Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Trump's Hillary / Second Amendment Joke: Bullshit On Both SIdes

   No, it was not an assassination threat, as some on the left are asserting.
   No, it was not about gun owners organizing to use the power of the vote to keep HRC out of office, as the usual Trump "surrogates" = paid liars are asserting. That's utter nonsense.
   The Trump camp seems to be made up of liars all the way down, so there's no reason to even pretend that they're worth talking to/about. Anti-Trump liberals, IMO, really ought to know better though. No matter how bad Trump is, he's never bad enough for some of these folks. They've always got to make up another layer of badness. In addition to being bad in itself, this make it easier for Trump to worm out of this stuff by pretending that everybody's always being uncharitable to him.
   Trump made a joke about something no one--especially not a presidential candidate--should ever joke about. Attempts to spin that are bullshit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know whether it was a joke or not, though I think it's more likely that it was a joke. I guess our standards for judging whether someone is making a death threat or inciting assassination should be a little more stringent, though at the same time I'd hope the Secret Service would take this more seriously than you or me. If it was a joke it was extremely reckless. I'm not with you on your level of confidence though. Doesn't seem off-the-charts unlikely that this could have been an expression of the wishful thinking of a sociopath, or a subtle encouragement to his most extreme followers. I get your point that we shouldn't rush to assume the worst with everything the guy does, even if he's demonstrated that he's a total jackass. But to try to be reasonable should not mean we have to be naive. In any case, that we're even having a conversation about whether he was serious about his political opponent being assassinated is unbelievable.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


I don't mean to say that it's not serious if it was a joke. I think it's way, way goddamn serious even if it's a joke.

You do not joke about shooting the goddamn President.

Simple rule.

How hard is that to understand?

Such a joke alone, and even without all the other insane things he's said, would probably be enough for me to rule the guy out as a reasonable option.

You do not joke about shooting the goddamn President.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

Pretty much equivalent to the taboo against joking about bombs while in the security line at the airport. It just ain't done.

Also, the former NSA guy's comment that anybody else saying that would earn a visit from the Secret Service is probably correct.

10:23 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

So, off the bat, I think everyone can agree that the statement, depending on context, could be either a joke or a threat, right? It could be a threat in line with "Well, I'd hate for something bad to happen to you..." or it could be an off-the-cuff joke that didn't go so well, or something in between. So, this isn't a case where it's clearly not a threat or it's clearly a joke, and that means we have to address contextual evidence to determine which it is.

And when we turn to contextual evidence, it seems clear to me that while this statement was obviously not an overt threat, it's also not likely at all that it was an entirely innocent joke. Trump didn't immediately follow up with a "JUST KIDDING" of any sort at all, and it's clear that the assertion's implication is that someone could shoot HRC.

Now, if Trump were the kind of guy who would absolutely never even consider violently assaulting someone over a disagreement (much less an imaginary one), well it'd be clearly a careless joke.

But, that's not Trump. Trump is the kind of guy who lies constantly and wants to punch people in the face when they disagree with him and use nukes if we've got 'em. Why not, right?

We know for a fact that he is not averse to violence and he has a contemptuous disregard for the well-being of people who disagree with him. When pressed about his comment, instead of saying "It was a careless, off-the-cuff joke, my bad," he had his surrogates tell outlandish lies to try to convince people the statement had totally different content.

I just don't see any reason to believe this guy was just kiddin' around. In fact, he seems like such an amoral bullshitter that nothing is beneath him, and I seriously doubt he'd care much if HRC were assassinated, so long as it somehow bettered his condition. In fact, if it did better his condition and he thought he could get away with it, I'd put money on it that he'd assassinate her, himself.

It's a severe accusation to make, but it seems right to me. This guy's got everything it takes to be the next Nixon. And if we're evaluating the likely intent of his assertion by the evidence of his character, it doesn't look good to me.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

I agree with Anon and L Carroll. In this context it's not at all clear that there's a meaningful distinction between a joke and a threat. It's like the 'sheriff's badge' on the tweet: a figleaf of deniability. Certainly it won't make any difference in terms of inciting kil-crazy loons. The airport security line analogy occurred to me too.

So I'm not sure how one can concede that it's 'realy serious even if it's a joke', and that 'that we're even having a conversation about whether he was serious...is unbelievable', but also maintain that the claim that it amounted to an assassination threat is 'bullshit'.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

You're a pain in my ass, Jedburgh.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

But come on Winston, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I do not know that

12:05 PM  

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