Washington week in review: Dumb and dumber

WASHINGTON — “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” the 1969 western starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, features a humorous scene with an eccentric, American expat named Percy Garris who works for a Bolivian mining company. Butch and Sundance, hired as payroll guards, nervously look for hidden bandits as they ride to the mining camp below. “I’ve got morons on my team,” Percy says disgustedly. “Nobody is going to rob us going down the mountain. We’ve got no money going down the mountain.”

In American politics today, reasonable Democrats feel Percy’s pain. So do sensible Republicans. On both teams, morons abound. Last week, there was no escaping them. Imbecility reigned in the media, on Capitol Hill, at the White House. The White House is a good starting point.

It began on Monday, when President Trump honored the Navajo code talkers in the Oval Office. At least, he was supposed to honor these World War II heroes. For reasons known only to himself, Trump went off on a brief and bizarre tangent. “I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her ‘Pocahontas.’”

This non-sequitur was a jibe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat. It still bugs Trump that Warren landed a tenured faculty job at Harvard Law School, which touted her as “a woman of color” owing to her dubious claims to being part-Cherokee. But what does this have to do with the Navajo? Or Pocahontas, for that matter? (She was Powhatan.) Trump has needled Warren this way for years. Even if it was funny once, it’s tiresome now. Also tiresome was the predictable response from Warren and her friends in the Fourth Estate. Not content to point out Trump’s boorishness and leave it at that, they regurgitated their absurd talking point that Trump had used “a racial slur.”

And so it went all week. As credible allegations of sexual harassment piled up against congressional…

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