Media desperate to distract from Clinton's anti-2A stance. I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get out vote to save our Constitution!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2016
The fun part of this is keeping track of the number of people who have to explain what Trump did say, rather than what he actually and clearly said.
Paul Ryan (who doesn't know what Trump said, but it couldn't have been THAT bad!); Katrina Pierson, Jason Miller, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Duncan Hunter (four translators of Trumpspeak and one deflector saying Hillary's always worse!), and, of course, Trump's human sock puppet, Sean Hannity.
Josh Voorhees agrees with Paul Ryan:
The Trump campaign scrambled to try to clean up the mess by suggesting what Trump was actually alluding to wasn’t the assassination of a President Hillary Clinton or one of her SCOTUS nominees down the line, but instead simply a well-organized grassroots effort that kept her picks off the high court. That hard-to-believe defense aside, what was clear was Trump was making a joke—a bad joke and a dangerous joke, but a joke nonetheless. The fact he is so cavalier about cracking wise about violence is certainly troubling; as I argued earlier, words have meaning, and words from the presidential nominee of a major political party have more meaning than most—particularly when said nominee has already primed his voters to turn violent if he loses in November.
Words do have meaning, but when uttered by the candidate of a major party, no need to take them seriously, when you can find a way to excuse them. After all, if a major party is capable of nominating a conspiracy nut who shoots his mouth off at every opportunity and shows no interest in living on the same planet as the rest of us, why, admitting that is admitting the Emperor (i.e., the American political system) has no clothes.
And we can't let that happen!*
NPR agreed, this morning. They had to break the statements in two, separating the statement about Hillary and the 2nd Amendment (they helpfully pointed out the POTUS can't repeal Constitutional Amendments) and what Trump said about Clinton. The first part is a false charge (because it can't happen), and the second part? Well, it's in dispute as to what Trump said v. what Trump meant. Because words suffer from dualism and ambiguity that way, and who can say for sure what is in the words' heart?
So, sorry Charlie; there is no line to cross, because there is no line. If Trump were to shoot somebody on 5th Avenue at high noon and post the video on YouTube, opinions would still vary about the "alleged" shooting (it's not the shooting that's alleged, but the crime) and whether it indicated any intent. And we'd all end up discussing the meaning of the bullet.
*Because Voorhees goes completely anodyne in his concluding paragraph:
But set aside the frightening real-world implications of Trump’s words for a second and instead consider the political ramifications of them. Trump has been careening from one controversy of his own making to another this summer, and it’s beginning to have a serious effect on both his poll numbers and his support from within his own party. (Those two things, incidentally, are not unrelated.) Trump entered today on-message for a change—but now won’t leave it that way. I’m dropping the danger level by half a horseman:
Nothin' to see here, folks! Move along!