Trump suggests gun owners could deal with Clinton

How to characterize it? Since no headline writer in the history of the nation has ever before had to try to describe such a statement by a nominee for president before, let’s take a look at how they did:

WSJ‘Second Amendment People’ Can Stop Clinton on Guns, Trump Says

NYTTrump Suggests Gun Owners Could Stop Clinton Agenda

NPRTrump Appears To Suggest ‘Second Amendment People’ Could Stop Clinton

WashPostTrump appears to encourage gun owners to take action if Clinton appoints anti-gun judges

The GuardianTrump hints at assassination of Hillary Clinton by gun rights supporters

The reason you see all those hedge words — “suggests,” “appears to,” “hints at” — is that as usual, Trump did not speak in actual sentences. And he tends to be even less intelligible than usual when he’s saying the most outrageous things.

Here’s what he said:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Donald Trump told supporters at a rally in Wilmington, N.C. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

So how do you interpret that? There’s not a lot of wiggle-room there, although I expect Trump will indignantly claim that he didn’t say what he said.

The Post stressed the ambiguity, because that’s what news people do:

It was not clear whether Trump was inciting gun owners to use their weapons against judges or a sitting president, or was encouraging some other action.

Did you think Trump couldn’t top himself, or bottom himself, or whatever you call it when a candidate is having a contest with himself to see how low he can go?

Well, think again.

OK, let’s have another show of hands from Republicans who are actually going to vote for this guy?

Of course, we know that a lot of Republicans had already decided not to vote for him. There’s a smaller group of Republicans — including some heavyweight policymakers from past GOP administrations — who will actually vote for Hillary Clinton. Small, but growing. The Post is keeping a list. You may want to peruse it, and praise these folks for their integrity.

I’ll close with this Tweet from The Hill:

79 thoughts on “Trump suggests gun owners could deal with Clinton

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Interesting how the Guardian is the most direct, when British libel laws are way less press-protective than ours, and Trump is an eager litigant!
    Trying to work through the conflict of laws and burden of proof questions.Bryan?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      All British news outlets marvel at the American gun culture. They look at us the way we would a man with two heads. They think we’re NUTS. And The Guardian more than most. Gun-related stories that hardly rate inside play at U.S. outlets will lead the U.S. edition of The Guardian.

      My wife and I are fans of British murder-mystery TV shows — Inspector Lewis, Endeavour, Grantchester, Midsomer Murders, Fortitude, and so on. The other day there was some dramatic situation going on that involved a sort of British SWAT team. And as they entered the building, they called out, “Armed police!”

      Can you imagine American cops saying anything that redundant?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I watched the full season of a weird, but good, one lately — have you seen “River,” which is streaming on Netflix?

        For whatever odd reason, the protagonist — whose name, John River, sounds very Anglo-Saxon to me — is supposed to be Scandinavian. He’s played by Stellan Skarsgård. And yet he’s a British detective. (Just as “Fortitude,” another odd one set on an Arctic Norwegian island, features Stanley Tucci as an American who is also a British detective.)

        Anyway, his shtick is that he talks to dead people. Not in seances or anything. They’re right there on the screen with him, and he’s having casual, friendly, intimate conversations with them like he’s known them his whole life. And you’ll be well into a scene before you realize it’s another dead person. The first time it happens is a shock, I’ll warn you. The person he’s talking with turns away from you and you see this gaping exit wound that no one could have survived.

        But it’s not scary or even, except in that one instance, gross. This is just what he does. Sometimes he talks to live people, too, but he doesn’t seem to get as much out of it…

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Eh. It’s all so depressing. Who cares what this moron said, whether it was a joke, or what. Hell, if I was his defense lawyer, I’d argue he’s not capable of forming subjective intent because he probably doesn’t even know what he means.

    Hillary will be elected. That’s already a foregone conclusion. She’ll appoint three, maybe four Justices to SCOTUS in her two terms, who will shift the Court so far leftward for the next forty years, the repercussions will be felt far, far longer, like ripples in a pond.

