A Stable Genius

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A friend from across the sea is moved by this article—Trump on climate change: ‘People like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers.’—to remark thusly,

You have one of a kind up there. When you think he cannot get more idiotic, he does. My condolences.

In that vein, my friend, and the rest of you, might enjoy The Russia scandal was a bumbling conspiracy. But it was still a conspiracy:

Now let’s step back from these details. The story coming from Trump and his defenders all along has been that there was no collusion, nobody did anything wrong, and any actions that might look questionable were in fact perfectly ordinary. But if that were true, why did so many people involved lie about what they did when it first came to light, whether it was to investigators or to the public? President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Corsi — all have been caught lying about what they did with regard to some part of this scandal. That’s not how innocent people act.

Of course, if it was a conspiracy, it worked — after all, Trump is president. The Russian government can be rightly proud of what it accomplished: For a modest investment of resources in gaming Facebook and hacking Democratic emails, they helped nudge the election in Trump’s direction and throw the American political system into the kind of chaos we could expect when the president of the United States is the kind of clown who replaces the head of the Federal Reserve because he thinks she’s not tall enough for the job.