CNN  — 

Donald Trump Jr. is Donald Trump in extremis. If the President pushes boundaries, his oldest son crashes through them with glee.

Witness this interview that Don Jr. did with “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning:

Brian Kilmeade: And so now we’re getting to sprint towards November for – to – to see if your dad can get four more years. Are you surprised the way they’ve been handling the coronavirus situation, meaning Democrats?

Don Jr.: Not at all. I mean, we’ve seen – like you said, we’ve seen this play out for four years. Anything that they can use to try to hurt Trump, they will. Anything he does in a positive sense, like you heard from the reporter that was just suspended from ABC, they will not give him credit for. The playbook is old at this point.

But for them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here, and kills millions of people so that they could end Donald Trump’s streak of winning, is a new level of sickness. You know, I don’t know if this is coronavirus or Trump derangement syndrome, but these people are infected badly.

OK, so. The President’s eldest son, who has made no secret of his interest in running for office and maybe even president in the future, is suggesting that Democrats are rooting for coronavirus to come to the United States and kill “millions of people” solely so that they might have a better chance of winning in November.

What can you say about that line of logic?

At its most basic level, this sort of stuff from Don Jr. is deeply irresponsible.

What he is conflating is the Democratic criticism of the Trump administration for both a lack of preparedness and a lack of seriousness in terms of public statements about the threat posed by coronavirus with, somehow, Democrats rooting for Americans to die en masse.

Trump Jr. has to know that’s not what is going on here. No matter what you think of Democrats or Republicans, the idea that a political party would be actively rooting for people to get sick and die is beyond ludicrous. No rational person – even if you disagree with every single policy Democrats push – can think that.

What Trump Jr. is doing here then is using rhetorical hyperbole for the political benefit of his father. It’s a tactic he got from his dad, after all. The President has repeatedly referred to Democrats as “really evil people” and “horrible.” He has suggested that Speaker Nancy Pelosi uses religion as a crutch. He has insinuated that any number of Democrats – Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, California Rep. Adam Schiff – have major mental problems.

What Don Jr. did on Friday morning is simply take this dehumanizing of political opponents to its logical conclusion: These people are evil, so they are doing what evil people do – root for millions of deaths so they can win a political race

Again, there is no way that Don Jr. actually believes this. He’s just throwing red meat to a conservative base that has been primed – by his father – to believe the absolute worst about Democrats or, really, anyone who disagrees with the President on anything.

That someone in such a prominent position would do so is shocking, although it probably shouldn’t be, since the apple rarely falls that far from the tree.