Events this week, and Trump’s stupidity, are making a lot of the left assume the FBI investigation is closer to finishing than it is. That everything is coming to head.
Allow me to explain.
Josh Marshall, almost a year ago now, came up with a concept dubbed ‘Trump’s Razor‘. This article is almost entirely due to him.
If you’re familiar with logic, there is an concept called Occam’s Razor, which says that ‘Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity’, but is usually simplified to ‘The simplest explanation is usually the best’. Basically, if you have two competing explanation of things, you should pick the one that requires the least entities.
I.e., yes that car might be driving slowly in front of you to keep you from getting to work in time to get you fired, but the simplest explanation is that…they’re just a slow driver. Them trying to slow you deliberately would, at best, require at least a few other people keeping tabs on you, and someone with a motive for you to arrive late, etc, etc. So pick the explanation that just requires the one guy.
Of course, what is the ‘least entities’ is often a point of debate, and in actual fact, conspiracies really do exist, and sometimes things are deliberately set up to look like something very simple caused things. And it’s a rule of thumb, not a statement of the universe.
But I’m not here to talk about Occam’s Razor, but its inbred cousin, Trump’s Razor.
Basically, Trump’s Razor is when looking at the Trump Administration (first the Trump Campaign, but it’s still holding true), if you figure out the stupidest possible scenario that could be reconciled with the available facts, that is probably the correct thing.
This is, admittedly, just a rule of thumb, and ‘stupidest possible scenario’ is a somewhat vague concept. And I would modify it to ‘stupidest and pettiest possible scenario’
The best example of this is what has just happened.
Right now, there is, or rather was, a debate over why Trump fired Comey, and the problem is…both sides are wrong. The answer is much stupider than you think, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum.
Let’s first start with the supposed justification: Comey misbehaved WRT talking about the Clinton email investigation.
There are several problems with this.
First, both the President and the AG have repeatedly, over and over, every time it claim up, said that Comey was correct to do that…until they fired Comey for it. In fact, Jeff Sessions said, specifically, “He had no choice but to report to the American Congress where he had under oath testified.”
But, secondly, and more important, instantly leaks confirmed that the President wanted to fire Comey since last week, and had asked people to come up with a reason.
And then, hilariously, Trump confirmed that, also confirming that the stated justification is a lie. Trump literally admitted the recommendation he asked for wasn’t important, “I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”
(As an aside, while the number of lies that come out of this White House are truly amazing, what is utterly astonishing are the number of times the White House administration is tasked to lie their ass off, and then the president himself reveals it was all a lie?!?!?! I can’t think of any other situation where someone repeatedly gets others to lie for him, and then reveals the truth himself, making everyone else into fools. It’s almost surreal.)
So, anyway, now that we’re discredited the nonsensical justification floated out before Trump belched the real answer that he just didn’t like Comey…so why?
A lot of people on the left, meanwhile, have decided that Trump fired him because of the FBI investigation into campaign ties to Russia.
This is…not correct either, weirdly.
See, the thing is, there’s not a lot that happened a week ago in the Russian investigation, at least not publicly. There’s very little public evidence that Comey was getting closer to anything, and people on the left try to wedge in ‘He just asked for more money’, ignoring the fact that he did that after Trump had decided to fire him.
People on the left were getting this wrong because they are trying to come up with a non-stupid reason for Trump to have done this. They’re basically assuming that people have rational motives for their actions.
So they assume that Trump took this extreme step of firing the FBI director. That he did his own Saturday Night Massacre because Comey was close to something, and he was worried.
The left thinks things are about to melt down.
Trump didn’t fire Comey because Comey was getting too close. That would be a rational answer, if an emergency last-ditch one. But you forgot: We’re supposed to look for the stupidest possible answer….and it’s probably petty, also.
But, detour first:
First, let’s check what else made Trump angry at Comey. The investigation, sure, but Trump was also angry that Comey did not back Trump with the idea that Obama had Trump wiretapped.
Ah, I bet you all forget about that, didn’t you? Well, Trump didn’t, and he’s been stewing over…the fact that the director of the FBI didn’t back him up by admitting to committing nonexistence felonies? Huh? Why would Comey admit that even if he had done that?! What sort of stupid complaint is that? ‘I am angry that you are not causally admitting to committing crimes against me!’
Seriously, all the WH leaks are saying the Trump is just as annoyed with Comey about this thing he totally invented as with the FBI investigation.
Which is a ‘Holy shit that’s some idiotic priorities’ moment…I mean, stepping back, regardless of whether or not Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia, the investigation is annoying either way. We can get that. Trump being annoyed with an investigation is a legit complaint at some level, even if people get investigated all the time and he should learn to put up with it as President.
But being annoyed at made up things that others refuse to play along with? Seriously?
And second detour:
Let us also note that Trump literally has no idea what he is doing, and he has surrounded himself by people who also don’t know anything. They didn’t realize how firing Comey looked, which they have actually admitted!
They honestly thought the left would be okay with firing him, considering the left think Comey threw, or at least changed, the results of the election with utter bullshit. (And let me be clear here: Comey releasing that information was bullshit, and is a firing offense, although the actual firing offense is Comey not reeling in the out-of-control Clinton-hating New York office that basically extorted him into doing that.)
But the left, being able to chew gum(1), quite obviously thinks having someone Trump didn’t appoint in that position is better than someone Trump did appoint. This is why the left has not, at any point, called for him to be fired. This logic is really obvious to anyone who knows literally anything about politics at all.
The Trump administration, of course, is made up of people who literally do not know anything about politics at all, and thus did not know this.
That’s right, liberals…believe it or not, the Trump administration isn’t brazenly trying to get away with firing Comey to squash an investigation, the Trump administration is literally so stupid that it didn’t realize firing the FBI director while the FBI was investigating them would look bad.
Again, people: TRUMP’S RAZOR. Memorize it.
1) I know the expression is ‘chew gum and walk at the same time’, but I’ll just leave it at ‘chew gum’ because I am convinced that if the Trump administration chewed gum, by itself, without walking, they’d manage to shoot off their foot, somehow, and then blame it on the liberals for a day, getting all the Republicans in Congress to back up their lies with eyewitness statements, and then Trump would say that not only did he do it, he did it on purpose, and it was the greatest foot removal ever!
So, anyway, if the Trump administration didn’t fire Comey because they feared his investigation, but instead just casually fired him because he crossed some threshold of presidential dislike…what pushed Trump over the edge a week ago?
Well, there was a Senate hearing with Comey…but Comey refused to talk about the Russian investigation. I mean, he mentioned it, but that was in direct response to Senate questioning, so it’s not like he couldn’t. But that’s the only thing that happened a week ago.
So what upset Trump at that hearing?
Comey, at the hearing, said “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election.”
Those words, combined with annoyance at Comey over the Russian investigation, combined with annoyance with Comey over Comey not getting on board with Trump’s inane fantasies about wiretapping, pushed Trump over the line to get Comey fired, a move, to repeat, the White House had absolutely no idea would look bad.
He was pissed at someone already for reasons, and they said, at least in his mind, that they were ‘mildly nauseous’ at him being president. (Really Comey was just saying he was ‘mildly nauseous’ at the idea that an FBI investigation had influenced the election at all, but whatever.)
And Donald Trump got to say, once again: YOU’RE FIRED!
And there’s the story of what actually happened. It wasn’t the very thin rational justification that the White House tried to give out for five minutes before admitting they were liars, and it wasn’t the ‘OMG it’s Nixon time and the President is panicking!’ that the left assumed.
It was the president being a petty moron, and the entire administration being complete fucking dumbasses.
You know, like normal.