Defending Trump, GOP senator attacks Pelosi as ‘dumb’

As far as Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is concerned, Donald Trump is “a very smart man.” And by way of contrast, the Republican senator last night thought it’d be a good idea to tell a far-right crowd whom he considers “dumb.”

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) launched into a blistering attack against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) while speaking at a Trump campaign rally in Louisiana late Wednesday, stating that it “must suck” to be as “dumb” as her.

“In three short years, President Trump has doubled the growth in the greatest economy in all of human history. And do you know what our Democratic friends have done for him?” Kennedy asked. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to impeach him.”

“I don’t mean any disrespect, but it must suck to be that dumb,” Kennedy added, prompting widespread laughs from the crowd and grinning from President Trump.

If the Louisianan’s phrasing sounds at all familiar, it’s because Kennedy used the same rhetoric in the spring to attack House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), as part of the Democrat’s pursuit of Trump’s secret tax returns.

“It must really suck to be that dumb,” Kennedy said in reference to Neal.

Part of the problem with the senator’s latest harangue is that it’s plainly false. Love the House Speaker or hate her, the idea that Nancy Pelosi is lacking in intelligence is obviously absurd.

It’s also worth mentioning that cheap rhetoric like this isn’t doing the discourse any favors. Kennedy obviously thinks he’s being clever when he describes Pelosi as “dumb” and condemns four congresswomen of color as “whack jobs,” but the Louisianan is really just doing lasting harm to his reputation.

But there was just one other element of this that stood out for me.

Here’s a quote from the event again: “In three short years, President Trump has doubled the growth in the greatest economy in all of human history. And do you know what our Democratic friends have done for him? Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to impeach him.”

First, as Kennedy ought to understand, tying impeachment to job performance is wholly at odds with our constitutional system. Presidential abuses do not go unpunished if the economy is healthy during chief executives’ tenure. Economic growth reached a generational high during Bill Clinton’s presidency, for example, but that didn’t stop Kennedy’s party from launching an unpopular impeachment crusade.

It didn’t occur to congressional Democrats to argue at the time, “The allegations against the president are baseless – because there’s an economic boom underway.”

Second, in what universe has Donald Trump “doubled” economic growth? In our reality, economic growth rates under Trump haven’t quite reached the heights reached in Barack Obama’s second term.

I don’t mean any disrespect, but does Sen. John Kennedy not understand what “double” means?