    Heller will be overturned (along with other decisions), which will mean that the 2A doesn’t exist for those of us we currently define as “civilians”. It will also expose the Court as being political, but no one will care with the desired outcomes being the ones they favor.

    Still, Congress and state legislatures will have to act, but that will immediately follow in blue states, and with Congress going Democratically-controlled with Trump’s implosion, federal law will come.

    No, there won’t be any sort of “Second Amendment revolt”. The deprivation of our liberties will happen slowly, like the proverbial frog in a pot of water under low heat. It’s all so depressing.

    I know I’m the only one who really cares about this issue here. I heard Burl talking about guns in Texas like they’re all a bunch of dummies, and it’s just a punch in the gut. I know you all think similar thoughts.

    Oh well. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

    1. Doug Ross

      Who will enforce any new gun laws? I don’t think Hillary has a lot of support in the law enforcement community.

      1. David Carlton

        What are you suggesting? I’d say there’s considerable support in the law enforcement community for stricter gun laws. And law enforcement personnel, like the military, are sworn to obey civilian authority; whether they support any one candidate for office should be irrelevant to their doing their jobs.

        1. Barry

          Depends on the city, state.

          I’ve heard local sheriffs here in South Carolina talk many, many times about their support for concealed carry laws.

          Lott has said many times he has no problem with a citizen carrying a weapon concealed with the proper permit. In fact, he encourages it.

            1. Barry

              Of course it could be he really believes that since he has stated his support for concealed carry hundreds of times over the years and no one has ever seriously challenged him on election day in a Democratic controlled county

        2. Bryan Caskey

          “And law enforcement personnel, like the military, are sworn to obey civilian authority”

          Military officers swear to protect the Constitution, but whatever, right?

      2. Bryan Caskey

        Eh. They’ll follow orders. Whether the citizens will comply is another issue.

        But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies.

        1. bud

          Bryan, me thinks you’re being a bit of a drama queen on this. People will still be able to buy guns even if the entire SCOTUS is liberal. And the killings will likely continue pretty much as they have now with more gun violence than any other developed nation.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            No, no drama. Just resignation that stupid laws will be passed that won’t actually affect the problem they purport to solve. Just enjoy the win on the issue, bud. All the gun-control people get to stick it to all the people like me and say that you “won”.


            But you’re right about one thing: No matter what asinine laws are passed restricting the gun ownership of law abiding citizens, the killings between Americans will continue until the country addresses cultural problems, and the jihadists will continue to kill Americans until we decide to stop them.

            So when the first stupid laws don’t do anything to solve the problem (because they’re stupid laws) all y’all will be back again with even more restrictive and even stupider laws…that won’t work, either. It will be a one-way ratchet, and no one will ever stop to think “Hey, maybe this isn’t working because it’s fundamentally flawed”. The thought will always be: “We need more control, more restrictions.”

            Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

            1. Doug Ross

              “and the jihadists will continue to kill Americans until we decide to stop them.”

              I think we’ve all decided they must be stopped. We’ve tried for the past 15 years without much success. So the question becomes “Do we do more or do we do less of what hasn’t worked?” Will we continue to live in a country where one of the bright ideas to stop terrorism is making everyone take their shoes off at the airport and putting 3.3 ounces of liquids in a ziploc bag? That’s the mentality we’re dealing with at the government level.

            2. Kathryn Fenner

              The killings with guns between Americans will continue because, statistically, too damn many guns are too handy for too many people who are angry, drunk, depressed….

          2. Claus

            bud, you’re right but I can see gun purchasing taking a step in the same direction as say suppressors, short barrel rifles, automatic weapons, etc. That being you submit your paperwork to purchase a firearm, pay a $200 tax stamp fee to purchase the firearm, get a sheriff to sign off on the paperwork, get fingerprinted, file all of the federal forms to the ATF to purchase the firearm, sit and wait for 6-12 months to get the paperwork approved for the firearm, and a year later you can actually go and pick up said firearm. Or you can purchase one the less than law abiding citizens will purchase weapons, get it from some crackhead who stole it from some homeowner. $50 in cash gets you want you want right now and nothing tracing the gun to you owning it.

