Quote of the Day, Part II: “I’ve Been Known as Being a Very Smart Guy”

Donald TrumpMike Stocker/Sun-Sentinel/ZumaPress.com

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Donald Trump is still talking:

“I never really changed—nothing’s changed my mind,” Trump told CNBC, reassuring that his birtherism is as rock solid as it was last year when he briefly led Republican primary polling. “And by the way, you know, you have a huge group of people. I walk down the street and people are screaming, ‘Please don’t give that up.’ Look, a publisher came out last week and had a statement about Obama given to them by Obama when he was doing a book as a young man a number of years ago in the ’90s: ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia.'”

“I’ve been known as being a very smart guy for a long time,” he said.

Can we get Politifact on this?

My colleague Adam Serwer has a term for the DC/New York media fixation on substance-free nontroversies as a way of filling dead air between now and election day: Dumbgeist. President Obama “spiking the football” on the Osama bin Laden raid: Dumbgeist. Hillary Rosen waging a war on moms: Dumbgeist. Democratic politicians with ties to the financial services industry defending the financial services industry: Dumbgeist.

Mitt Romney’s bromance with Donald Trump (they’re holding a fundraiser in Las Vegas) certainly fits the bill. The GOP nominee’s refusal to condemn Trump’s racist conspiracy theorizing—actual quote: “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in”—is pretty weak, as far as these things go. But it’s worth noting that we in the media also brought this upon ourselves by taking Donald Trump seriously at around this time last year, hanging on his every word, and dutifully writing up his adventures (guilty!). Trump’s political commentary was never anything more than a free media strategy, and it’s worked fantastically—a quick search through Politico‘s archives returns 996 articles related to Trump since last February.

Which brings us to this:

 Courtesy of PoliticoCourtesy of Politico

Don’t let it happen again, America.

Tim Murphy is filling in while Kevin is on vacation.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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