Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone cover-story on Trump was astounding, and the hits keep on coming.
In the current issue, Taibbi traces the roots of the Trump phenomenon back to GW Bush, characterizing his presidency as a cynical move on the part of the party establishment to front a pliable, likable idiot. To get him into office, they created the idea that anyone who demanded serious answers to serious policy questions was a "DC insider talking like a DC insider," meaning that the dumber Bush sounded, the more electable he was.
The line from that guy to the guy who's frontrunning now is sharp and easy to see.
As always, Taibbi blends brilliant, savage writing with sharp political analysis. He may be our best American political commentator.
It was way worse. Compared to Bush, Donald Trump is a Rutherford or an Einstein. In the same shipwreck scenario, Trump would have all sorts of ideas — all wrong, but at least he'd think of something, instead of staring at the sand waiting for a hotel phone to rise out of it.
Of course, Trump's ignorance level, considering his Wharton education, is nearly as awesome as what Bush accomplished in spite of Yale. In fact, unlike Bush, who had the decency to not even try to understand the news, Trump reads all sorts of crazy things and believes them all. From theories about vaccines causing autism to conspiratorial questions about the pillow on Antonin Scalia's face to Internet legends about Americans using bullets dipped in pigs' blood to shoot Muslims, there isn't any absurd idea Donald Trump isn't willing to entertain, so long as it fits in with his worldview.
But Washington is freaking out about Trump in a way they never did about Bush. Why? Because Bush was their moron, while Trump is his own moron. That's really what it comes down to.
Revenge of the Simple: How George W. Bush Gave Rise to Trump [Matt Taibbi/Rolling Stone]
(via Naked Capitalism)
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