All the many ways

Richard Wolffe

The Inuit are supposed to have dozens of words to describe snow. The Brits have endless ways to talk about rain. Now it’s time for Americans to delineate all the many ways that Donald Trump is dumb.

I’ve been working on that project since July 2016.

(I know there’s a retort that he’s having a lot of success for someone who is dumb. Yes but the dumb is why he’s having the success. Sadly, pathetically, maddeningly, tragically, there are enough Murkans who love to see somebody stupid in the White House to put him there and keep him there despite impeachment.)

If Bob Woodward’s new blockbuster teaches us anything new about the character of the 45th president, it’s that we don’t yet have the words to describe the multiple variants of the vacuum inside his head.

There’s the stupidity of arrogance, the stupidity of ignorance, and his old friend: the stupidity of blatant duplicity. There’s his homicidal stupidity, his traitorous stupidity, his criminally corrupt stupidity and his plain old infantile stupidity.

Let’s start with the top of this taxonomy: the domain of Donald’s dumbness. At his core, the former reality TV star is a particularly stupid man who thinks he is very smart.

So maybe, Wolffe suggests, this stupidity explains his 18 interviews with Woodward. (Trump hinted as much in that “press conference” the other day, when he said he respects Woodward because of hearing his name year after year. Not, he stupidly elaborated, because of his work, just because of Celebrity. Now that is stupid.)

… our very stupid genius vomited up all manner of secrets that collectively prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he represents the greatest single danger to the fate of both the American people and to himself.

How do we classify the stupidity of blabbing the greatest secret of them all: that he knew all along how Covid-19 was deadly and easily transmissible? We now know that in late January, his national security adviser told him the coronavirus was the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency. A week later, he told Woodward that the disease was “more deadly even than your strenuous flus”.

But see at that time he didn’t know he was going to lie to us about it for months and months and months. Because he’s stupid.

Then he admitted it all over again at the press conference Wednesday.

“So the fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country. And I don’t want people to be frightened,” he told reporters. “We want to show confidence. We want to show strength.”

Nothing says confidence or strength quite like 190,000 dead citizens. And nothing blows up your pushback against Woodward (“another political hit job”) like admitting to your arrogance and duplicity at a press conference.

Mattis and Coats knew how bad it was but couldn’t bring themselves to do anything about it.

Because of their failures to act, we now have an intelligence community that suppresses warnings about Russian election interference and white supremacist terrorists, while hyping conspiracies about antifa. You could say this was an impeachable state of affairs, but Republican senators have developed a new stupidity of cowardice.

Is it cowardice or love? I think it’s more that they love him, because they’re as bad as he is.

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