Texas County official decides it’s a good idea to post a picture of a cartoon shooting the President

Now seriously.  Why does anyone think this is a good idea??

Clinton Thetford is the Emergency Management Coordinator of Lubbock County, Texas.  In an incredibly stupid career move, Thetford apparently took to Facebook to upload a cartoon which showed Elmer Fudd shooting President Obama in the head.  Swift.

Thetford has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation into the post.  This is also not Thetford’s first anti-Obama run in when it comes to making posts: in 2009, he got into trouble for posting an offensive anti-Obama cartoon on a bulletin board he maintained on county property.  This particular cartoon featured a man putting on an Obama t-shirt, then “buying drugs, robbing a store and hitting his wife.”

As you can see from Thetford’s history, this isn’t exactly a failure of Facebook or social media – more like a failure of judgement.  It’s easy to make a mistake on Facebook and post something without giving it proper thought and consideration, but it actually takes a lot of effort to physically post a cartoon.  Thetford managed it anyway.

Public employees need to be careful with how they choose to express their opinions.  I see plenty of anti-Obama posts from public employees in my Facebook newsfeed, and that’s fine, of course – being a public employee certainly does not mean you give up your ability to express an opinion.  It does, however, mean you have to be cautious with the content of what you post, and posts which imply violence against other elected officials – particularly the President – are beyond the pale.  Bad move here.

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