The reaction to Donald Trump's suggestion yesterday that his gun-hugging supporters shoot Hillary Clinton if she is elected, and perhaps her Supreme Court nominees for good measure, was received with the obligatory reflexive jaw dropping and tiresome assertions that "The line has finally been crossed," but the outrage is mostly phony and will pass. It always does.
As bar-lowering defining moments go, and Trump is excreting them at an astonishing pace as his campaign self destructs, this is a biggie, although it should be noted that I warned here five minutes ago (okay, back on August 3) that "to take Trump for granted confers an undeserved credibility on him, his demon ideology and the people who enthusiastically sieg heil at his rallies."
And that is more or less what again has happened.
The usual media weenies are saying that Trump's comment was "ambiguous." Quisling twins Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, concerned that their sphincters may not be up to the task, are making sure that they're well stocked with Adult Depends as they go out on the hustings to yet again say they tut-tut-tut disagree with Trump. ("It was a joke gone bad," Ryan opined, inadvertently dissing The Donald for his by-now familiar inarticulateness.) But they refused to disavow him because it would disrespect the voters. Or something.
Meanwhile, some nut with beady eyes and an AR-15 in his lap sits transfixed in the hypnotic glare of Fox News on the boob tube, picks his nose and scratches his stubble, and ponders whether the time has finally come to Really Make America Great Again.
I believe that "the line" was crossed when Trump called John McCain a loser because he got shot down over North Vietnam. That was an hour ago (okay, back on July 17 of last fricking year), a truth-revealing moment that was nothing less than a Rubicon for Republican leaders. They were confronted with being swept away if they tried to address its raging currents in the service of stopping a dangerous man riding a pale horse. Or they could stand comfily and complacently on dry land lest they get their American flag lapel pins wet.
Which they of course all did as Trump and his pale horse rode across the bridge they built for him and clip-clopped into the history books and the national nightmare we are now praying that we -- and in particular that woman with a target on her back -- are able to survive.
IMAGE © RALPH STEADMAN