Stupid News Day

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In politics, sometimes we have big news days. Often times we have slow news days. And then other times we have what I call stupid news days. Those are the days where the headlines and the hype explode over stories that aren’t actually anything. Thursday turned out to indeed be one of those stupid news days.

I’ve spent the past year urging everyone not to waste their time on this “Trump is disqualified from the ballot” thing, because it was just never going anywhere. Even if it worked, Trump was only going to be removed from the ballot in states where he wouldn’t have gotten any electoral votes to begin with. And it seemed so obvious that the Supreme Court would just turn around and put him back on the ballot in those states anyway.

But we still had to sit through a year of hype about this story. People on Twitter convinced themselves that it would become a viable idea if they repeated it often enough and emphatically enough. Professional opportunists in the pundit class decided that they could get a whole lot of retweets and popularity by hyping this idea as if it were magically going to work, even though they had to know that it wasn’t going anywhere.

And on Thursday, we saw what the inevitable result is when a simplistic non-viable Twitter idea comes face to face with the real world. The Supreme Court seemed to laugh off the whole argument, and now every legal expert expects it to reinstate Trump to the ballot. The Supreme Court is highly corrupt in its own right. But as I’ve spent the past year trying to explain, the courts generally don’t interpret Section 3 of the 14th Amendment in the way that Twitter does. We saw that in the failed attempt at removing Marjorie Taylor Greene from the ballot. We’re seeing it again now with the failed attempt at removing Trump from the ballot. This was just never going anywhere.

Of course we’re now seeing the inevitable blame-shifting. The people who spent a year hyping this idea, when they knew it wasn’t going anywhere, are trying to distract from this by steering everyone’s rage toward the Supreme Court itself. Or in some cases they’re insisting that the wrong argument was made to the court, and that a different argument would have worked. But this is all just a matter of people covering their backsides. They spent a year getting popular by insisting this non-viable magic wand idea would work, and now that it predictably hasn’t worked, they need it to be someone else’s fault that they sold you a bill of goods.

But this was just the start of the stupid news day. On Thursday afternoon the final report was released exonerating President Joe Biden for his handling of classified documents. This was always a non-story, and now it’s ending like one. There’s a lot of drama on social media right now because the person in charge of the investigation took a few personal shots at Biden while exonerating him. But this isn’t something that anyone will care about or remember. It’s not a story that anyone will be talking about by this time next week.

So yeah, it’s been an all around stupid news day so far. The manner in which these two stories are reaching a dead end is a good reminder for us not to get sucked in by dead end stories to begin with. How much time have you spent over the past year thinking that Trump would be magically removed from the ballot, or fretting that Biden might somehow get in trouble over classified documents? If you spent any time at all on either, that time was wasted.

Meanwhile back in the real world, we have an election coming up. Trump will not be removed from the ballot. But he is about to go on multiple criminal trials, and he’ll be a convicted felon before the election. Polling overwhelmingly says that this will devastate Trump’s prospects in the general election. He’s also increasingly senile. There are serious questions about whether he’ll even end up with his party’s nomination at the convention. Trump’s criminal trials are likely to have the kind of impact, in at least incremental fashion, that the “Trump is disqualified” thing was never going to have. Oh and by the way, Trump is the one who’s going on criminal trial for classified documents. On a stupid news day like this one, let’s be sure to remember what the real stories are.

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