And, yes, even we were tempted to join the chorus of those eviscerating the Republican presidential nominee for his comments about the future of gun rights should Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton prevail on Nov. 8. But that would have played into the Democrats' false narrative about the Second Amendment.Let's begin by going back to Trump's full quote (something I failed to do yesterday). From Politico:
Said Mr. Trump on Tuesday at a North Carolina rally: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. ... If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.”
Exploiting Trump's often discombobulated speaking style, critics were quick to say he was advocating violence against Mrs. Clinton, if not her assassination. He was not, of course. Substitute any issues and those issues' advocacy groups in Trump's comments and that's easy to see.
Donald Trump on Tuesday said "the Second Amendment people" may be the only way to stop Hillary Clinton from getting to appoint federal judges if she wins the presidential election in November.By adding that last sentence (again, something I failed to do yesterday) we see that Trump could not have been talking about unifying "the 2nd Amendment people" to vote against Clinton (what - they're not already so unified??) but about what would happen after her inauguration.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment,” he said as an aside while smiling. “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.”[Emphasis added.]
John Micek over at PennLive explains the importance of that last sentence:
In a nation awash in weapons, at a time when every city street in America, including those in Harrisburg, reverberates almost daily with the sound of gunfire, that there could be no mistaking its meaning.And this is how the Trib braintrust mistakes its meaning:
No amount of backpedaling, no amount of outrage about a "dishonest" media or angry charges that "Crooked Hillary" was twisting his words could unring the bell that he had so loudly rung.
He was not [advocating the assassination of Hillary Clinton], of course. Substitute any issues and those issues' advocacy groups in Trump's comments and that's easy to see.One question: What? How?
Ok, that was two questions - but still.
The whole reason the braintrust is on the orange birther's side is because they don't want to be seen agreeing with this:
But the manufactured reaction does expose how the most extreme Democrats view the Second Amendment — as the first refuge of crazy wannabe political assassins.That's it, ladies and gentlemen - a straw man argument if ever there was one. That's why they're giving Trump a pass on this.
Want a clearer picture of what's going on? Take a look at Thomas Friedman's first sentence (and all the other sentences!) from his column a couple days ago:
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin got assassinated.And what Donald Trump said, joking or not, stupid or not, has no place in presidential politics. The fact that he didn't know enough not to say it...well, that tells you enough about whether he should be president.