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When the talk of assassination becomes acceptable, can the act of assassination be far behind?

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Message Ed Martin

While what both Hillary Clinton and Liz Trotta said about the assassination of a presidential candidate is despicable, completely outside of what is acceptable in public discourse and not what a thoughtful person would ever say under any circumstances, there is a big difference between the implications in the remarks.

What Clinton said: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, we all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June." Clinton's implication is that she's justified in staying in the race until June by passively staying on the sidelines, watching to see if Obama, also, will be assassinated, thus eliminating her competition. This eliminates her from consideration as president.

What Trotta said: " - and now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Os - Osama - um, uh - Obama. Well, both, if we could." Trotta's remarks are not passive. They are an overt, active statement that she would "knock off" Osama and Obama, if she could. This is a statement of intent, since she obviously can do what she says she would do. Trotta later said her remarks were a "lame attempt at humor."

The test of whether it's humorous is to ask Barack Obama if he thinks anyone saying that they would if the could assassinate him is funny. That's the point that Clinton and Trotta are unaware of. Talk of assassination is not something to joke about. It's the last thing from funny.

The fact that presidents and presidential candidates actually have been assassinated is evidence that what would be done, can be done. Trotta hiding behind the conditional "would if we could" is disingenuous. History shows that "would" became "did" and "could" became "can" for those who did it. Trotta is no less capable than they were and has said that she would if she could, and she clearly can. The thoughtlessness behind the statement is the same thoughtlessness behind the act.

The Secret Service takes these "would if we could" statements very seriously and investigates those who make these kinds of statements vigorously. However, since this statement of intent came from Bush's Republican mouthpiece and propaganda outlet, Republican Fox News, where its pronouncements are taken as equal in credibility to the Holy Word of God, and since the remarks were aimed at a lowly, heretical Democrat by a member of the Republican elite, it's unlikely that the remarks will be questioned as even in bad taste, much less as intent to do what she would if she could, assassinate Obama. Trotta has nothing to worry about from the Secret Service, a branch of the Bush administration.

The very real danger here is that some fully indoctrinated bubba, the kind who watches Fox News exclusively, who has never had an original thought, will hear Trotta's remarks and say, "I never thought of that, seems like a good idea," and proceed to act on it. All Trotta has to do is to give bubba the seed of the idea, and he'll take it from there. That's not speculation, that precise thing has happened.

Given Trotta's remarks about the fact that she "would if she could" assassinate Obama, and having the approval of Fox News, I would think that the Secret Service would be especially vigilant, and watch very closely the people from Fox News at any event at which Obama and Fox News are present. Particularly if Liz Trotta is there.

If I had said what Trotta said, the Secret Service, the FBI and the SWAT team would be at my house immediately. I wouldn't make it out alive.

Trotta never gave any consideration to the fact that should anything untoward happen to Obama, anything at all, her thoughtless mouthing off has placed her in position as the prime suspect. I devoutly hope that nothing like that ever happens. If it does, I would very much hate to be in Liz Trotta's shoes.


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Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)
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