            I’m interested to see how they regulate ammunition. I believe that’s where they’re going to hit people because it doesn’t violate the 2nd Amendment. $1/round tax???

        2. Doug Ross

          Meanwhile in Chicago yesterday:

          “Lucas was one of 19 people shot on Monday — nine of them fatally — in what the Chicago Tribune has called the city’s deadliest day in more than a decade.”

          Chicago has some of the “toughest” gun laws in the country. Why is it that law abiding citizens won’t follow those laws? It’s got to be the guns that are forcing people to commit murder.

          1. Doug Ross

            And which party is in control of the cities with the highest gun related deaths?

            Gun murders per 100,000 people:

            1. New Orleans………………………19.0
            2. Memphis……………………………..9.4
            3. Detroit…………………………………8.6
            4. Birmingham…………………………8.4
            5. St. Louis……………………………..8.1
            6. Baltimore…………………………….7.7
            7. Jacksonville…………………………7.4
            8. Kansas City…………………………6.8
            9. Philadelphia…………………………6.2

            1. Mark Stewart

              So where does Chicago fall? Is it #10 – or is the city way down the list, like below Columbia for example?

            2. Barry

              No surprise Doug. On a different note….

              Richland One kicks out a higher percentage of black students than white students compared to Richland Two, but it’s Richland Two, per the black parents association, that has a problem with kicking out black children.

              Hmm, I wonder why that is…..”…”

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Doug, without a gun, there are no gun deaths.

                Personally, I hold out NO hope for a world without guns. But that’s the only world in which gun deaths would not occur…

                1. Barry

                  I hold out hope that 14-year-olds won’t kill nine-year-olds in Chicago because of the brand of shoes theyI wear, but I’m also a realist

    2. Norm Ivey

      1. Trumps’s a lazy thinker and his statements follow that pattern. Or he made an ill-advised joke. Both are disqualifications for president. He was not advocating assassination of Clinton or Justices.
      2. It appears that the majority of the country supports some stricter gun laws in the form of background checks, but I don’t see a widespread call for any kind of “deprivation of liberties”.
      3. A frog will attempt to escape water as the temperature of the water increases. The boiling frog metaphor is a myth.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        1. Agree.
        2. Just because a majority of our country are sheep doesn’t mean they’re right.
        3. I hope you’re wrong. If you’re right, it’s Civil War 2.0. I don’t want that.

    3. Burl Burlingame

      Actually, what I was pointing out was that the gun folks in Texas were terrible at typography.

  3. David Carlton

    What disturbed me about it was that it was preceded by a rant about the overturn of the NC Voter ID Law, which he used to argue that the Democrats were going to steal the election. Obviously mere voting wouldn’t prevent her election, or her use of the appointment power to “abolish” the Second Amendment (the Senate notwithstanding); the only recourse was “the Second Amendment,” which a number of people on the right (including in such august precincts as *National Review*) regard primarily as a means of allowing people to take up arms against a tyrannical government. That’s actually a pretty coherent argument in favor of armed rebellion.

    What’s grimly amusing in all this is that, as Alyssa Rosenberg of the WaPo has pointed out, Trump’s calling card is supposed to be that he means what he says and says what he means–but his apologists are constantly having to explain what he *really* meant, frequently in contradictory ways. It was a joke–OK, but “jokes” like this coming from a president could start wars. He *really meant* that gun-rights people should go to the polls–*after* they’ve had the election stolen from them? We’re even hearing that it’s snobbish to expect Trump to use words with anything resembling precision–but that’s exactly what a president has to do. One can indeed argue that Trump was just tossing a free-association word salad, and that “of course” it didn’t mean what it sounded like. But one can easily imagine someone reading that the way those knights back in the 12th century read Henry II’s probably apocryphal plea for someone to “rid me of this troublesome priest.” Thoughtless words have consequences.

