Ways to lose to Donald Trump: Call people stupid for supporting him now

Enough votes to cancel out everyone you know

Enough votes to cancel out everyone you know

Donald Trump is the worst major-party candidate in modern history. He stops spouting nonsense only to lie, and his lies contradict one another. You’d have to be stupid to vote for him, which is weird, because he obliterated 15 other Republican candidates in the primaries. But that was the GOP, where the stupid enjoy a plurality. Now that we’re basically into the general, Trump’s idiot supporters are overwhelmingly outnumbered by those of us who look down our noses at them. That’s why Hillary Clinton enjoys an insurmountable two-point lead in the polls. It’s also why this satirical report by Andy Borowitz, Stephen Hawking angers Trump supporters with baffling array of long words, is so hilarious.

Agreed that “baffling array” is an inherently funny phrase, which is probably why it verges on cliché. I suppose it’s also funny to dismiss Trump voters as morons who don’t understand the sophomore-level vocab words we do:

Speaking to a television interviewer in London, Hawking called Trump “a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” a statement that many Trump supporters believed was intentionally designed to confuse them. Moments after Hawking made the remark, Google reported a sharp increase in searches for the terms “demagogue,” “denominator,” and “Stephen Hawking.”

Ha! Those stupid assholes look up the meanings of words they don’t know. Can you believe they didn’t know them already? Wait, I feel weird. It seems the path of our satire has intersected a swifter vehicle.

If you want Clinton to beat Trump in November, a person who currently thinks he would make a good president is like someone who doesn’t know what the word “demagogue” means. You can laugh at him for not knowing and thereby convince him it’s the kind of word assholes use. Or you can hope he looks it up—even encourage him to do so or, if you really consider yourself a deft hand, explain to him what it means. Then maybe he will start using “demagogue” too, instead of voting for the billionaire who talks like an ordinary guy hating you.

Saying Trump appeals to stupid people is not the first step to winning over his supporters. Hillary already fights the impression that she’s smug, living a life ordinary people cannot imagine, and married to a president. Two out of those three are true. Perhaps the best way to counter the popular appeal of a charismatic huckster is not to work the “you rubes” angle. That’s how you play the heel in Memphis.

I do think Trump appeals to common denominators, and I don’t want him to win in November. I sure would feel better about the slim lead standing between me and President Trump if it were larded by a few points—possibly one or two percent of Trump supporters. I guess we can hope to lure them with our disdain.

Close Readings: Meghan McCain says stupid is worse than mean

“Everyone here is stuck up, no one has any watermelon, the copy machine doesn’t make sense…”

Yesterday in Virginia, Vice-President Joe Biden criticized Mitt Romney’s plan to “unchain Wall Street,” warning that “he’s going to put y’all back in chains.” He said that because he is Joe Biden and there were black people in the audience. Presumably, he was referring to Romney’s actual talking point about unshackling the economy, and he meant that all the members of the audience would be shackled, not just the black ones. The slip hardly lived up to his Bidentity as an unstoppable gaffe machine, but daughter of person who was almost president Meghan McCain jumped on it. Props to Ben al-Fowlkes for the link. Joining Mac & Gaydos on Arizona’s KTAR [boinging sound,] McCain called the Vice-President an “idiot.” Her point:

I’m so sick of this BS from [Biden]. I can’t stand Joe Biden because I think stupid is worse than being mean. I just think any insinuation that in America we’re going to go back to slavery times is delusional. It’s ridiculous and it’s ignorant…If I were Obama I would’ve never picked Joe Biden in the first place.

First of all, Meghan McCain, if you were Obama people would not ask for your opinions, because you wouldn’t know your dad. Second, is stupid really worse than mean?

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Grassley calls President “stupid” via Twitter

Pictures into which harmonicas must be Photoshopped immediately

The last time we checked in with Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R–IA) Twitter account, his message to his followers was “Barb made oatmeal.” That was in 2009, on the morning his Senate committee abandoned its attempt to reach bipartisan consensus on health care reform. Grassley operates in the Iowa tradition of laconic hicks who are secretly genius assholes, and he uses Twitter accordingly. Like Basho, his poetry is in what he does not say. It was therefore surprising to see him issue this long-winded rebus on Saturday:

Am they? Oh, wait—that’s “American people” who r not stupid.

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Dept. of Finally: Obama points out that Sarah Palin knows little about tactical nuclear warfare

"This question will obviously require further research, and I'm just spitballing here, but could we—using advancements in technology—eventually make the nuclear weapons atomic?"

First of all, I’d like to apologize for how long it took us to get the Department of Finally up and running. It’s been the first thing on our agenda since the inception of Combat! blog, but you know how it is, what with the Department of Planning, the Department of Eventually, the Department of Interrupting, the Department of Penultimate, and the Department of Dragging Out Jokes That Only One of Us Finds Amusing all clamoring for our attention. Now that that’s taken care of: President Obama took advantage of the Combat! news blackout Friday to dismiss Sarah Palin’s criticism of his nuclear posture. “I really have no response. Because last I checked, Sarah Palin’s not much of an expert on nuclear issues,” the President told George Stephanopoulos, who immediately began hooting and running around in a circle while pawing at the air before sitting down, straightening his tie, taking a deep breath and then shouting “Oh, snap!” directly into the ear of Michelle Malkin. “If the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it,” Obama continued, “I’m probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.”

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Stronger than reason: David Brooks on the Tea Party

Dear god, please let there be a punk rock branch of the Tea Party.

He’s been wrong before, but when David Brooks says you’re a nationwide movement, you’re either Soccer Moms in the 2004 general election or a real thing. In Monday’s New York Times, Brooks alleges that the Tea Party movement is the latter. After opening with his usual overview of the prevailing sociopolitical winds for the last thirty to 100 years, he gets to the money shot. “Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year,” he writes. For the moment, Brooks has declined to enumerate which instruments he uses to measure the popularity of ideas, but he at least sounds right. “The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise,” he says. “The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.” Those committed to responsible argument will object to Brooks’s questionable use of the word so, which makes his theory the cause of his evidence, but as and statements his list still draws an unsettling connection. When Brooks points out that the Tea Partiers are defined by what they are against, and that most of what they are against can be grouped under “the concentrated power of the educated class,” he introduces a framework as useful as it is terrifying.

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