Why is Hank Williams Jr. being punished for having an opinion?
As we've reported, Williams came under fire Monday after criticizing President Obama and House Speaker Boehner's recent golf match. The two ideologically opposed politicians meeting on the golf course was a mistake, Williams noted. "That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu," he said.
Note the actual comparison going on here: In no way is Williams saying "Obama is Hitler," nor saying that the president is even like Hitler. In fact, since Williams does not clarify his remarks further, one could claim that Boehner was just as representative of Hitler in the hypothetical scenario.
Instead, the media was quick to (wrongfully) attack Williams for comparing the ideological rift between Boehner and Obama to Hitler and Netanyahu.
This 4th grade logic was apparently too advanced for most in the media, including Fox News' Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson who were among the first to rebuff Williams. ESPN later pulled Williams' Monday Night Football introduction and also quickly distanced themselves:
"While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast."
This whole situation is like political correctness on steroids. Even if Williams were making such a comparison (which he wasn't), so what?
During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton famously shrieked about how political dissent is patriotic:
"I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."
Liberal protesters toting signs comparing Bush to Hitler and terrorists were commonplace at political rallies and many called outright for his assassination.
Now, I've never been a fan of invoking Hitler in any political debate (unless you're making an historical point). But have we as a society really gotten to a point where merely insinuating a modern-day connection to Hitler is enough to make a company like ESPN run away with its tail tucked between its legs? Gimme a break.
I suspect Williams sees the sheer hypocrisy in the reactions to his comments and, unlike Clinton and others, doesn't feel the need to go around complaining that his patriotism is being impugned. But the left should at least spare us their phony protests about dissent being "the highest form of patriotism" if their definition of "free" speech extends only as far as their circle of misguided friends.