Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Stupid Or Cruel?

Ultimately that becomes the question to every policy utterance from Cheetoh Benito.  His health care bill?  Does he understand it and is simply lying? Or does he simply not understand it?  Apparently health care is complicated, who could have known?  But does he have even the barest of knowledge about this plan?

One of the small stories that has leaked out during the Hundred Daze is that Trump really isn't a reader.  As in, he doesn't read.  If it's not in a bullet point, he's not reading it.  Trump's father sent him to the New York Military Academy, at least in part because he had an undiagnosed learning disability.  Attention deficit, probably linked to a reading based learning disability.  Because Trump inherited a lot of money and has never had to personally develop coping skills for his LD issues, he simply glided by, while his attorneys handled the details.

Obama famously said that no easy problems reach the Oval Office.  If the problem were easy, it would have been solved before it got to the White House.  Difficult problems require sophisticated, nuanced thinking.  Trump's inability to see nuance or embrace subtlety is directly linked to his ignorance.

So, again, when we look at the Festival of Cruelty that is the Trump budget, we have to ask: Is he stupid or cruel?  Look, we know Steve Bannon is cruel, and we can be reasonably certain that Trump was not involved with crafting the details of this budget.  So, let's assume that this budget is the product of the Breitbart Boys who surround Trump.  Let's also assume that Trump - the living embodiment of a Yahoo! comment thread - is OK with the broad rhetoric of the Right that would cut all the various programs that he wants to cut.

What Trump hasn't realized is the very real difference between the rhetoric of "cut wasteful spending" and the reality that this "wasteful spending" is quite important in people's lives and they don't want to see it cut.  Republicans in Congress are savvy enough to know the difference between their campaign rhetoric and the reality that many programs are popular.  Big Bird has beaten back more competent foes than Donald Trump.

And so we come back to the original question: Are Donald Trump's policies a product of his cruelty or his stupidity?

And which answer terrifies you more?

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