I tuned into "The McLaughlin Group" this morning all giddy about the prospect of panelist and Chicago Tribune writer Clarence Page (who is black) getting into a sweet shout-off with MSNBC talker Patrick Buchanan over Buchanan's recent column calling for blacks to show some "gratitude" for the way America has treated them. But moderator John McLaughlin threw me a Christian curveball for Easter, asking his guests, "Would Jesus support the death penalty?"
Buchanan was the first in, explaining that indeed Christ would be down with the killing, since he himself was executed. "He did not put a high priority on this life," said Buchanan. "Death was not the great evil." Stunned, or perhaps feigning stunned, McLaughlin declared, "What an incredible explanation!"
Leggy syndicated radio host Monica Crowley-who usually has Buchanan's back on all points conservative-begged to differ. "He suffered the death penalty because it was coming from a higher authority, not the government." McLaughlin had the final word: "Jesus would not support the death penalty."