  4. Burl Burlingame

    Any else remember Sharron Angle and others ranting about “Second Amendment solutions” to get rid of politicians they disagree with?

    1. Barry

      Nah, she isn’t like say -the Vice President.

      I do remember Biden’s comments that the national media pretty much ignored

      “I guarantee ya. Barack Obama ain’t takin’ my shotgun, so don’t buy that malarkey, don’t buy that malarkey. They’re gonna start peddlin’ that deal. I got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta he’s got a problem. I like that little over and under–you know (over and under referring to type of shotgun). I’m not bad with it.”

  5. bud

    Just as a side note it’s worth noting that the rise of Trump is largely attributable to the lazy journalists of this country who found every excuse in the book to find false equivalency in every crazy statement the Donald made throughout the primary process. If Trump said something really outlandish they managed to find something Bernie said that they regarded as equally crazy (even if it wasn’t) in order to balance the scales. Many of these same false equivalency types were on board with Sarah Palin 8 years ago being just a 70 year old heartbeat away from the same job they now find horrifying that Trump could become elected to. Really folks it’s not that hard. The GOP has for many years become more and more outlandish and the media more and more enabling. In this environment no one should be surprised.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        At least we have a credible medical report on her (unlike the puff piece Trump floated)

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Perhaps you’d like to give an example of what you mean when you cite “lazy journalists of this country who found every excuse in the book to find false equivalency in every crazy statement the Donald made throughout the primary process.”

      I don’t recall that happening even once. But since you say it happened EVERY time Trump said something crazy — so, several times daily — then there must be examples…

      Here’s the way I recall the coverage, compressed into a few lines:

      “Can you believe this idiot is running for president? Look at what he said today! We should enjoy this while it lasts, which won’t be long.”

      “Well, this is certainly weird… He’s leading in the polls! Must be novelty appeal. Remember when Herman Cain was leading in 2011? But once people got a good look at him, the novelty wore off. That’s what always happens, and that’s what will happen this time.”

      “Ummm, he’s STILL leading in the polls, even though everybody’s had ample opportunity to see how grossly unqualified he is, what a liar he is (How can you tell when he’s lying? His lips are moving, and he’s saying, ‘Believe me.’), and how appalled the entire world is. But that’s OK; the GOP electorate is just acting out to make some sort of point (whatever that may be). He’ll fade away as soon as the actual voting starts.”

      “He’s… he’s winning primaries. Ummmm… don’t worry, though; he can’t get more than 30 percent, so as soon as the field thins out, he’ll start losing.”

      “Everybody else has dropped out. He’s going to be the nominee. He’s a dangerous lunatic — see what he said today? — and he’s going to be the nominee…”

      And so forth. That’s what I saw. I don’t know what you were reading…

  6. Harry Harris

    Still more distractions from the more important issues in the campaign like taxation, infrastructure needs, education reform -coupled with “straw man” arguments about gun confiscation. This will continue until the top Republicans find a way to oust Trump as the nominee and install a right-winger (that includes Kasich) with a chance of winning. The more likely candidate to be “bumped-off,” either physically or figuratively is Trump, because of the persons and groups in dire fear of losing.

  7. Bart

    Over the past several days, the number of Trump supporters I know has dwindled to a couple and they are on the cusp of changing and plan to vote for the Libertarian candidate. Trump has no filter between his brain and his mouth and the problem is that he apparently believes what he is saying. The voters and the world are just now being exposed to the real Donald Trump, the Trump I have been aware of for well over 20 years. He hasn’t changed and he won’t change. His behavior is too embedded and it has become a manifestation of who he is for anyone without blinders to see.

    I cannot fathom a world with Donald Trump being the POTUS and it is difficult to accept the foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton will be the POTUS for the next 4 – 8 years. Plus, Trump is endangering the chances of Republicans holding on to a majority in either house of congress. He is perhaps the most dangerous candidate I have ever encountered in over 50 years of voting.

