A metaphor? Need to look for another one, bud

Republican Pennsylvania governor candidate Scott Wagner says a graphic statement he made about incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf was a “metaphor.”

A metaphor, eh? OK. I believe the fellow needs to change the tone of his language.

Wagner told Wolf he would stomp on his face “with golf spikes” if he didn’t stop the negative ads his campaign is running against Wagner.

Wagner said he didn’t mean he literally would stomp on Wolf’s face with the spikes. I am going to accept that. I didn’t believe he actually intended to do it.

There needs to be a serious dialing in of Wagner’s antenna to discern the kind of rhetoric that’s been thrown around of late, indeed for a long time. He also ought to grasp how some folks take this angry rhetoric literally. It fires them up to do things they otherwise might not even consider in the midst of an overheated political campaign.

None other than U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a fellow Republican from Louisiana, has said Wagner’s language is unacceptable.

Scalise ought to be taken seriously, as he was grievously wounded in a shooting this past year when Republicans were practicing for a charity baseball game in Arlington, Va., against their Democratic colleagues and friends. Scalise said “there is absolutely place in our politics for this kind of rhetoric.”

Even, Scott Wagner, if it’s used metaphorically.

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