The nappies may be extreme, but let's face it: Thornton Jr. -- let's just call him Junior -- is a symptom of our Nanny State run amok, not an anomaly.
Junior came to Washington's attention this week when Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn challenged the Social Security Administration to probe into how the baby bottle-guzzling 350-pound man qualified for federal disability benefits. A former security guard, Junior is handy enough to have crafted his own wooden high chair and playpen.
Junior can drive a car and has sense enough not to go out in public in his XXL footie pajamas. Yet, welfare administrators treat him as an incurable dependent. Also collecting taxpayer-subsidized paychecks: Thornton's adult roommate, a former nurse, who has indulged Thornton's baby role-playing for the past decade.
Junior, naturally, threw a tantrum when his government teat-sucking was called into question. He wiped his nose and un-balled his fists long enough to type out an e-mail to The Washington Times: "You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don't care," Junior threatened. "I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag."
Not from nowhere has this stubborn, self-destructive sense of entitlement sprung. As I reported last month, a record-breaking 12 million Americans have been added to the federal food stamp rolls over the past two years, and the bloated $6 billion AmeriCorps social justice army has been converted into a publicist corps for the welfare machine.
Just this week, a Michigan man boasted that he's still collecting food stamps after winning a $2 million government-sponsored lottery prize. "If you're going to ... try to make me feel bad, you aren't going to do it," he told a local TV reporter. Embedded in his rebuke is the eternal refrain of the self-esteem-puffed teenager: "You can't judge me!"