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A Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever


Poor Inspector Ed is going to have to lay low for a bit from his primary sinecure on the Wingnut Welfare circuit:

After stirring controversy by posting a series of tweets suggesting the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault misidentified her attacker, conservative strategist Ed Whelan will be taking a leave of absence from the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the organization’s board announced Sunday.

The board said in a statement that Whelan, its president, offered his resignation Friday, but the board declined to accept it, deciding instead that he would take a leave of absence, and that the board will meet in a month to review the situation.

Jeet has a good thread about how the Center for Ethics [sic] and Public Policy has been dominated by criminals and crackpots (with plenty of overlap in those categories.) It’s an ethics center in the sense that Soviet provinces were “autonomous republics.”

I’ve touched on this before, but should pause to consider how amazing it that Encyclopedia Ed could be bad enough at conspiracy theorizing to be even temporarily defenestrated. His party is, inter alia, the party of the conspiracy theories. The current leader of the Republican Party made his bones with a conspiracy theory no better supported than Ed’s. Conspiracy theories generated by Congressional Republicans, their domestic and foreign allies on the outside, and launderers in the mainstream press were critical to his victory* in 2016. And as Duncan’s summary makes clear, it was very close to getting at least respectful media consideration: the Kathleen Parker column, the Politico story, Haberman retweeting Whelan’s initial Alex Jones-storm. Had he just left it at “there were other white guys at Kavanaugh’s high school and it is highly unique for a suburban house to have a bedroom and bathroom across from each other on the second floor” it might have gotten some traction despite its utter idiocy; I mean, Whitewater was just a more convoluted version of the same basic concepts and it led to a president getting impeached. But naming the patsy — Haberman’s stated reason for backing off — went too far. But Whelan is a made man; this won’t keep the spigot off for long.

I assume its potential value has largely been subsumed by intervening events, but let us note the “exonerating evidence” they tried to float earlier this weekend:

Pour out a bottle of 18-year-old Glenfiddich behind home plate at Nationals Park for that lemon. Coming later this week: “what’s wrong with being sexy?”

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