Yes, We’re Gonna ‘86’ The MFer. WITH VOTES.
Donald Trump is big on projection, so it's not surprising, though still repulsive, that his campaign would accuse Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer of putting a hit on him.
Trump has joined his followers in calling for Whitmer's imprisonment because she actually governed during COVID-19 instead of ignoring the pandemic. These morons have started chanting “Lock her up!" not even two weeks after rightwing thugs were arrested for planning to kidnap her and put her “on trial" (i.e. murder her maybe). But what is she complaining about? She's just as bad, says the Trump campaign.
Remember my tweets about projection? About the need to accuse your target of doing what you're doing, to quiet your… https://t.co/klT3WD0FP5— David Roberts (@David Roberts)1603054093.0
If you look very, very closely, you'll see an "8645" pin on the table behind Whitmer. This is apparently a secret, coded message from the governor to take out the president ... or the toughest part of the eye exam.
Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox tweeted that "Governor Gretchen Whitmer has the gall to go on Meet the Press this morning complaining about President Donald Trump's rhetoric, but in the background displays a phrase which calls for the killing of President Trump! This is truly disgusting."
Yeah, something's disgusting, all right. Chris Gustafson, a spokesman for the Trump campaign and one of many people who should never work again after Trump loses, joined Cox in this baseless slander.
"Gov. Whitmer's rampant hypocrisy would be laughable if it were not so dangerous," said Chris Gustafson, a spokesman for the Trump campaign. "Her constant partisan rhetoric on cable news drives violence towards President Trump and the first family. It must stop."
Last month, a Canadian woman mailed a ricin-laced package to the White House, in care of the “The Ugly Tyrant Clown." She included the following note:
You ruin USA and lead them to disaster. I don't want the next 4 years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election. So I made a 'Special Gift' for you to make a decision. This gift is in this letter. If it doesn't work, I'll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I'll be able to come.
She's obviously unwell and that's unfortunate. The Ugly Tyrant Clown, however, did wind up infecting (allegedly) most of the White House with COVID-19 so he's arguably more dangerous than ricin. But that's a lot going on at one time and the Trump team is understandably nervous. It's probably why the Trump War Room Twitter account is finding conspiracies everywhere. Or Republicans in general are just desperate to change the subject from Trump's stochastic terrorism. There's a distinct straw-clutching quality to all this.
The term “86" dates back to the New York City bar Chumley's at 86 Bedford Street in the Village. In its speakeasy days during Prohibition, friendly cops would call the bartender before a raid and tell him to “86 the customers." If this had meant killing them on the spot, it would've been bad for repeat business.
Nowadays, “86" is commonly used in the food service industry to indicate that a menu item is no longer available or that an unruly customer needs to get the fuck out. When the American heroes at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, refused to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders, they left a note for morning management stating “86 — Sarah Huckabee Sanders." That wasn't a written murder confession, because Sanders is still very much alive. She was just denied farm-to-table cuisine.
Bobby Leddy, Whitmer's campaign spokesperson, promptly read the Trump stooges for filth Sunday in a statement to the Daily Beast:
"The silly season is officially here. It's pretty clear nobody in the Trump campaign has ever worked a food service job. Here's the bottom line: the president is not only a super spreader of COVID-19, he is also a super spreader of hate and fear. His divisive rhetoric needs to stop, and we need a president who will bring Americans together to defeat COVID-19."
There are “8645" T-shirts, buttons, and decals available for sale on Amazon and Etsy. If the slogan was a call for political assassination, the Secret Service are really slipping. No, “86" isn't and never was shorthand for killing someone. Trump is just the annoying (dry) drunk at the bar that voters will “86" out of the White House in 15 days.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."