Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 05, 2018

David Atkins: Even the briefest observation of Donald Trump is adequate to confirm that he is not a man of profound intellect. He certainly possesses his share of social intelligence, a knack for salesmanship and an obsessive drive to dominate and humiliate others stemming from a yawning maw of overlapping insecurities. But in terms of how we traditionally measure intelligence in the modern developed world -- the acquisition of knowledge over time and the ability to process, digest and act cogently in response to complex information -- Trump probably doesn't even reach the 50th percentile of Americans. And that is being generous.



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I mention all this because while I don't fully believe it myself, we must at least consider the possibility that Trump's bizarre behavior with respect to Russian collusion, the Mueller probe, and his obstruction of justice is that he literally does not understand when he committed crimes or what is wrong with what he did. His social intelligence and gut instinct for politics certainly leads him to understand that some aspects of the collusion and obstruction would be politically damaging to him if they fully came out. But it's entirely possible that at a moral level and, crucially, at a legal one, he simply isn't smart enough to grasp the enormity of the crimes he and his associates seem to have committed.
Interesting theory backed up with volumes by volumes of anecdotes and evidence. Talking heads are jabbering right now that Trump may indeed be again contemplating the firing of Rosenstein and Mueller due to the likelihood his namesake son will be charged with crimes stemming from the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents, not to mention his active role in potentially obstructing justice by his false statement released to the NYT about said meeting. Trump's authoritarian bent and his inability to understand that laws indeed apply to the President as they do to all Americans is a poison that is destroying the Republican brand without much help from the Democrats at all. His ultimate legacy may be the annihilation of the GOP as we currently know it because its lapdog members refuse to secure or put down the rabid delusional creature currently at its head.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-08-05 10:42 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Sociopaths have to guess at normal. It's fully possible to be a knowing criminal and sincerely believe that's just fine.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2018-08-05 02:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I knew George W. Bush would be bad, but I was surprised how bad.

I knew Donald Trump would be bad, but I was surprised how bad.

Normal people have trouble comprehending sociopaths, no matter what their peculiar style.

#3 | Posted by Zed at 2018-08-05 03:07 PM | Reply

I don't think normal people have any trouble understanding that Trump's "yawning maw of overlapping insecurities" make him unfit for the office he holds.

The fact that he tries so hard to hide them behind his offensive, boastful, toot-my-own-horn persona is a dead give-away that he's really just a comic book caricature of the image he tries to portray.

How he got that way is above my pay grade.

#4 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-08-05 08:45 PM | Reply

Here Atkins is thinking like Einstein. The simplest explanation, consistent with the facts, tests best.

#5 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-08-05 08:46 PM | Reply

How he got that way is above my pay grade.

After years of being bad at business he found out he was good at milking celebrity television.

#6 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-08-05 08:48 PM | Reply

Trump's Razor.

#7 | Posted by Docman at 2018-08-05 08:54 PM | Reply

Atkins' essay is finally saying what I've believed all along: that Dennison is an irredeemable combination of narcissism, contempt and ineptitude. It's hard to say at any given moment which of these characteristics--each dangerous in their own way--is in the driver's seat. But I believe in my heart of hearts that the full truth of this despicable man will one day be revealed, and it will be uglier than most could even imagine, and furthermore that there will be a reckoning for his enablers.

#8 | Posted by cbob at 2018-08-06 09:10 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

I googled Hanlon's razor--you know, the one that goes, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"--not because I think an absence of malice applies to someone as vile as Coach Dennison, but because one cannot overlook his thick-headedness as part of the equation.

The Hanlon's razor entry at Wikipedia is amusing and informative, particularly this section:

"The razor also has a corollary in Clark's law (named after J. Porter Clark, and based on Arthur C. Clarke's Laws), which states that "any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice". A further observation was made by Alexandre Dumas (fils), commenting on the fact that idiocy is all pervasive, whereas intentional malice tends to go away occasionally. Dumas appeared to be quite sure of which he preferred to happen:

""I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because rogues sometimes rest."

#9 | Posted by cbob at 2018-08-06 09:18 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

But I believe in my heart of hearts that the full truth of this despicable man will one day be revealed, and it will be uglier than most could even imagine

#8 | Posted by cbob at 2018-08-06 09:10 AMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

Yes. It'll be so bad that some people will say it's all a lie, like the Holocaust.

#10 | Posted by Zed at 2018-08-06 09:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Yes. It'll be so bad that some people will say it's all a lie, like the Holocaust.

#10 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2018-08-06 09:44 AM | FLAG:

Sounds about right.

#11 | Posted by cbob at 2018-08-06 09:50 AM | Reply

I've had a similar theory for months. I think Trump is too lazy and too dumb to have actually collaborated with the Russians. If he gets impeached or indicted at some point, it will be because of the cover up or because some other financial crimes are discovered during the investigation.

#12 | Posted by anton at 2018-08-06 01:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I think Trump is too lazy and too dumb to have actually collaborated with the Russians.

I think he is arrogant enough and has such a disrespect for the Law that he has actually tried. And to this day we really do not know if he accepted anything from the Russians. Just because they say they didn't means nothing.

Which is still a crime.

After the Trump Tower meeting the RNC softened the GOP platform position on Ukraine and the behest of the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort was campaign chairman at the time. Paul Manafort was also a agent for Ukraine at the time.

Isn't that interesting?

I think it is very interesting.

#13 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-08-06 04:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, et al, are pros and strike me as neither lazy nor dumb. I was talking only about Trump, not his thugs. But, honestly, nothing would surprise me from this band of criminals.

#14 | Posted by anton at 2018-08-06 08:20 PM | Reply

I think Trump has been fueled by Russian mob money for 30 years and robbing the prosperity of The West and hopefully China too, allowing Putin some lebensraum, is how he pays his debts.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-08-06 08:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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