Trump’s denial-of-service attack on democracy and government

I was reading yesterday that Trump has asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head a commission to study wehther vaccines cause autism. The link between vaccines and autism is a load of horseshit that has been disproved and debunked over and over, yet Kennedy continues to push this nonsense. And now Trump is giving him a government pulpit from which to shout his garbage theories.

Reading the news, I wondered if Trump was deliberately trying to provoke outrage. For nearly every government post he needs to fill, it is like he has gone out of his way to find the worst possible person for the job. It makes me wonder if it is not a deliberate strategy, either by Trump himself or by those around him, to eject so much chaff into the air that no one can keep track of it all or figure out where to focus their criticism and opposition.

I tend not to give Trump or his organization much credit in actually strategizing—they are not super-geniuses with some grand and intricate plan. However, they do not need to be geniuses for this theory to be true. It does not even need to be deliberate—the effect is the same.

The challenge is that, even if all these laughably awful staffing and policy choices are a distraction, it is as not as though they can be ignored. The collateral will be too severe. An anti-vaccine crackpot in charge of a federal vaccines-cause-autism commission, a Secretary of Education who wants to destroy the public education system, a HUD secretary who has himself said that he does not know how government works, a senior advisor who is a self-avowed white supremacist… it is not like we can say “Yeah, we can’t focus on all of that—it’s a distraction.

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