Screenshot: YouTube

Conservative blowhard Erick Erickson, a man so bad they named him the same misspelling twice, has cast himself as a stalwart defender of the nation against today’s biggest scourges, like Donald Trump and trans people trying to use the bathroom.

On Monday night, Erickson popped off this galaxy-brained tweet, perhaps after spending a day thoughtfully ruminating on the horrifying images coming out of the border, where women and children are being tear gassed:

Presumably “heavy hand” is a reference to Pinochet’s murder, torture, imprisonment, and disappearance of tens of thousands of dissidents. And if that’s the cost of “free market reforms,” Erickson seems to believe, so be it!

Incredibly, when a Twitter user pointed out that this might not work out so well, Erickson was ready with a response in the form of an allusion to the Pinochet regime’s penchant for literally throwing its enemies out of planes:

Advertisement

This morning, Erickson attempted to save face by tweeting, “I’m not fully serious, but do have something to say on the topic.” Sick test balloon, my man!

But, as some pointed out, none of this is too far removed from what we think of as “mainstream” conservatism’s tendency to engage in Pinochet apologia—or the foreign policy consensus of members of the ruling class. Such is America’s legacy of propping up fascist dictators so long as they promise to beat back socialism!

Advertisement

Erickson was widely ridiculed for the remarks—not that this will affect his booking on the Sunday news shows—but that wasn’t the point. Conservatives who claim to despise Trump, like Erickson and other conservatives who’ve only recently broken with their party, would fall all over themselves to back him up if Trump were overtly talking “regime change” in say, Venezuela. Make no mistake: This isn’t the conservative “fringe.” Erickson is just showing his hand a little early.