutional right to march and spout their incredibly stupid and hateful idiocies. That is why I believe a line is crossed when calling for the state to impose penalties upon people based upon some people not liking someone’s speech political or otherwise.

  • Cy

    Rich –

    No hysteria here, just a point you may have overlooked: of all the hyperbolic “X is Hitler!” comments you referenced, none of them came from election officials.

    The choice you offer is a false one: speech we consider tolerable from some, when spoken by others, may be intolerable.

  • I’m sorry I wasn;t aware we had 1st Class and 2nd Class citizens in this country. I was still working under the assumption that the Constitution held equally for all.

    I’m not saying you have to like it. As a matter of fact, I’d pretty committed to your right to complain about it as well.

    You want to fire somone…then point to a single thing they did wrong in the performace of their duties.

  • Rich, I’d probably be considered a free speech absolutist. I believe the way you counteract speech you don’t like is with more speech. Unless a condition of this woman’s job is not to distribute political materials, then I don’t see why she should be fired. As far as I can tell, she’s not accused of plotting fraud or anything. That doesn’t make what she did right in the grander sense of right-and-wrong. It just means I don’t like getting into the habit of punishing speech, even offensive speech.

  • “I don’t see why she should be fired.”

    And lets be clear here…this was speech that was directed only at one or two co-workers and not for public consumption. By that standard (if we are going to make moral judgements here) than the people marching in demonstrations with “Bush=Hitler” are *more* wrong since they are attempting to spread their hate to the widest audience possible.

  • She is in a position of trust and, as such, has a duty to keep her radical opinions to herself. And the same would go for anybody on the left too.

    Also, we all know that ALL speech isn’t free, especially in the work place. You can be an absolutist all you want in the public square, but this situation is clearly different.