“Only the best people”

When I made the observation a few articles ago that bad spellers are over-represented among Trump supporters, I was pilloried by commenters insisting that I had somehow implied all bad-spellers are stupid. That’s getting the cart before the horse. Saying that two leading causes of bad spelling are poor education or low brain wattage doesn’t mean you can logically turn it around and say all bad spellers are poorly educated fools. It just means some of them are. If you’re among those bad spellers who are well-educated (or not) and/or intelligent then the logic of the point shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Donald Trump, who is a notoriously bad speller, is a bad speller because he’s stupid. Your reason may be dyslexia, a condition from which I too suffer, together with an undiagnosed case of ADHD when I was a child. The reason can be any number of things. What I actually wanted to say was, when it comes to spelling, I’m no ________ myself. But I couldn’t think of a single famous paragon of good spelling, which ought to tell you how deservedly unvalued such a minor virtue properly is. So relax. We’re on the same page here.

But, it ought to tell you a lot that the multi-state legal filings made by Donald Trump’s lawyers attempting to destabilize and subvert the 2020 presidential election are full of spelling errors and factual mistakes. This ought to give you, in fact, two clues. The first clue is that the lawyers doing the filing are probably low-powered and marginally talented. The second clue is that the lawyers probably know in their heart of hearts that they have no case. A bad script, after all, makes for poor acting.

Turns out both clues are correct. One of the lawyers of record is Rudy Giuliani, a notoriously marginal lawyer, who has deliberately staked out a ramshackle, Ted Kaczynski-sized hovel on the lunatic fringe in favor of Donald Trump. Rudy got the judge’s name wrong, the opposition’s lawyer’s name wrong, misspelled “poll watcher” as “pole watcher” and didn’t know the meaning of the word “opacity.” And he was just getting warmed up.

Equally marginal was Sidney Powell. She’s the one who’s appeared on various news outlets explaining that she’s got a “fire hose of evidence” favoring the crack-brained notion that millions of votes were financed by “Communist money,” fraudulently cast for Joe Biden, or thrown out if they were votes cast for Donald Trump, or both.

In any case, once in court, all the Trump lawyers and all the Trump men know better than to tell the same lies to judges about Humpty Trumpty that they’re telling to the media. In court, they’re under oath and subject to the rules of contempt. Suddenly, when their freedoms and licenses to practice law are on the line, that “firehose of evidence” turns into a poorly functioning squirt gun. They cry “fraud” in front of the camera and let slip the dogs of innuendo about foreign collusion and foreign money to the press, but to the judges they say not a single word about actual criminal wrongdoing.

One almost suspects that if they could make do exclusively with only the public innuendo and skip the court appearances they would. (You may recall way back last year that Trump didn’t want Volodymyr Zelensky to actually investigate the Bidens, he just wanted him to announce that he would. In the end, appearance and innuendo, not substance and court-sanctioned fact, is the sine qua non of all Republican sleaze-politik.)

And so the circus remains in town, held over for a fourth and final year. Step right up, grab your popcorn and take a seat. It will all be over very soon. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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