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Useful Idiots

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Memo to Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Don Blankenship: YOU ARE DUMB.

Why yes, I am using this week’s IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS as a platform to get some things out about some of the top news stories of the past few days. Why do you ask?

”This will make America much safer.” - Donald Trump, answering a reporter’s question about his decision to abandon the Iran deal.

That reporter’s question? “How will this make America safer?” I mean, on one hand, this is unsurprising, in that to the extent Trump has been practicing government at all since he took office, he’s been practicing “government by assertion”, and 98% of those assertions have been baseless. I mean, literally everything he asserted about the Iran deal as part of his decision to abandon the Iran deal was baseless too.

In some ways, it showed almost restraint on Trump’s part to simply lie about the particulars of the Iran deal when it comes to what it is, what it does, and how effective it’s been in regards to Iran’s nuclear capability. Because we all know at this point he could have said the Iran deal requires us to ship 300 white women to Tehran each year on Ramadan Day, and his base would have believed it and the media would have debated for two weeks whether or not it was true. But at the same time, this is a real horrible diplomatic mistake with real horrible international consequences that he’s getting away with brushing off with “It’ll work because it works” and it’s not even scratching the surface of the news.

”I’m not sleeping now. I’m in Dallas. I’m wide awake. I’ve handled numerous cases including some sensitive cyber matters. I’m a lot more aware and intelligent than Joe has ever been and a lot more accomplished. Joe hasn’t been knighted by the Queen of England. He hasn’t run a U.S. attorney’s office, much less a city that he turned around or went through 9/11.” - Rudy Giuliani, responding to Joe Scarborough’s charges that he’s erratic and sleeps a lot.

And really, what better way to prove you’re not erratic than responding to charges of frequent napping by saying that right now, you’re awake in Dallas? I know Giuliani’s had a rough week, but damn, dude. Now, unlike Giuliani, I hate to bring up things from the distant past with zero relevance right now, but for Rudy, I’ll make an exception. Didn’t he promise he was going to bring the Mueller investigation to an end by now? How’s that coming along?

The worst part of the whole thing is watching the same “is this an intentional strategy or just insane incompetence” dance between the media and Giuliani that happens every time Trump does something bad and stupid. NOBODY CARES. What matters is that the thing is bad and stupid, not whether or not it was planned or accidental. Deal with the bad things and stop wasting time on motive. That, despite Giuliani’s “best” efforts, is still Mueller’s job.

“We’re confused on our staff as to how it can be racist when there’s no mention of race. There’s no race. Races are Negro, white Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. There’s no mention of a race. I’ve never used a race word.” - Don Blankenship, who you know had to show up in this column even in its diminished state.

As I write this, Don Blankenship will not be the Republican nominee to face off against Joe Manchin in the Senate election this November. Which is only slightly reassuring, and also disappointing when it comes to the general election. Because let’s face it, as much as I would love to see Joe Manchin’s sorry ass kicked the fuck out of the Senate, I’d hate it incrementally more if he were replaced by someone worse. And Blankenship’s dead affect, criminal record, and insane stupidity might have made him slightly less palatable to West Virginia voters in the general election.

That said, you should still be deeply concerned that a man who can say, unironically, that he’s not a racist because he’s never used any of the four “race words” he’s just told you are the only race words, could marshall a somewhat viable candidacy in the first place. Or, you know, become the head of a major coal company and run it for a decade, only managing to kill a few dozen miners in the process. Point to this fucking mouthbreather the next time someone tells you we live in a meritocracy.

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