About the fact that the current president of the United States of America is in the habit of saying astoundingly stupid things in public, there is no debate — how could there be? The debate on the right is mainly between Trump partisans who believe, or at least claim they believe, that President Trump is in the habit of saying astoundingly stupid things in public as part of a grand political scheme (twelve-dimensional chess!) and those who believe that President Trump is in the habit of saying astoundingly stupid things in public because . . . of the more straightforward reason.

Jamie Kirchick of the Brookings Institution wryly observes: “Everything Trump says makes sense when you just preface it with, ‘Donald from Queens, you’re on the air.’” I do not know if Kirchick intended his remark this way, but his joke actually splits the difference between the grand-design explanation of Trump’s ridiculousness and the he’s-just-an-ordinary-fool explanation. There’s a reason Trump sounds like your chemtrail-obsessed uncle or that guy at work who’s always going on about Q-Anon, trafficking in a poisonous mix of conspiracy theories, scapegoating, and resentment-driven politics.