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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“It’s easier to fool people,” Mark Twain apparently never said, “than to convince them that they have been fooled.” You can find those words all over the Internet attributed to Twain, but I can locate no credible source.

Too bad, because it’s absolutely correct.

Twain probably did say something similar, because it sounds like an opinion the acerbic author of Huckleberry Finn would have endorsed.

Think of the hilarious episode of The Royal Nonesuch, a mangled Shakespearean farce performed by a pair of riverboat scamps called the King and the Duke for the befuddled citizens of a Mississippi river town.

“The duke said these Arkansaw lunkheads couldn’t come up to Shakespeare,” Huck says. “What they wanted was low comedy—and maybe something ruther worse than low comedy, he reckoned.”

And low comedy they got. The plan was to pocket the cash and float off downriver before the yokels got wise.

I thought of that scene watching Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sarah Palin outside the White House recently, protesting the very government shutdown they’d fiercely championed—a confederate battle flag fluttering in the background, the emblem of disgruntled losers everywhere.

Is there no scam so transparently farcical that millions of American lunkheads won’t fall for it? Evidently not.

As you read here first, anybody with an eighth grader’s understanding of the U.S. Constitution knew that Cruz’s mad quest to destroy the Affordable Care Act could not possibly succeed. And was politically self-destructive as well, if not for Cruz, then for the Republican Party.

Of course millions of gullible voters lack that understanding. Meanwhile, the Texas Senator and his allies continue to bombard the faithful with emails promising imminent victory and soliciting cash. They’re like the most shameless televangelist faith healers.

Except now the enemies list doesn’t feature only Democrats like President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but prominent Republicans such as Paul Ryan, John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.