Josh Marshall describes another manic and febrile Trump rally:
I wasn't able to get to a computer during and after the incident last night at the Trump rally in Reno. We've got the basic news details here. Suffice it to say that we now know it was essentially a chummed up misunderstanding which escalated into a beating by a number of Trump supporters, then later physical harassment of a CNN journalist by the same group of supporters and finally the creation of a nonsensical fantasy among Trump supporters that Trump had bravely survived a mythical 'assassination attempt'.
The essential details are these. Not long after Trump claimed that a surge in Latino voting in Nevada was evidence of voter fraud, a man named Austyn Crites (later self-identified as a registered Republican who opposes Donald Trump) was in the arena, relatively near the front of the audience. There was some commotion. Trump noticed the commotion, accused Crites of "being from the Hillary Clinton campaign."
From the stage he asked Crites, "How much are you being paid? Fifteen hundred dollars?" and then called for security to "take him out."
(The idea that the Clinton campaign sends people to Trump rallies to instigate violent disruptions is an urban legend growing out of the latest James O'Keefe tape dump. There is zero evidence to support this. It is a sort of mass psychology version of projection.)
At this point Crites was apparently in the process of pulling out a sign of some sort which someone nearby thought was a gun. That person yelled "gun!" This tripped off a melee in which Trump supporters beat Crites fairly severely. Secret Service agents, seeing the melee and possibly hearing the cry of "gun", rushed Trump off the stage and took Crites into custody. ...
As I said, it was determined very quickly that nothing had happened. No attempt. No nothing. But this didn't stop the campaign from pushing out a storyline about an "assassination attempt" and a tale of Trump's bravery in immediately returning to the stage.
Next a CNN journalist went out from the press pen into the area where the incident had occurred to find out what happened. He was promptly verbally abused and physically assaulted, though seemingly to no great physical harm, mainly just shoved around.
Things got darker still when Trump arrived a short time later in Colorado. In Denver, Trump was introduced by Father Andre Y-Sebastian Mahanna, a Maronite Catholic priest who said Trump had just survived "an attempt of murder against Mr Trump."
He then blamed the press for incitement the non-existent assassination attempt.
The Trump campaign allowed this to happen and made no effort to correct the record. This was followed by another warm up speaker who joked about Clinton being a 'bitch.'
By the end of the evening, Trump was fine. Crites was released little more than an hour after the incident - another clear sign that he had never been any threat to Trump. But core Trump supporters, immune from accounts of what had happened, been reported and verified, were off and running with a new fable about how Trump survived an attempted assassination. As I saw David Frum note in passing this morning, it is amazing the degree to which abusers are able to transmute their abuse into victimization, creating a grievance perpetual production machine. This is what the Trump campaign is.
Insane, isn't it? How does this man have any chance at all of becoming President of the United States?
Why hasn't the entire Republican Party been thrown into the dust-bin of history by now? Republicans politicians are already saying that they won't confirm a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court nomination, whoever it is.
And this is after refusing to even hold hearings on President Obama's pick, with the unprecedented - and downright ludicrous - excuse that the next president should get that opportunity (only if he's a Republican, apparently).
And this is with Republicans also promising non-stop 'investigations' of Hillary Clinton's emails, just as they did with their endless Benghazi hearings, because they're fine with destroying America's system of government for political gain.
And yes, the Republican Party is very likely to hold on to the Senate - and, thanks to gerrymandering, virtually certain to continue controlling the House of Representatives - even if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency (which isn't guaranteed in itself, thanks to morons on both the right and the left).
How can this be happening in my country? Comparisons with the fascist regimes of the 1930s are not out of line here (not even when it comes to the antisemitism). Did sane Germans wonder what was happening to their country when they witnessed manic and febrile Nazi Party rallies?
We all know how that turned out.