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Trump and Ben Carson: King and court jester of our new Idiocracy

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- Commentary
Donald Trump and Ben Carson speak about Black History Month (CNN/screen grab)

Donald Trump is the leader of the American kakistocracy — a term that means rule by the stupid, ignorant, lazy and profoundly incompetent. Sophia A. McClennen predicted this accurately in a Salon essay published a full month before Trump was inaugurated. As business professor André Spicer described it in a Guardian op-ed, a kakistocracy is “the wicked disorder that can result when expertise and ethical judgment are aggressively and systematically pushed aside.”

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On Wednesday, in keeping with his ceremonial duties as king of the kakistocrats, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in the Rose Garden after reportedly throwing a temper tantrum during a (very brief) meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump proclaimed, “I don’t do cover-ups” and announced that there would no trillion-dollar infrastructure bill as long as Democrats in Congress dared to investigate him.

Along with the seal of the President of the United States, Trump’s lectern was festooned with a placard that read “no collusion” and “no obstruction,” and included other supposedly favorable details about Robert Mueller’s investigation, at least as massaged and misrepresented by Attorney General William Barr.

The net effect of Trump’s press conference was akin to a scene from Mike Judge’s satire “Idiocracy” but with one key difference: Judge’s fictional President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is more intelligent than Donald Trump, possesses more charisma and after his own fashion actually cares about the welfare of the United States.

Given his horrible public and private behavior and his gross defects in character and morals, Donald Trump’s “no collusion, no obstruction” is the political equivalent of an attorney asking a defendant in court, “When did you stop beating your wife?” That the president of the United States must repeatedly deny engaging in criminal behavior is a de facto confession to virtually everything Trump has been accused of doing.

On Wednesday, in keeping with his ceremonial duties as king of the kakistocrats, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in the Rose Garden after reportedly throwing a temper tantrum during a (very brief) meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump proclaimed, “I don’t do cover-ups” and announced that there would no trillion-dollar infrastructure bill as long as Democrats in Congress dared to investigate him.

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Along with the seal of the President of the United States, Trump’s lectern was festooned with a placard that read “no collusion” and “no obstruction,” and included other supposedly favorable details about Robert Mueller’s investigation, at least as massaged and misrepresented by Attorney General William Barr.

The net effect of Trump’s press conference was akin to a scene from Mike Judge’s satire “Idiocracy” but with one key difference: Judge’s fictional President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is more intelligent than Donald Trump, possesses more charisma and after his own fashion actually cares about the welfare of the United States.

Given his horrible public and private behavior and his gross defects in character and morals, Donald Trump’s “no collusion, no obstruction” is the political equivalent of an attorney asking a defendant in court, “When did you stop beating your wife?” That the president of the United States must repeatedly deny engaging in criminal behavior is a de facto confession to virtually everything Trump has been accused of doing.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Former Trump voters explain what sent them over the edge — and got them to back Biden

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HuffPost reporter Daniel Marans talked with voters Tuesday outside the Luzerne County building in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, ahead of President Donald J. Trump's rally in the state. The line for early voting was about an hour long with most of the queue being held inside. Marans reported that, "People also have questions/requests. But you can drop off a pre-completed absentee ballot in the blue box."

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Trump’s strategy against Joe Biden and the coronavirus is to increasingly accept defeat: columnist

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In an op-ed for the New York Times this Tuesday, Ross Douthat says that the Trump administration is beginning to see the writing on the wall as Election Day grows closer.

According to Douthat, Trump's 2020 campaign "has been stuck toggling back and forth between two very different narratives."

"One seeks to replay the last campaign, portraying Joe Biden as the embodiment of a failed establishment (hence all the references to his 47 years in Washington) who will sell out American interests to China as soon as he’s back in power," he writes.

The other is Trump apparently insistence in running against Joe Biden as if he's Bernie Sanders. While a skilled campaigner could have weaved these narratives together, their contradictions are more obvious when coming from Trump. "The resulting incoherence just feeds his tendency to return to old grudges and very online grievances, as though he’s running for the presidency of talk radio or his own Twitter feed," writes Douthat.

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2020 Election

Trump declared war on mail-in voting — he ended up shooting himself in the foot

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Donald Trump's war on mail-in voting seems, like many of his schemes to steal the election, to be backfiring.

As much as he may publicly deny it, Trump knows he's unpopular and cannot win a free and fair election. So he has determined that the best way to hang onto power is to keep as many Americans from voting as possible. Since nearly the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has been waging war against mail-in ballots, which many millions of Americans are using this year in order to avoid crowded and unsafe polling places.

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