Today, let’s list the latest stupid remarks that epitomize what life is like in blighted Trumplandia.
I’m at pains to determine which remark is the Top 10 winner – it can be difficult to parse the nuances of stupidity – and dwelling too long in the depths of stupidity is surely a risk to one’s mental health. So I’ll just toss these out randomly, for your bemused disdain:
Sexual harassment boaster Donald Trump endorsed teenage girl troller Roy Moore, with this cheerleading advice: “Go get ’em, Roy!” It was precisely that go-get-em spirit that got Moore banned from an Alabama mall. If Moore winds up in Washington, he’ll surely be disappointed to discover that the National Mall is just grass and water.
Donald Trump Jr. gave closed-door testimony this week to a House committee about his infamous spring ’16 Trump Tower meeting with some suspicious Russians. Did he later discuss that meeting with Daddy? Yes. What did he tell Daddy? He refused to say. Why? Because he told the committee he was invoking “attorney-client privilege.” Only one problem: Neither Junior nor Daddy are lawyers. And neither was consulting an attorney at the time of their conversation. Luckily for Junior, people don’t get jailed for stupidity.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is insulted that Congressmen John Lewis and Bennie Thompson refuse to join Trump at the opening of a new civil rights museum in Mississippi. In her words, “We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history.” Well, guess what: John Lewis doesn’t need to stand with Trump to honor those sacrifices – because, perhaps unbeknownst to Sanders, Lewis lived those sacrifices. He doesn’t need to cheapen his iconic ’60s actions by standing there with a guy who dog-whistles racism and retweets racist tweets.
Charles Grassley, the Iowa senator, thinks it’s swell that Republicans have weakened the estate tax, making it easier for rich heirs to keep more of the family money. He says rich heirs will invest that money in the economy – as opposed to certain Americans of more modest means, “those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Gee. On the one hand, Trump boasts that we have a robust economy and GDP; on the other hand, Grassley says the economy is slacking because some people are too busy screwing, boozing, and binge-watching. And I’m sure we can guess which people are the target of Grassley’s insinuations.
Jane Porter, a mouthpiece for Roy Moore, offered a spirited defense of her allegedly pervy client. Rather than focus on the nine women who say that as teens Moore cruised them, dated them, or inappropriately touched them, Porter sought to turn the tables: “We need to make it clear that there’s a group of non-accusers, that have not accused the judge of any sexual misconduct or anything illegal.” That’s brilliant! If only Ted Bundy’s lawyer had thought of that. If the Florida jury had been given a list of all the people Bundy didn’t kill, he could’ve been spared execution. Heck, if only Charles Manson’s jury had received a similar list – his girls only invaded two houses; there are millions of houses in L.A. – then perhaps Mansion could’ve been free in his final years, bagging at Whole Foods or driving an Uber.
Fox News talking head Gregg Jarrett frothed to Sean Hannity about the Trump-Russia probe. The FBI is being so unfair to Trump! Worse than that, “The FBI has become America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of night, banging through your door.” Say what? FBI equals KGB? The old commie-baiter, J. Edgar Hoover, would’ve loved that one. The best rebuke came yesterday, from ex-Republican congressman Mike Rogers: “To compare them to the KGB is absolutely offensive…Stop dragging this institution that is going to be there when you’re gone, protecting your grandkids, stop destroying its ability to do its mission. I find that stuff not only offensive but dangerous.”
Blake Farenthold, the Republican congressman who settled a sexual harassment case by paying his accuser $84,000 in taxpayer money (he’s still in Congress, with few Republicans demanding that he quit), echoes the Fox complaint that federal investigators have been so unfair to Trump. In his words this week, “we have a special counsel investigating the Trump administration, but it seems like no one is addressing the Clinton administration.” Someone please tell this harasser that, even though Clinton did top Trump by three million popular votes, there is no Clinton administration.
Speaking of harassment, right-wing Republican lawmaker Trent Franks has abruptly decided to quit rather than face an Ethics Committee investigation. He said in his defense yesterday that “in the midst of this current cultural and media climate,” he feared that his story will be “sensationalized” and “hyperbolized.” Apparently, in his mind, there was nothing sensational about a congressman asking a female aide (and later, another female aide) to bear his child via surrogacy. Nah, just your basic family values. But didn’t I see that kind of thing in “The Handmaid’s Tale”?
Let’s hear directly from Roy Moore. Granted, he uttered this remark in September, but only now is it really making the rounds: At a virtually all-white rally, a rare African-American asked Moore when was the last time he thought America was “great.” Moore replied, “I think it was great at the time when families were united – even though we had slavery.” In theory, that’s a stupid remark, because, in 2017, there’s no way we’d elect a guy who thinks we were great when black people in chains were whipped for disobedience. But hey, Republicans in 2017 will abide just about anything. Remember when Republican Trent Lott lost his Senate leadership post after he suggested that life was better during segregation? That was so 15 years ago.
Let’s conclude with Trump, because how could we not. Yesterday, he told a 93-year-old Pearl Harbor veteran, “That was a pretty wild scene.” It seems quite stupid to describe the fire and the fury and the deaths of 2,403 Americans in the same language one would use to describe the ’70s dance floor at Studio 54, but maybe FDR intoned it that way 76 years ago today: “De-cem-bah seventh, 1941. A pretty wild scene that will live in infamy!”
No. Nobody would be that stupid.