Another Disciplined Pivot

« August 2016 »

Memo to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Katrina Pierson: KEEP TELLING YOURSELVES THAT.

I'll be honest. This week's IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS was, in the absence of a singular Trumpism, going to focus on more mundane things like the idiocy of his economic plan and his Rubber-Glue tactic of calling Hillary Clinton too unstable and crazy to be President. But then the now-classic Trump Post-Convention 3600° Pivot happened again and it's too good to pass up.

“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day." - Donald Trump, suggesting assassination as a possible solution to a Hillary presidency.

We'll get to the actual assassination call later on in the column. But there are a few key things that this quote elucidates that I want to comment on. First, one of the few upsides to Donald Trump's inability to put together a coherent sentence creates a sort of automatic plausible deniability - the only way to report on his incoherent statements in a coherent way is to actually put the words in his mouth that his brain forgot to. Which is something our next two participants take advantage of.

Also, even if Hillary got to select all nine judges of the Supreme Court during her term, she couldn't abolish, or even essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. Not without all nine nominees and a Democratic supermajority in the Senate conspiring together in a massive, deliberate dereliction of duty. And I think we know the Democrats have never been that organized. That's why they won't rig an election either. Once again, I find myself longing for the Republican caricature of the Democratic party instead of the one we've got.

"Of course not.” - Mike Pence, asked if Donald Trump was encouraging violence against Clinton.

That, of course, is super-wrong. Everything we know about Donald Trump tells us what he was saying. Donald Trump has a history of vaguely repeating insane shit from the far-right fever swamps from whence his candidacy arose like the Legion of Doom headquarters. One of those things from those swamps is the phrase "Second Amendment remedy", which, to gun nuts, means they get to use their AR-15s to fight back against a corrupt government with tanks should that corrupt government ever try to take away their guns.

So Donald Trump posits a situation where Hillary wins, she can appoint all the judges she wants, and there's nothing any gun-loving American can do about it, except maybe for one last resort available to "Second Amendment people". A remedy, if you will. That's what he was alluding to. And we know that's what he was alluding to because that's what he does, regularly and consistently. If the sun rises nine days a row, on the tenth day, you don't claim the sun didn't intend to light up that side of the Earth. Unless you're Mike Pence and your entire reason for existing is to convince people the Sun isn't a giant orange ball of gas that would destroy us all given half a chance.

"I think you just saw a clarification come out from the campaign talking about exactly what he meant to say. He was talking about unification and coming together to stop Hillary Clinton." - Katrina Pierson, one of Trump's legions of fuckwit surrogates, delivering the official spin to CNN.

one of the tricks about being a politician is to know when you need to be coy, and when you don't. Coyness, for the record, is called for when the thing you actually want to say is going to get you in trouble, so you have to hint at it. So when you want to say "black people are genetically lazy", you say "our inner city culture needs to value hard work" instead. You know what you don't need to be coy about? Suggesting that gun owners come together and vote for Republicans so their guns don't get taken away.

You know how you know you don't have to be coy about that? Because right before Trump said something he had to be coy about, he said that if gun owners don't come together and vote for Republicans, their guns are going to get taken away. And then he said if that doesn't work, maybe they can shoot Hillary Clinton. But that second part he had to be coy about, because it won't be acceptable to cross that line overtly for another five weeks.