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On the heels of President Obama’s strangely timed praise of Philadelphia Eagles management and owner Jeffery Lurie and the rehabilitation of Michael Vick, comes this nugget of nuttiness we’ve all come to expect from some Fox News commentators.

Last week, political blowhard Tucker Carlson was filling in for Fox News host, Sean Hannity. Never one to miss an opportunity to turn a seemingly harmless issue into a politically-rooted bashfest, Tucker Carlson decided to weigh in on the matter. This is less about his feelings on the crimes that Michael Vick committed and more about not missing an opportunity to take a pot-shot at the President of the United States. It wasn’t enough for Tucker Carlson to simply state that he doesn’t like Michael Vick and abhors the heinous activities in which he was engaged so many years ago. That’s not “edgy” enough and certainly wouldn’t garner him the narcissistic pleasure that comes with widespread publicity, the likes of which I’m giving him here. To quote Tucker Carlson:

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but during a holiday season when peace, love, goodwill towards others, and the spirit of forgiveness should reign supreme – this seems just a *little bit* over-the-top.  It’s one thing to be rather unchristian-like to be unforgiving and wish that Michael Vick didn’t get a second chance to play in the NFL.  It’s entirely another to go against basic Christian principles and call for the guy to be put to death.

President Obama praised the Philadelphia Eagles organization for offering the disgraced quarterback a second-chance to play in the NFL after serving his time for the dogfighting operation.  Clearly, he wanted to draw attention to the reality that most convicted felons don’t get such opportunities.  Perhaps he was using this high-profile case to send the message that more can be done for felons without the athletic talents and fame of Vick.  He didn’t excuse Michael Vick’s dogfighting crimes, committed long ago and for which he served an 18-month stint in Leavenworth Federal Prison.  However, by all accounts, the plans and efforts of the Eagles management, animal protection organizations, and most importantly – Michael Vick himself – his journey along the long road to redemption is proving to be successful.

Young Republicans everywhere should be embarrassed by the sheer mindlessness and unmitigated douchebaggery of one of their representatives.  His statements are clearly contrary to his alleged religious beliefs and expose Tucker Carlson for the attention-whore that he is.  This is little more than shamelessly using Michael Vick to keep his name in the public eye.  For that, he should send Michael Vick a thank-you card.

Don’t mistake my alarm at Tucker Carlson’s commentary and my admittedly being a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles as giving Michael Vick a free pass.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As a dog owner myself, his crimes offended me at the highest level.  For me, Michael Vick’s redemption doesn’t come from his exemplary play on the field of football.  It doesn’t come from a Pro Bowl selection, an NFL MVP, or even a Superbowl victory.  Michael Vick’s redemption comes sometime far into the future and will be entirely predicated on his actions off the field.

Here’s a thought for Tucker Carlson.  Maybe the next time he wants to step up and defend the unethical or criminal treatment of animals, perhaps he should look in his own back yard.  As the offspring of an heir to the Swanson Food Conglomerate, he might want to visit a poultry processing plant and take a look at how that operation works.  Perhaps the next time he bites into a fine burger or a top-shelf steak, he could check out how slaughterhouses operate.  While those activities might not be illegal, as Michael Vick’s crimes were, I have to wonder if he’d like to see the people who horrifyingly put those animals to death should be executed for the way they treat animals.