    When anyone makes the comment that “America is going to hell in a handbasket”, look no further than the simple fact that Donald Trump is the Republican candidate for POTUS for proof of the accuracy of the comment.

    1. Mark Stewart


      However, Donald Trump didn’t destroy the Republican Party – the Southern Democrats’ hewing to ‘conservative” litmus tests did.

      There is absolutely nothing political about Donald Trump; he simply trod through fertile ground for his sort of know-nothing dog-whistling. Lee Atwater begat Donald Trump’s nomination. Does that make him an honorary son of SC? Or just the latest example of the self-destructiveness of these ingrained Southern (white Southern) mythologies?

      Industriousness, intelligence, fair-mindedness, inclusiveness, persuasiveness, respect for individual liberties, acceptance of others – these should be the characteristics we judge politicians on.

      1. Doug Ross

        “Industriousness, intelligence, fair-mindedness, inclusiveness, persuasiveness, respect for individual liberties, acceptance of others – these should be the characteristics we judge politicians on.”

        So you ARE voting Libertarian! Great news!

        1. Mark Stewart

          I support the basic principles of the political conceptualization of Libertarianism. But then it sort of runs off the rails when people talk of furthering these ideals to “their natural conclusion”.

          And, honestly, the candidates have no business being on the national stage.

          So, no, I will not be voting Libertarian. Nor Republican – this election. Hopefully, the next time around the GOP will have gutted and rebuilt its team and platform; though I think further chaos and retrenchment far more likely than a re-invigorated Republican party.

    2. Kathryn Fenner

      How can voters claim they are just now being exposed to the real Donald Trump? As you say, you have been aware for twenty years, and many of us even longer… I guess it was okay with them when he mocked John McCain and all other POWs, the disabled reporter, etc….

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Yeah, it’s weird… I’ve known for decades that Trump was a jerk and a buffoon. His leadership of the birther movement by itself was enough to make any reasonable person completely dismiss him. When I went to the 2012 SC Republican Party convention, I ran into one guy who was hoping Trump would get into it. I was embarrassed for the poor guy.

        So there’s no excuse for anyone to have considered him for a moment.

        But all that said, he has STILL managed to shock me during this campaign, to go beyond what I thought even a guy like him would say. He has this talent for continuing to appall…

          1. Doug Ross

            I’ll give you an example of a Trump voter I know very well. About 50 years old, white, worked for the VA in IT for many years before moving recently to the private sector. He’s a hunter (who eats what he kills), very low key huy, honest, family oriented, very patriotic, USC sports fan with two fine sons who are both college graduates. Based on his posts on Facebook I would put him in the “fed up with liberals” category. My guess is he falls into the category of someone who has worked hard his whole life and sees a lot of people who don’t do the same yet get all sorts of benefits from the government. We probably share a general disgust for politicians but he is unwilling to go third party because he feels keeping Hillary out of office is too important.

            My guess is there are a whole lot of men and women out there who will choose Trump over Hillary because of what she represents. They’ll take their chances on him being a blowhard versus what Hillary would bring to the table.

            He’s not crazy, He’s not a racist. He’s just fed up with Washington.

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              They are blind, somewhere between willfully and recklessly, to the dangers to our country, as outlined by 50 top GOP security experts, posed by a blowhard who will say anything, it seems, vs. exactly what will Hillary bring to the table?
              “fed up with Washington” –yeah, with all those gray areas and compromises to account for all the people who aren’t privileged white males…
              That sounds pretty crazy to me, and I don’t see how anyone can support Trump after all the racist crap he’s tossed and honestly claim he isn’t a racist.

              1. Barry

                I think Trump is a buffoon and I wouldn’t trust him to deliver my mail.

                I also think Hillary Clinton has lied so much in her life that she actually believes her own lies. I wouldn’t trust her for even a second.

                they are both sad excuses for candidates.

