Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Response to That Deadly Aside

(See: Just Above Sunset: That Deadly Aside)

Hey, who you going to believe, your lying’ eyes and ears, or Rudy Giuliani?

I’m pretty sure there will be college courses taught in the future, analyzing in detail exactly how the Trump campaign of 2016 tried to get away with lying right to America’s face. This morning, the spin from the Trump surrogates was that nobody in the room heard Donald Trump’s Second Amendment comment in the way you did.

What I want to know is, are all these surrogates paid to say what they say, or do they say it just for the fun of seeing if they can get away with it?

First, here’s the original Trump quote:
"If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks," Trump said Tuesday at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. "Although the Second Amendment folks, maybe there is. I don't know."
So once she’s elected, she gets to pick her judges, and then there’s nothing that any of us can do about it — unless, of course, you believe in what Sharron Angle once famously called “Second Amendment Remedies”, in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson urging us to have a revolution every twenty years — in which case, "maybe there is. I don't know.”

If you enjoy watching a spinner mid-spin, here’s what George Stephanopoulos got from Rudy Giuliani this morning on GMA:
Giuliani: Well, first of all, I was there. … What he said is that they should vote against her. He never used any... 
Stephanopoulos: He was talking about AFTER the election. 
Giuliani: He was talking about the election in GENERAL, he wasn’t talking just about after the election. You know how speeches go, he was talking about how they have the power to keep her out of office. That’s what he was talking about. That is what... 
Stephanopoulos: Generally. But specifically, he was saying, he was talking about, you can’t do anything after the election, except these Second Amendment people. 
Giuliani: We know Donald Trump is not particularly indirect. (Laughs) If Donald Trump is going to say something like that, he’d say something like that. I was there. I’d like the people at home to realize that the first time that any of us had any idea that was the way it was interpreted is when the Clinton spin machine interpreted it that way, spun it out to a press that is willing to hit him every day, bang-bang-bang-bang-bang, and then ask us the question. 
Stephanopoulos: But in real time, you have people like the former CIA Director Michael Hayden, raising the exact same question. 
Giuliani: It wasn’t in real time, it was after the Clinton spin machine spun it out. They spun it out within — about eight minutes. Bam! Like that! That is not what he intended. What he intended was very very simple. What he intended was that they should vote against her. With a crowd like that, if that's what they thought he meant, they'd have gone wild.
When Stephanopoulos started asking Giuliani about the reaction of the man visible over Trump’s left shoulder, whose expression seemed to indicate he shared the Clinton spin machine's interpretation, Giuliani used the opportunity to quickly change the subject:
Stephanopoulos: Well, we did see that guy sitting behind him. 
Giuliani: Oh, which brings me to the guy behind Hillary Clinton who’s the father of a person who killed 49 people, who wounded 53 people, ends up being invited to sit in a prime position behind Hillary Clinton, and you gotta ask yourself, number one, who invited him — we still don’t know — and number two, what drew him to Hillary Clinton?
Stephanopoulos: They’re saying they didn’t invite him, and she’s disavowed any of his support. 
Giuliani: But why is he such an avid supporter? What is drawing him to Hillary Clinton, holding a big sign up about what a great president she’s going to be...
Okay, let’s stop there.

Who did invite Seddique Mateen to that Clinton event? The answer seems to be, nobody did. The Clinton people say they didn’t even know he was there until they found out afterward, and Mateen himself said he showed up because it was a public rally, mentioning nothing about any invitation.

But just to make sure — English is Donald Trump’s first language, isn’t it?

Because the only way Trump’s after-the-fact explanation would work would be to assume he’s too stupid to understand English syntax. Either Trump was too stupid to know what he said, or his interpreters, such as Rudy Giuliani, are themselves all too stupid to know what he said. Or maybe they weren’t listening, which is understandable. I know I have a hard time listening to the guy.

But why, in the real world of live television, do we even need interpreters anyway? We all saw and heard him ourselves and we don’t need anyone, afterwards, all with these puzzling smiles on their faces, to tell us what he really meant.

In fact, as Clinton supporter Bakari Sellers pointed out this morning on CNN, something to the effect of, Isn’t it curious to see a candidate who’s built this huge following based on his courage to “say what he means”, being trailed by an army of apologists who’s job it is to do nothing but claim that what he just said isn’t really what he meant to say?

Sort of like the guys with the shovels who follow the elephants down Main Street whenever the zoo comes to town.

I think I’m starting to fade. Can’t keep looking up Nate Silver like this, day after day. I’m starting to wish it were November 9th.

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