Mark Twain reputedly said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
For example, it would be impossible to tutor Trump on his stupid collisions of fact and fakery. Yesterday, during his pit stop in devastated south Florida, the renowned climate expert initially decreed that the local inhabitants “went through something that, I guess the likes of which we can say really say nobody has ever seen before. They’ve never seen a category like this come in because it came in really at a five.”
Then, minutes later, he decreed that we have seen it all before: “Well, we’ve had bigger storms than this. And if you go back into the 1930s and 1940s, and you take a look, we’ve had storms over the years that were bigger than this…and you go back into the Teens you’ll see storms that were very similar and even bigger, OK?”
He’d be well advised to plumb the abundant scientific literature that links climate change to the worsening severity of contemporary storms, but that would require turning off Fox News and moving his lips while he reads.
Speaking of stupidity:
People around Trump (most recently, black Republican senator Tim Scott) have been trying to tutor him for weeks, ever since Charlottesville, on the moral chasm that separates fascists from those who fight fascists. Sometimes he seems to get it — until the lights go out in his head and his mouth goes stupid.
Yesterday, he decreed that the anti-fascist movement (Antifa) is potentially just as bad as the Nazis and the other white supremacists: “I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said. Now, because of what’s happened since then with Antifa, when you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ There’s some very bad people on the other side also.”
He’s also launching a new World War II course at Trump University. According to his syllabus, “A lot of people are saying that the French Resistance’s violent attacks on the Nazis shows there were some pretty bad dudes on that side too.”
Speaking of stupidity, he surfaced in North Dakota a few days ago and said this: “You have a pretty serious drought. I just said to the governor, ‘I didn’t know you had droughts this far north.’ Guess what? You have them.”
And speaking of stupidity, consider Jeff Sessions.
You have to wonder how the attorney general can keep working for a boss who humiliates him at every turn. We learned this week, for instance, that Trump called him an “idiot” to his face after the Justice Department hired Robert Mueller. And this summer we saw how Trump tried to tweet-bomb Sessions into quitting his job.
But Sessions hung in there anyway, hoping for the chance to do what he truly signed on to do: Make life tougher for brown people. And last week, it appeared that his moment had finally arrived. Trump gave him the green light to announce that all the young immigrant “Dreamers” will be kicked out of the country. Sessions seemed to relish the moment. He even got the chance to spew some Trumpian lies, about how the Dreamers were supposedly stealing Americans’ jobs, before he strode off stage without taking press questions.
Alas, one week later, Trump has pulled the rug from beneath his feet, rolled him inside it, and tossed him in the trunk.
Those job-stealing immigrants (Sessions’ version) are now being lauded as heroic immigrants (Trump’s version). Yesterday, fresh from his tentative deal with Democratic leaders to save the Dreamers, Trump tweeted: “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really! They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own — brought in by parents at young age.”
How much humiliation is Sessions prepared to endure?
As one conservative pundit noted, illegal immigration is Sessions’ “life work,” and “you don’t lightly quit a job like that no matter how demeaning the boss is. But what if you don’t get to crack down on illegals? What if you hold a press conference announcing the cancellation of Obama’s executive amnesty … and then that same demeaning boss turns around and says he’s moving full speed ahead to legalize [the Dreamers]? There’s no point in enduring humiliation after humiliation to pursue your life’s work if you don’t, in fact, get to pursue it.”
But there isn’t a scintilla of evidence that Sessions plans to bail. Like all the other conned citizens of Trumplandia, he’s jonesing to guzzle more snake oil. Because as Forrest Gump famously said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”