If President Donald Trump wants to further pander to deplorable Michigan voters of a certain ilk, he should soon issue pre-trial pardons to that gang of gun-toting goons who got busted two weeks ago for their plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
That would harmonize with the spirit of Trump’s toxic campaign rally in Muskegon Saturday night when he whipped up more hate and misogyny for his adoring, right-wing mob.
On Sunday, in another spasm of propaganda distraction, Trump’s shills accused Whitmer of threatening Trump because she punked him with a visual message on “Meet the Press.”
The night before, in Muskegon -- without face masks, per the example of their leader – Trump’s troops foamed at the mouth with scornful laughter when he mocked those he hates.
And they responded with angry shouts when Trump twice referred to Michigan’s governor.
'Lock' Em All Up
“Lock her up!” they chanted as Trump encouraged them with smirks and body language. “Lock her up!” After one burst, Trump said: “Lock ‘em all up.”
Alluding to the “Wolverine Watchmen” conspiracy that led to 14 arrests by federal and state authorities, Trump shrugged off the threat to Whitmer with a sneer and a tone of contempt.
“And then I guess they said she was threatened, right?” Trump said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “And she blamed me!”
Trump never mentioned Whitmer. He rarely does. She is “that woman from Michigan.”
Female critics – especially those in power -- deeply offend this large, loud, orange-faced, yellow-haired demagogue who is running against the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, in the Nov. 3 election.
After greeting and praising the odious Michigan “musician” Ted Nugent in Muskegon, Trump told his followers: “You have to get your governor to open up your state!”
Trump and his cult resent Whitmer’s attempts to save lives and avoid serious sickness by asking people to wear protective masks and to avoid large gatherings during a global pandemic. The Covid-19 virus has killed more than 220,000 Americans and more than 7,000 Michiganders.
Trump and his followers ignored safety requests Saturday in Muskegon because they are made of tougher stuff. Masks and social distancing are for snowflake liberals, for “suckers” and “losers.”
Here in Michigan, Trumpists believe in “freedom” and “liberty” and “patriotism” that means they can do as they darn well please, anywhere, anytime.
To show it, some of these same folks have carried their weapons to the State Legislature to “liberate Michigan” – as Trump urged them -- and to intimidate the cowardly Republicans who run the place.
They call the governor a “tyrant” and a “dictator” for trying to save lives. On “Meet the Press” Whitmer said:
“It is incredibly disturbing that . . . 10 days after a plot to kidnap me, put me on trial and execute me, the president is . . . again, inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism. It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous.”
But Republicans were outraged by Whitmer’s clever silent message.
Next to her, at the base of a potted plant, was a decal that said “86-45.” The “86” is bar and restaurant slang for “get rid of” or "item gone." And the “45” is slang for the 45th president.
Therefore, the message was “get rid of Trump.” But Trump’s campaign and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield responded with hysterical exaggeration.
“86 can be shorthand for killing someone,” the campaign said in a Twitter message. “Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump.”
Jumping on the pile was Chatfield, a religious zealot from Levering (pop: 215). Chatfield said he didn’t like the “lock her up” chant, either. But then he doubled down with false equivalence.
“Today the governor urged more hate,” this twit tweeted. “(Attack? Kill?) This doesn’t help. This is wrong, too.”
Among some skeptics, there is a sense that Democrats and progressives are exaggerating the threat from Trump’s right-wing vigilantes.
Aren’t they are just a bunch of stupid guys dressing up to play soldier for Halloween? Aren’t they too goofy and disorganized to do real damage if they show up with firearms at polling places, as some threaten?
Even “Saturday Night Live” kicked in over the weekend. The skit showed four guys in paramilitary camo, angry about the closing of their favorite burger joint and planning revenge.
“Kidnap the governor!” one of them says.
Ha-ha. Don’t kid yourself. Even a chimpanzee with a handgun can do real damage. Angry people with semi-automatic rifles can make a bigger mess.
These are radical extremists and some want a second civil war. If and when the killing starts, it would be hard to stop it.
In a recent Macomb County speech, Donald Trump, Jr. urged a crowd to join the “Trump Army” to patrol voting sites on Election Day in a state whose curious shape on the map is nicknamed “The Mitten.”
Lately, that mitt seems to be twisted into a figurative fist gripping a gun.