                1. Kathryn Fenner

                  Despite the fact that several independent assessments have found her to be among the top ten most honest policitians? vs. Trump who lies and waffles and insinuates: “I read/people are saying…I don’t know”

                2. Kathryn Fenner

                  It is widely believed and pretty visible to me that HRC is and has been in love with Bill forever. She stayed with the man she vowed to stay with. Enabling?

                3. Doug Ross

                  She called Monica a narcissistic loon. She should have forced him to resign. She didn’t because it would have killed her political career.

                  And if you think the Monica was the first dalliance (or the last) for Bill, then the term willfully blind might apply as well.

                4. Barry

                  Not quite Kathryn. You are spinning.

                  No such “independent” proclamations exist.

                  You might be referring to some articles that rated her claims as being more honest than Trump and some other candidate statements this political season, but even then 49% of her claims were either half true or worse.

                  It was also noted that Hillary has made many fewer such specific statements and many more general statements compared to other candidates.

                  Nah Kathryn, Hillary has earned her well over 50% distrust her label.

                  She is a well polished liar right along with trump.

              2. Doug Ross

                “who aren’t privileged white males”

                There it is! Didn’t take long for me to start hating myself again.

              3. Barry

                Yes, Hillary was and is an enabler. Water is wet.

                (BTW- Bill Clinton has a girlfriend right now. Not a big secret)

                Per Vox ( Hillary to Juanita Broaddrick after she claims Bill Raped her)

                “[Hillary] came directly to me as soon as she hit the door. I had been there only a few minutes, I only wanted to make an appearance and leave. She caught me and took my hand and said ‘I am so happy to meet you. I want you to know that we appreciate everything you do for Bill.’ I started to turn away and she held onto my hand and reiterated her phrase — looking less friendly and repeated her statement — ‘Everything you do for Bill’. I said nothing. She wasn’t letting me get away until she made her point. She talked low, the smile faded on the second thank you. I just released her hand from mine and left the gathering.”

                This wasn’t included in the initial reports on Broaddrick’s story by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, and NBC News. But after this article’s initial publication, Lisa Myers, who conducted NBC News’ initial report on Broaddrick, wrote Vox to clarify that Broaddrick did tell NBC that Hillary Clinton had an encounter with her after the alleged assault, though this did not make the final cut of the Dateline segment. So this was not an new addition to or change in Broaddrick’s story, even though it became public months later.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          I have not been shocked by Trump. I have been appalled at how many adherents he has. I have been shocked by the apparently rational, previously ethical-seeming traditional Republicans who have endorsed him or said they will vote for him. Shocked.

  8. Jeff Mobley

    When I watch the video of Trump’s comments, I take him to mean something like this:

    “If Hillary gets elected, and if she appoints liberal justices, and if the 2nd amendment is effectively gutted by the Supreme Court, and if government agents actually show up to confiscate the guns of citizens who passionately value the 2nd amendment, then those 2nd amendment fans might use their guns to prevent the confiscation of their guns.”

    1) Is this what he meant? To what degree was it intended to be “joke-y”? Who knows? He’s given very convoluted explanations for other things he’s said that seemed pretty clear when he first said them, such as, “I love the mandate!” It’s entirely possible he meant something completely different from what I thought when I heard him. It’s also quite possible his mind was a complete void when he uttered the words. I don’t hear what he said and think he’s advocating for assassination, even as a joke. But again. It’s Trump. I can’t be sure.

    2) The explanation that Rudy Guliani gave, that Trump was saying “2nd amendment people” could vote against Hillary, is total garbage, and he surely knows it.

    3) If he meant something like I think he meant, then there are a lot of things going on in there. He’s making a claim that the government is going to try to confiscate the guns of law abiding citizens. The degree to which people believe this to be an outlandish claim varies. He’s hypothesizing an extreme response to an extreme action on the part of the government. In this case, he’s said far worse things, and this would just be in the “unnecessarily random and stupid” category of Trump comments.

