Donald Trump’s reelection campaign — much like the candidate they’re supporting — has jumped the shark and is so desperate to try and change the subject from his falling poll numbers that they’re now accusing Democratic governors of calling for him to be assassinated.
In this particular case, the Trump campaign is going after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who two weeks ago was the subject of a plot by militia members. Those right-wing extremists, spurred on by President Trump’s hateful rhetoric, allegedly planned to kidnap and kill Whitmer. Their efforts were shut down by fast work from the FBI.
Now, however, the pro-Trump forces want us to believe that Whitmer was sending a secret message when she appeared on “Meet the Press” Sunday to speak with NBC host Chuck Todd.
According to the so-called “Trump War Room,” Whitmer had a sign on the desk behind her calling for their candidate to be killed:
Governor Gretchen Whitmer displayed an “86 45” sign during her TV appearance.
86 can be shorthand for killing someone.
Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump just weeks after someone sent a ricin-laced package to the White House. pic.twitter.com/GzvtrjH40A
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 18, 2020
There’s reaching, and then there’s going so far out on a limb that the entire tree begins to bend.
First of all, to “86” something does NOT mean assassination, as the Detroit Free Press explained:
“According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, ’86’ is slang for refusing to serve a customer. It can also mean to get rid of or throw out. The etymology for the term is disputed, explains Ben Zimmer in The Atlantic, but it has its origins in the restaurant industry to refer to menu items that are no longer available.
“For instance, if a diner ran out of eggs, a cook might yell out ’86 the eggs.’ Today, the term is commonly used in the restaurant and bar industry to refer to objectionable patrons.”
So is the Trump campaign comparing the incumbent president to eggs or an objectionable patron? If so, that’d certainly be accurate, because eggs turn rotten (like Trump) and are then highly objectionable (also like Trump).
Twitter lit up with mockery for the campaign’s absurd accusation:
— Suzanne Lindbergh (@suzannebuzz) October 18, 2020
Yeah, I used 86 things all the time when I was a waitress, it’s a miracle I’m not on death row😂
— jenn desalle (@jenndesalle) October 18, 2020
Yes. The thousand do times bars and restaurant refer to 86’ing someone, it refers to killing them. Bars and restaurants kill thousands of people each year.
— AloysiusFreeman (@FreemanAloysius) October 18, 2020
Fake new look closer at the number it was photo shop I watched her interview that night and did not see that I did see the sign saying respect I am one person that watches interview and what a person displays for the camera that’s just me 🤷🏽♂️
— A O WASH (@AOWASH) October 19, 2020
That’s ridiculous! It may be one definition, but it’s certainly not the most common! The most common usage is “get rid of”, and that’s the way she was using it, same as the rest of the country.
— Amber Smith (@bruisesandblush) October 19, 2020
The Trump War Room needs to get out more. Perhaps they could go to a restaurant if their boss hadn’t 86ed most of them by failing to control COVID-19.