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:
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:
— The Hill (@thehill) August 9, 2016