The Occam Explanation


Jonathan Chait wonders why Trump would claim a power he obviously does not possess—a legal power unilaterally to determine when the country “goes back to work.”

One cursed with a logical mind, Chait posits two alternatives:

Why would Trump be disputing the law? The stupidest, and therefore most likely, explanation is that Trump is simply angry that cable news is discussing the fact that Trump’s “decision” is not actually his to make. Trump likes positioning himself as the protagonist of the Trump Show, and it will not do for the narrator to explain that the big reveal in tomorrow’s episode has been determined by some off-screen characters. (The exception, of course, is when Trump has screwed something up, in which case he foistsall responsibility onto his subordinates and berates them for their failure.)

But it is also possible that Trump is actually planning a showdown of some kind with state and local officials. He is reportedly leaning toward announcing a May 1 date for a grand reopening of the country, reflecting his desire for a splashy celebratory announcement. Trump may not want his big day to be stepped on by troublesome local officials diminishing his powers.

Please permit me to posit a third explanation—an explanation of which Occam  would approve: that Orange Man has not got the slightest idea what he is doing.