NYT's Tom Friedman Imagines GOP Leaders Making Excuses for Trump Shooting a Man

We have enjoyed writing satirical "Notable Quotables" on April Fools Day, the kind that are realistic enough to be plausible. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman somehow thinks in his latest column that this is a pretty realistic satire on how supine national Republican leaders are to Trump, playing off Trump's claim his backers would stick with him if shot someone on Fifth Avenue.

The subheadline was "Your vote in the midterms matters, because Republicans in Congress won’t restrain the president’s excesses."

To the fake news: 

Sept. 3 (AP) — President Trump stopped his motorcade in Manhattan today, jumped out of his limousine and shot a man on Fifth Avenue who was shouting anti-Trump epithets. The shooting was recorded by the White House press pool as well as by dozens of bystanders with cellphones and by security cameras in the area. When asked for his reaction, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “We will need more information than is available at this point.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said through pursed lips that he “was not going to comment on every up and down with this president.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he already had information indicating that the man whom Trump shot “worked for the Clinton Foundation and may have been a relative of former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.”

Fox News did not cover Trump’s shooting at the top of its broadcast, which focused instead on the killing of an Iowa woman by an undocumented immigrant. Fox’s only reference to the fact that the president shot a man on Fifth Avenue was that “a New York City man died today when he ran right into a bullet fired by the president.”

Senator Lindsey Graham quipped that “Trump shoots as well as he putts”and that this incident would not cause the South Carolina senator to cancel his coming golf round with the president at his Bedminster, N.J., course....

Jerry Falwell Jr., a top evangelical leader, announced that his movement would be holding a vigil this evening, praying that the president had not stressed himself too much by having to shoot a man on Fifth Avenue. Falwell added, “This would never have happened if Jeff Sessions were doing his job.”

The day ended with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos declaring that the fact that the president could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight “only proves again why we need to arm all our schoolteachers.”

Then Friedman added: "My biggest challenge in writing all of the above? Worrying that readers wouldn’t realize it was made up....Trump will be restrained only if his party loses the House or the Senate. That’s what is at stake in the midterm elections — so vote accordingly."

He added a touch of Red Scare: "Because what we are seeing in the behavior of Trump and his toadies in the G.O.P. is the beginnings of the Russification of American politics. Vladimir Putin could still win the post-Cold War." 

Earlier: Tom Friedman (on PBS, no less) says Trump is "a brain-eating disease"

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