    4) This is not a defense of Trump. Even if you interpret his comment in the most charitable way possible, it’s a huge red flag that this is a person who can’t control what comes out of his mouth. And of course there are all the other reasons he’s not fit to be president.

    5) Endorsing Hillary Clinton is not a demonstration of integrity. Just as it is a mistake to argue that Hillary Clinton’s extreme liberalism, recklessness, selfishness, and dishonesty somehow make Trump qualified, it is a mistake to argue that Trump’s horribleness makes Clinton qualified.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I don’t think “extreme liberalism” is a reasonable term to apply to Hillary, in a world that includes Bernie Sanders and, for that matter, the president.

      There’s a reason why you’ll see the names of some neocons on that list of Republicans who plan to vote for her. She’s way more one of them than Trump will ever be.

      That’s the thing, see — people go on and on about her being some sort of left-wing radical as an excuse not to voter for her. Which is an excuse to elect Trump, because that’s what not voting for her means, which is why I praise people planning to vote for her — it’s not a vote for her; it’s a vote to save the country.

      And yep, she’s moved to the left in this election. And I find her sudden opposition to TPP, for instance, really irritating. But you know why she’s done that? Because she wanted the Democratic nomination, and the entire Democratic party is to the left of her!

      Seriously — talk about her Nixonian sense of persecution and other flaws. But “extreme liberal” just doesn’t wash…

      1. Doug Ross

        You are choosing gay marriage, legalized pot, and no hope of ever seeing fewer abortions performed in the U.S. in your lifetime. Just keep that in mind when you go to the ballot box.
        Those were all done deals anyway but you’ll be supporting the President who will make it

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I don’t see how this vote has any impact on those things. This is about saving the country from Trump, period. There is no higher consideration.

          Anyway, I’ve never been a Culture War voter. I can’t remember an election when those were factors for me. Seriously, I just sat here and mentally skimmed through the 11 presidential elections I’ve voted in before this one, and I can’t think of one in which something like abortion was a significant factor. It’s just not the way I look at something as complex as who is best suited to perform the job of POTUS…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Also, even if Trump weren’t the nominee, there were only two or three Republicans running who I thought came closer to me on national security. I think Bush would have been better, and maybe Kasich. Lindsey Graham, had he ever had a chance, would be been way better.

            But after them, Hillary probably comes next. As I said earlier, there are reasons other than Trump for GOP neocons to vote Clinton

          2. Doug Ross

            “I don’t see how this vote has any impact on those things. ”

            How many Supreme Court justices will be appointed by the next President? Probably 2. Maybe 3. The next President will shape the culture of this country for the next 20 years or more.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Uh-huh. I have not once in my life sat up a single night worrying about who was on the Supreme Court. Pretty much every nominee I’ve ever seen, from both Democratic and Republican presidents, has been highly qualified for the job, fully capable of interpreting laws in light of the Constitution.

              Also, I have zero delusions that it is possible to elect anyone for president and have that election result in Roe being overturned. It SHOULD be overturned; at its core it violates the basic principle of the rule of law under a system of laws and not of men. (As I’ve said over and over, in a system that expects judges and jurors and others to recuse themselves over the slightest conflict of interest, it is an outrage to grant absolute, irrevocable power to a single individual to make a life-and-death decision, especially when that individual is, in the matter at hand, the most interested person on the planet. It violates everything our system stands for.)

              But I see no realistic chance of that happening. There are layers of decisions lying over and under Roe. It rests on another absurd decision, Griswold v. Connecticut, which magically discovered an absolute right to privacy lurking in the Constitution. (We couldn’t see it because it was hidden by the “penumbra.”)

              I just don’t see that changing anytime soon, and I certainly don’t see it happening as the result of a single election for the head of the Executive Branch.

              I have a very different sense of proportion from that held by Culture Warriors. They speak as though nominating judges were 99 percent of the job of president. I see it as something the president does now and then, as making up a TINY proportion of the critical decisions a president makes. And the president doesn’t even make that decision alone. See “Garland, Merrick.”

