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Can we put American stupidity on trial? Yes we can | Column
Here’s the blueprint.
A columnist asks, can America remain so bereft of sanity?
A columnist asks, can America remain so bereft of sanity? [ JOE BURBANK | AP ]
Published Jun. 10

It will probably come as no surprise to most of you that the country has gone completely, absolutely full-bore bonkers.

In Washington, Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde has compared the Jan. 6 insurrection in which hundreds of law enforcement officers were injured and several others died as the rabble rousers tried to hunt down then-Vice President Mike Pence for the purposes of lynching him, as merely tourists who got a bit frisky.

Daniel Ruth
Daniel Ruth [ Tampa Bay Times ]

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has dismissed the assault on the citadel of democracy in a similar manner, suggesting perhaps that the term “cheese head” is a real thing.

The state of Arizona has allowed a bunch of QAnon conspiracy lemmings unfettered, unsupervised and unhinged access to the state’s November ballots in a quest to uncover either: (A) forged ballots filled with bamboo and/or (B) evidence a bunch of Italians tried to commit voter fraud.

We pause here briefly to note it is never too early to start drinking heavily.

Okay, back to work. Georgia’s gun-toting Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is still peddling her Jewish space laser delusions. If boiled pet rabbits start showing up in the House cafeteria kitchen, at least we’ll know where to start looking for the culprit.

Meanwhile former president and national crybaby Herr Donald Trump has taken to the road again in his “Triumph of the Shrill” tour of grievance, paranoia and grifting. The comeback for the failed ex-president would seem to have gotten off to a rocky start after his short-lived blog had fewer visitors than Petfinder and Delish.

And now federal judge Roger Benitez (a George W. Bush appointee, in case you’re wondering) ruled that California’s long-time ban on assault-style weapons is unconstitutional. Benitez reasoned a weapon that seems to be the tool of choice for many mass murderers is really not that different from a Swiss Army knife.

Go ahead and make that drink a double.

So much insanity — and we haven’t even gotten to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson — so much crazy, so much — us.

Yes, if you want to be fair about this, the daily bloviations, conspiracy theories and faux pearl-clutching indignations certainly do provide a modicum of comic relief. And that’s just 20 minutes worth of Newsmax or One America News, not to mention the My Pillow Guy, or Rudy Giuliani, or Don Jr., three chaps who put together couldn’t find their collective keisters with the help of the 82nd Airborne Division, the CIA and Columbo.

But really now, at some point doesn’t all this daily barrage of stupid have to end? Don’t we, as a supposedly civil society, eventually have to come to our senses and comprehend the fact that we are not “Duck Soup’s” Freedonia with nuclear weapons?

There must be a way to return the nation to some semblance of political normality, for the current state of tribalism simply is unsustainable. We can’t continue to be this addled for very much longer.

And maybe, just maybe, there is a way — farfetched as it may seem.

Ben Ginsberg is a Republican election law expert. He is not nuts, which may very well be an outlier in today’s GOP.

On television the other day, Ginsberg mused that it might be useful to have a once-and-for-all airing of all the conspiracy theories, misinformation and downright propaganda surrounding the presidential election. And he’s right.

Here’s a suggestion. The U.S. Supreme Court should agree to hear one of the challenges to President Biden’s election. Arguments before the court would be televised live over the course of three days.

On day one, the Republicans relying on as many lawyers as they wish would have eight hours to present their case, introduce whatever evidence they wish and even call witnesses. Have at it. Have a nice time.

Day Two, the Democrats would have the exact same time and latitude to defend the accuracy of the vote totals. Let’s rock and roll.

Day Three, the nine justices would have eight hours to ask questions of both sides and consider all the evidence.

And at the end, both sides would agree to abide by whatever the court decides. If the case goes against the Republicans, Fox News, the Pillow Guy dimbulb, the phony right-wing news networks, the talk radio blabbermouths, the QAnon morons and most of all Donald Trump would all have to agree to shut up.

Seems fair in a country where fairness has been in precious short supply.