The Donald himself did passively/aggressively threaten this yesterday:
He used the term "stolen" the same way he did after Ted Cruz whipped his ass in Iowa. Because in Trump's mind, all that matters is "winning," no matter how much you have to cheat, beg, borrow, and steal - and smear, threaten, and intimidate - to get there. There is no such thing as a contest in anything - horseshoes, backgammon, darts, penile enhancement, presidential primaries - in which Donald Trump loses fair and square, in which the other guy was just better, in which he tips his "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" cap, chuckles resignedly, and admits it just wasn't his day, He cannot be defeated legitimately. He either wins or he was "robbed". In Trumpworld, there are no other options.
Sounds a lot like the Democrats, doesn't it?
And his - for now - media allies are right there making excuses for and cheerleading on behalf of this mafioso - who, let's remember, is a(n allegedly) rich, white (alleged) "Republican":
Allahpundit has a couple of great reactions to this "Tell me I did not just see that because if I did, it's something I never, EVER thought I would see" Spit/shit/piss/barf-take moment. Bon appetit:
It’s like watching a spokesman from one of the fringier Muslim advocacy groups run through the ol’ “of course we reject terrorism but you must understand the legitimate grievances” song and dance, except not as coherent....
I remember righties going half-mad with anger when CNN and other networks would invite left-wing [extrem]ists onto their programs to try to justify the riots in Ferguson or Baltimore, but now here’s someone from the right doing her own version of “a riot is the language of the unheard” — and doing it, ironically, in service to an authoritarian who’s running on a law-and-order platform. [emphasis added]
It really does remind me conceptually - literally will come later - of the Nazi vs. communist battles in late-1920s/early 1930s Germany between two factions of the Left, one of which designates itself as "Right" to gain the advantage over their rival that they need to gain the upper hand. In fact, there are quite a few parallels between the here & now and that time and place. Chronic economic depression; the nation in seemingly permanent decline and humiliation; the political/civic status quo - the Weimar Republic then, post-Constitution Obamerikastan now - seen as "corrupt" and "ineffective" and in need of being "shaken up" by a "strongman" and "burned down"; and the skilled authoritarian demagogue who comes along, exploiting that mass anger, promising to "restore national greatness," along with the other moon and stars, never managing to attract a majority of the vote but winning more votes than his rivals. For anybody with a grasp of twentieth century history, watching Trumpmania lay waste to the GOP and conservatism will clean your sinuses right out of your skull and epicly test your deodorant.
The parallel isn't a complete one, of course; I see Trump as more of a Mussolini figure than a Hitler one. Although.....
....I may have to revise that conclusion.
And yes, this parallel does have a Stockholm Syndrome wing as well, as Ben Carson, whom I wish to God would just go home, lay low, and stop burning down his own reputation with interviews like this, put on lamentable display tonight:
In an interview with Yahoo News, Dr. Ben Carson seemed to praise the efficacy of a political attack in which Donald Trump compared Carson’s “pathological” temper to the behavior of a child molester. “You have to admit that to some degree it did work,” Carson told Yahoo News.... [emphasis added]
Which we all used to be able to agree is not a good thing.
Pressed to explain how he can endorse someone who uses such attacks, Dr. Carson offered this revealing insight, “Well, he said, you know, it was political, you know, he was concerned about the fact that he couldn’t shake me.” [emphasis added]
....and Carson didn't fight back. That's why it worked, especially in such close proximity to the Paris and San Bernardino jihadist attacks. If he had fought back, displayed some "strength" of his own, Carson might still be in this race, perhaps instead of Trump. In life in general but in politics in particular, you cannot let bullies win.
Can you imagine if instead of "turning the other cheek," the Doc had, in a rare display of emotion and justifiable outrage and righteous indignation, slapped back Trump so hard it had literally flipped his wig? THAT would have had an impact precisely because it came from the mild-mannered Gentle Ben, AND because his moral authority (which he's long since piddled away) would have amplified it like a bullhorn.
Here's the classic example:
Ronald Reagan was a sunny optimist, full of good cheer and humor, with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. He wasn't an angry man, and he didn't smear or threaten people to get what he wanted. He was quintessentially American. So when he was being mistreated, as in this 1980 New Hampshire GOP candidates' forum, and he stuck up for himself in a rare but highly effective display of righteous temper, it had an impact. And note the deafening cheers of the audience; it is universally acknowledged that Reagan clinched the Republican nomination in that very moment. After the event there were abandoned George Bush signs and buttons and placards all over the floor of the venue.
THAT is true "toughness". THAT is self-respect. Traits that, if genuinely and confidently held, do not need to be incessantly "proved" by bombastic displays and boasting and threats of riots if "robbed" on the part of their holders.
Of course, that was thirty-six years ago. In 2015 (at the time), who knows? Maybe the same Trumplicans who yell at Jews and Israel-supporters to "go back to fucking Auchwitz!' would have denounced him in the foulest racist terms for "not knowing his place" for having the colossal effrontery to dare fire back at Il Douche.
Sadly for Dr. C, he does "know his place" and has humiliatingly accepted it:
Asked later in the interview if Trump’s behavior should be the status quo, Carson replies, “It shouldn’t be status quo, nor should retaliating and fighting back, particularly when the person has admitted that they were doing it for political reasons and that of course they didn’t believe that, nor does anybody else.” So Carson is giving us a window into how Trump operates, i.e. he will say anything to shake a rival.
But the oddest part of the interview comes when Dr. Carson seems to praise Trump’s ends-justify-the-means approach to politics saying, “You have to admit that to some degree it did work. A lot of people believed him.” Dr. Carson added, “Unfortunately we live in a society where that kind of thing works and people use things that work.” [emphasis added]
And Dr. C is perfectly okay with this? If Trump was homosexual you could accurately describe Carson as one of his Stepford wives. Which is what the millionaire slumlord is quite clearly demanding that every Republican become.
Again, sorry, but I'll pass. I'm standing with Ross Douthat and David Harsanyi, who also recognize that when a family is suffering a home invasion, the proper response isn't to sign over the deed and quietly slink out, but to defend it with every "weapon" available - right, Director?
[T]here’s no soft landing in this scenario. No rapprochement. No team building exercise is going to fix the 2016 iteration of the Republican Party. There is only going to be a crack-up, no matter who captures the nomination. If that’s true, and if it means one side has to prevail, why not save your party from a hostile takeover that could potentially cost a party both the Senate and the House?...
The Republican Party is not a direct democracy. It crafts its own rules, and it can change them. And Republicans would have to ask themselves: “Is it worth upsetting a bunch of angry, marginally [and formally] conservative voters who often [and now] have a minor fidelity to the doctrines of your party, or are you prepared to put your political infrastructure and full weight behind a cartoonish, George Wallace-like character who’ll probably inflict more damage than you could ever hope to repair?” [emphasis added]