              But even if the Court played a much, much larger role in my thinking, I would not for an instant consider not voting for Hillary Clinton in this election. Stopping Donald Trump is the most important thing I as a voter have been called upon to do in my adult lifetime. And the only way to stop him is to vote for her. Voting some other way, or not voting, is a vote for him.

              It’s bad enough that because I live in South Carolina, my state will probably go for Trump regardless of what I do. But I’ll do what I can; I don’t have the option of voting in a swing state. And who knows — if Trump continues as he has and completely demoralizes the GOP, and enough independents think as I do, there’s always that extremely remote chance that, for the first time since 1976, South Carolina will go for the Democrat. And if there’s ANY chance, however slim, of that happening, my vote is critical…

              1. Mark Stewart

                I don’t think it far-fetched that SC does not go for Trump this year. What is the “normal” party split – 45%/55% in favor of the GOP?

                Is it really hard to imagine not 18.2% of Republicans could vote their conscience for the principles of our nation? Whether not voting for Trump, voting for a third party, or abstaining matters not – they all count against Trump as GOP candidate. I wish it weren’t Hillary this year, but that’s not the point.

                1. Kathryn Fenner

                  Yeah, The State suggested just that.
                  Except Hillary is going to make an excellent President.

        2. Kathryn Fenner

          Lots of hope of seeing fewer abortions performed, actually. Adding legal restrictions doesn’t reduce abortions. It just reduces their safety. Providing meaningful sex education, paid maternity leave, affordable options for quality childcare reduces abortions. It’s been shown to be so repeatedly….

        3. Kathryn Fenner

          and same sex marriage is pretty clearly not going to be determined to be illegal after SCOTUS’s pretty clear ruling. It’s already happening–in fact, it’s happening now!

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      People say he might have something to hide. I have read that. Does he have something to hide? Maybe he doesn’t pay taxes. Maybe he has ties to the Russian mob? I don’t know. You tell me.

  9. Scout

    Ok, lets just try to take Trump at his word and analyze his statement as such. He says he’s talking about the political force of the “second amendment people” to do something pertaining to the judges that Clinton will pick – and apparently only second amendment people are qualified to take this action in regards to the mysterious judge problem.

    Just taking the first part, he seems to think that Clinton owns the way the judges she appoints will rule. I think most judges would probably take issue with that. I think they think and evaluate and decide issues for themselves. Though I get that this is probably a foreign concept to Trump, as he is not too strong on digesting information and drawing a reasonable supportable conclusion, like judges do, and he seems keen on having people do what he tells them to do – he probably assumes the rest of the world thinks the same.

    But skipping his not getting how judges work, we could maybe assume he means, if Hillary gets to pick judges, she will pick people who will rule against the second amendment and there is nothing you can do about that.

    This actually makes some sense, as citizens don’t have a whole lot of recourse to change supreme court rulings that I know of.

    But still taking him at his word – that he is talking about using political force….OK, what political force does anybody at all have to change a supreme court ruling? Again, not any that I can think of, and he pretty much already acknowledged that himself (“nothing you can do, folks”). But he specifies “second amendment people” can maybe do something and later says he’s talking about political force. Right, so, do “second amendment people” have any more political force to wield against supreme court rulings? They wield alot of political force in Congress and in elections, but supreme court rulings?….maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think being a “second amendment person” gives you an edge here.

    So why specify “second amendment people”? after saying “although” – unless you were changing the subject from the political to some other arena where being a “second amendment person” gives you some edge.

    But then again, these arguments assume he knows what hes talking about. Oops, bad assumption. He might actually think that “second amendment people” have some legitimate power to change supreme court rulings.

    It’s also entirely possible he has no idea what he was trying to say.

    No matter the interpretation, it wasn’t a good thing for a Presidential candidate to have said. I’m pretty firm on that.

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