My tech whiz friend Ed Bott has a few favorite comments he makes from his years dealing with people on a lot of different levels, whether directly or from what he reads people have done or have advised to others, or have just floated in the wind around him. His default go-to line about all this is “There’s still a lot of stupid left.” But he has a couple of back-ups which fill in nicely as an occasional change of pace. “Never bet against stupid as the cause" is one. And another that's Pure Bott for its eloquence is "Peak Stupid is an illusion. There's always more stupid just around the bend." And other line pop up from time to time. Ed is a maestro on the subject of stupid. (And other things, but that's another subject all together.)
To be clear, though, this is not about tech. So, not to worry.
Every once in a while, there are things I write about because I just can't begin to understand them, like, for instance, the blatantly craven actions of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). But the other day, a cousin to this concept came up -- something I do understand (soul-sucking stupidity), but am just in awe that such a depth of stupidity exists. (Ed Bott would not have the same level of awe that I do. He'd have a comment about it.)
We've seen in the news for a long while this far-right obsession that has glommed on to their weird belief and insistence that Joe Biden is demented or has Alzheimer's or lost all cognitive awareness and should be removed from off. This medical certainty of there's tends to come from a range of factors -- that he pauses to think before speaking (which apparently is totally bizarre to today's GOP), or that the stumbles a little bit over words (despite it well-documented that he has had a lifetime stutter), or that he veers far off-topic (something he has done on camera with great visual evidence for about 40 years, or just on general principle that he beat Trump and so they're really pissed off. It comes mostly from social media, but the far-right press has picked up on it, and now even some in Congress have tried pandering by dropping hints. Never mind that none of the people I've yet heard offering their theories has a medical degree and could tell you the actual, clinical symptoms of what they're trying to describe. Or have any actual, you know, evidence, other than "He paused and stuttered and said the wrong word," which only qualifies as evidence if your lawyer is Sidney Powell -- and even she said she shoudn't be believed.
(To be clear, Joe Biden is not as sharp as he once was, but the GOP body-twisting faux outrage isn't that he's not as sharp as he once was -- something that's probably true for a third of the Senate -- but that he supposedly has "dementia" or Alzheimer's, which is another world entirely. And another solar system when you're diagnosing without a medical degree.)
This all hit its latest level after President Biden's press conference, when it was noted that he had a cheat sheet with some notes. Never mind that I suspect most presidents have notes at such events, for points they want to be sure to touch on. We know for certain that Trump did. But whatever the reason for their far-right angst, the bottomline is that they want Joe Biden removed from the White House as Commander-in-Chief.
This where we return to the concept of utter stupidity and the tao of Ed Bott. There’s still a lot of stupid left.
And boy, howdy, does it runs deep.
There are a lot of reasons why this obsession to remove President Biden from office for his GOP-perceived faux mental incompetence. But three stand out far-above all.
The first is that it's really an incredibly bad look when Trump, the guy who you utterly worship as a near God, lost to someone you claim is mentally incapacitated.
The second is that this fake-issue of Joe Biden's supposed dementia is propaganda put out by Vladimir Putin and Russia. And so, spreading it around make you a Russian asset, whether knowingly or not. Or what in Russia they call a "useful idiot."
But most of all is the third reason. Now, keep in mind that the whole push by the far-right to demean Joe Biden is to get him out of office, with some calls for the 25th Amendment to be invoked. But the incredible stupidity here is that there appears to be the belief that because so many Republicans think the election was stolen from Trump and that he's the supposed real president, then if President Biden is removed from office then Trump will get to be declared the actual president. And yes, I know that's a weird observation to make, but nothing else makes sense. Because -- well, y'know, replacing Joe Biden with Trump is not how the U.S. Constitution works.
If for whatever reason the far-right gets its Great Wish and Joe Biden is somehow removed from office, whether by the 25th Amendment or "impeachment" (which some Republicans have brought up -- with absolutely no rational meaning, mind you...), then the person who would become the next President of the United States is a black woman. Which I have to believe is today's Republican Party's worst nightmare. And to make it worse for them -- which you'd think is near impossible -- a liberal black woman. With a Jewish husband.
But it even gets worse in its profound depth of stupidity. Because if the far-right is able to block all that out and be dismissive because they're sure they'll be some way to remove Kamala Harris from office -- who knows how? Perhaps because she's part of Biden's supposedly illegitimate Administration? Or "Being elected while black?" Or whatever reason -- then the person who will replace her is, again, not Trump, but -- Nancy Pelosi!!! Which might be an even worse nightmare to the far right than their worst nightmare. Which is an impressive concept.
I'm going to guess that most people in today's Republican Party who are calling for President Joe Biden to be removed from office because of their claims of mental incompetence haven't thought any of this through. Most especially the third part.
Because...well, Peak Stupid is an illusion. There's always more stupid just around the bend.
I get it. I get that they're that monumentally stupid. The only thing I don't get is how someone can be that monumentally stupid. But...ultimately, in the end --
There's still a lot of stupid left.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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