Actually, yes you will, because it’s the same tired nonsense as before — literally. John wrote about the magazine’s deep look into Donald Trump’s, um, “equipment,” but at least that related in some manner to actual news from this year. Long after the “Hillary could still become president!” meme turned into a national laughingstock, Newsweek’s Maya Rajamani tries resuscitating it and fails miserably.
Spoiler alert — it’s not “news,” and it’s not from this week — or even this year:
Nearly a year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a Harvard University professor says 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could still become commander in chief. …
If Trump did conspire with Russia, the president “should resign, or, if he doesn’t, he should be impeached,” Lessig wrote in his essay. Vice President Mike Pence would also have to either resign or get impeached, which would make Speaker Paul Ryan the president of the United States, Lessig wrote at the time.
And … Paul Ryan still isn’t Hillary Clinton. So how do you get Hillary into the White House? Overcome by shame, Ryan decides to ask Hillary to be his VP and then pulls a Cincinnatus, or so Lessig argued:
Given that there is “no mechanism in American law for a new election,” nor “a mechanism for correcting the criminal results of the previous election,” Ryan ought to nominate “the person defeated by the treason of his own party, and then step aside, and let her become President,” Lessig went on to say.
If this sounds familiar to you, it should. Lessig wrote this argument three months ago. What does Lessig think of it now? Not much, actually, as Rajamani discovered. Lessig notes that there hasn’t been any evidence that’s emerged that Trump conspired to steal the election, telling Rajamani that “I don’t feel that we’ve seen anything that increases that probability.” Without that, Lessig says, his Paul-Ryan-handoff-to-Hillary Clinton remedy doesn’t apply, even if Congress finds other reasons to remove Trump. “None of those justify the remedy I described.”
So not only is this warmed-over effluvium, it’s warmed-over effluvium that even its author only supports under a narrow hypothetical that hasn’t advanced an iota since he first floated it. So why does Newsweek think this is newsworthy today? Andrew Kaczynski has it right — it’s all about the clicks, baby, and branding:
I’m so old that I remember when there was actual news in Newsweek. These days, it functions more as Hot-Take Digest, but today’s offering doesn’t even make it to that level. It’s not a hot take as much as it is regurgitated nonsense that even its source more or less shrugs off. Even the Hillary fan-fic aficionados that Newsweek is so obviously attempting to exploit should be embarrassed by this effort.
Addendum: As John also noted, at least some of Hot Take Digest’s employees still have a sense of shame, although on an unrelated-yet-terrible story:
Asked a Newsweek insider about that Trump/erectile dysfunction story
This is brutal pic.twitter.com/iHFSWuMz4W
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) January 18, 2018