The usually soft-spoken Gov. Mike Huckabee didn’t make it very far in the contentious race for the GOP nomination, but those early debates were downright civil compared to a recent editorial in the Detroit Free Press.

Newsbusters busted Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson for writing that the public “really ought to round up the lawmakers who took money to protect and perpetuate the failing charter-school experiment in Detroit, sew them into burlap sacks with rabid animals, and toss them into the Straits of Mackinac.”

So, that whole fuss about “violent rhetoric” has been retired, huh?

Don’t wait around for Henderson to “clarify” his piece, because he was making a historical reference: “… isn’t that what the Romans or Greeks or some other early practitioners of democracy used to do with solicitous and unprincipled public officials?” In other words, don’t focus so much on the, “We really ought to …” part.

Really? The Federalist stripped out the context? Here’s a link to Henderson’s complete piece (complete with typos) so readers can judge for themselves. Not only does Henderson write, “We really ought to round up the lawmakers,” but revisits the theme again paragraphs later, repeating that charter school proponents in the legislature deserve every bit of “old school” retribution:

It is every bit deserving of an old-school retributive response.

A sack. An animal. A lake.

No lover of actual democracy could weep at that outcome.

Henderson has a point. America counts on public schools to prepare students to enter today’s safe-space universities, where our intellectual betters wring their hands over whether some people have a “genuine right to speak” on campus if what they say has “no intellectual worth.” (Just to be clear, that professor was referring to guest speakers, not faculty.)

But that punishment really ought to be revived to keep politicians in line, right? Forward!


Henderson’s editorial won’t do a thing to sway opinion toward his cause, but at least it will generate material for another piece.