JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Bloodbaths, “Wet Work” And The Non-Zero Chance That Donald Trump Will Be Assassinated (By A Drone?)
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Colorful rhetoric was in the news this week, the color being red.

Campaigning in Ohio for a Republican Senate candidate in last Tuesday’s primary, Donald J. Trump had words to say about automobiles being imported from China. The actual words: 

We’re going to put a 100 percent tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those guys if I get elected. Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole. That’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country, that’ll be the least of it. But they’re not going to sell those cars, they’re building massive factories.

Bloodbath, by Liz Wolfe,, March 15, 2024

The Regime Media promptly interpreted that, in their suspiciously unanimous way, as Trump threatening a violent, bloody uprising if he is not elected President in November.

Their shrieks of pretended outrage soon drowned out the few calm voices pointing out that most dictionaries allow the word ”bloodbath” as a metaphor for, to quote the website: ”A period of disastrous loss or reversal.”

This little episode—I suppose someone somewhere has already called it ”Bloodbath-gate,” may that person rot in Hell—goes into the file of Trump verbal stumbles along with the 2015 warning about illegal border-crossers from Mexico, 

They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

‘They’re rapists.’ President Trump’s campaign launch speech two years later, annotated, Washington Post, June 16, 2017

And then, two years later, at a presser following the Charlottesville demonstration against taking down a Robert E. Lee statue, when a reporter said the demonstrators were neo-Nazis:

You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.

In Context: Donald Trump’s ‘very fine people on both sides’ remarks (transcript), Politifact,  April 20,2019

So: Rapists-gate, Fine-People-gate, and now Bloodbath-gate.

You may call Donald Trump a sloppy speaker. When you do as much public speaking as he does, though, and when an almost uniformly hostile media is keenly looking out for every possible opportunity to misrepresent his words, these -gates are what you’re bound to get.

I do approximately zero-point-zero-zero-one times as much public speaking as the Donald, but I can easily recall things I’ve said that would be just as easy to misrepresent as Bloodbath-gate, etc., etc.

The other specimen of colorful—in fact blood-colored—rhetoric that caught my eye this week came from old Clinton warrior James Carville in an interview this Wednesday night at CNN.

At one point in the interview Carville told Anderson Cooper that

To be candid, Anderson, President Biden is not the best attack politician I’ve ever seen in my life. And hopefully leave it at that. But there are a lot of people to do what I call “the Wet Work.”

Anderson Cooper remarked, smiling: ”It sounds like a mob hit.”

Carville replied:

Kind of, but it’s paid TV and stuff like that. But yes, it’s a CIA term to take a guy out.

Carville: Biden Should Let Surrogates Do the ‘Wetwork’ Against Trump,  by Pam Key,, March 20, 2024

That had the reverse effect to Bloodbath-gate. The Regime Media was silent, but it brought out Trump supporters alleging that Carville was proposing the assassination of Trump [Clinton Operative James Carville Suggests Biden Campaign Assassinate Trump to Win Election, by Nick R. Hamilton,, March 22, 2024].

I doubt that’s what Carville meant. Like Trump in Ohio, he was just being careless with his metaphors.

There has, though, for some time been an undercurrent of speculation that the Regime might indeed try to take Trump out Sicilian-style. That undercurrent came to the surface last summer in Trump’s interview with Tucker Carlson.

Here was Tucker at 7m11s into the interview:

I’m looking at the trajectory since 2015, when you got into politics for real, and then won. It started with protests against you, massive protests, organized protests by the Left, and then it moved to impeachment twice …

And now indictment. I mean, the next stage is violence. Are you worried that they’re going to try and kill you? Why wouldn’t they try and kill you? Honestly?

Tucker on X Debate Night Interview with Donald Trump Transcript,, August 24, 2023

Trump gave a long-winded indirect answer. If he has thought about the possibility of being assassinated, he doesn’t want to share his thoughts in public.

It isn’t just Tucker Carlson who’d like to know. A possible Trump assassination comes up in private conversation a lot.

A few weeks ago, chatting with a friend who follows developments in military technology much more closely than I do, he expressed surprise—genuine, so far as I could tell—that no political assassination has yet been carried out by drone.

Those gadgets can apparently do facial recognition, greatly reducing the probability of error. Said my friend, shaking his head: ”It’s only a matter of time.”

My advice to Donald Trump:

(a) to hire in to his security detail someone who knows all there is to know about counter-drone defenses, if there are any, and

(b) stay indoors as much as possible,


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at can do so here.

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