Welcome to the United States of ‘Idiocracy’

Max Boot in WaPo: “When Mike Judge’s movie “Idiocracy” came out in 2006, almost no one saw it. (The film grossed less than $500,000 at the box office.) Now everyone should see it.

“Luke Wilson plays an average Joe who is put into suspended animation and reawakens 500 years later to find himself the smartest person in America because everyone else has gotten so dumb. The No. 1 TV show features contestants being hit in their private parts; crops are watered with a sports energy drink, causing a famine; and the president is a former wrestler and porn star who curses freely and fires automatic weapons on TV.

“Is there a better prophecy of our end times? The only thing “Idiocracy” really got wrong was its timeline. It has taken just 15 years, not 500, for America to become an idiocracy. Don’t believe it? Look at our response to the coronavirus pandemic. …

“We can and should hold our leaders responsible, but ultimately, we have no one but ourselves to blame. Nobody forced so many Americans to act so recklessly — first by placing their faith in a president who doesn’t deserve it, and now in ignoring widely publicized scientific findings. We are living — and now dying — in an idiocracy of our own creation.”

The law still matters to some SCOTUS justices

“Trump keeps losing not because of something obscure, but because of something fundamental: his abuse of the executive branch. Much of his administration’s approach to governance rests on attempting executive actions that lack any meaningful justification rooted in expertise, or even rational thought. …

“Trump’s abuse of the executive branch is one of the most damaging aspects of his presidency, because it rejects a reasoned approach to making government policy. Trump has made clear—most notably during the impeachment process—that he disdains the civil servants who bring deep expertise and valuable experience to important policy questions. …

“Trump has made clear time and again that he doesn’t really care what the law says, especially about immigration. That’s why he urged shooting rock-throwing immigrants and retaliating against immigrant-friendly sanctuary cities by sending detained immigrants to such cities, and why he fired his own Homeland Security general counsel, who had pushed back on various questionable Trump initiatives. Trump doesn’t see law as a constraint, but something to be manipulated—and that’s clearly a message his Cabinet seems to have received. Consequently, they play fast and loose with the law. The Court, in this decision and last year’s, is essentially saying that the law still matters.

“Ultimately, that’s precisely what’s at stake as long as Trump is president. If all that matters is a president’s policy preferences, then law—including judicial review—is basically a facade: Dress it up enough, and it’ll pass muster. But if law matters—if building a record and considering facts and providing honest reasons matter—then Trump is sure to keep losing.”

The legal reasoning may look like it turns on obscure technicalities, but the administration?s cases are falling apart because of something much more deeply wrong.

He truly is a very stable genius

I would add to this insightful analysis that our brilliant leader has single handedly discovdered the virus’s weakness: it needs a living host and can only infect the living. His suggestion that we all take hydroxychloroquine and inject bleach strikes at this vital weakness and will succeed in curing us of the coronavirus (as well as all other ills). But President Trump gets no credit for this ingenious insight. What more proof do you need that it’s all a liberal plot to deprive him of an election victory in November?

It seems some Americans are confused about President Donald Trump?s extremely strong and very powerful national response to the coronavirus pandemic. That confusion is understandable, as many Americans are not used to having a president who, by his own expert account, has ?a very, very large brain? and also has ?the best words.?

Science? We don’t need no stinking science!

“Fauci’s transgression is to base his evaluations — after decades of public service and expertise fighting HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika and anthrax — on facts and logic that conflict with Trump’s chosen version of reality. Fauci has long said that only the virus can decide when normal life — things such as NFL games and schools reopening, for instance — will be safe again.

“Trump has always been battling the pandemic he wants to fight, rather than the one that actually exists, with a strategy shaped mostly by his political requirements as he seeks a second term. The pandemic arrived in the US despite his insistence that it would not be a problem. Now, with 84,000 Americans dead and 1.3 million infected, Trump argues that the country has prevailed over the virus and it’s time to get back to work.”

President Donald Trump's repudiation of Dr. Anthony Fauci has long been probable. Once the trusted doctor warned of the human cost of Trump's push to quickly reopen the country, it became inevitable.

“To say Trump’s argument is frivolous demeans frivolity”

George Conway in the Washington Post concerning the release of Trump’s tax returns: “Trump’s position stupefies. In essence: Authorities can’t investigate anything touching his personal affairs — including, ahem, payments to pornographic actresses — because he’s president. Think of the logic: Not only does the president enjoy a personal constitutional immunity — his businesses do, too. …

“Likewise, the Constitution is concerned with protecting the presidency, not the person who happens to be the president. That’s because no one in this country is above the law. The Supreme Court is now called upon to teach that lesson once again — even if Trump will likely never learn it.”

The Constitution is concerned with protecting the presidency, not the person who happens to be the president.

Trump’s immigration success

It’s notorious that bureaucracies are hard to change from the top down.

He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‛Do this! Do that!’  *And nothing will
happen.*  Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it
very frustrating.  — Harry S Truman

But Donald Trump has pretty much done that. He’s really in practice
cutting back immigration to just those people that the US allows in, and
cutting back which people the US allows in … all without getting
Congress to change the laws.

One of the more amazing bits is the shutting of the asylum pipeline that
people from Central America were using. For a while there, about
100,000 people a month were arriving from Central America and claiming
asylum, and due to the details of US immigration law, were “caught and
released” into the US. That was a significant fraction of the workers
coming into the US labor market. Needless to say, it caused apoplexy in
Trump supporters.

I’ll note here that I don’t know the details of asylum law, but given
the general violence in Central America, I wouldn’t be surprised if all
of these people qualified for asylum. What I would be surprised is if
this is different now than from any of the last 100 years.

But despite what one would think possible, Trump has managed to shut
this pathway off. I’d be interested in reading a clear discussion of
exactly how this was managed.