The excellent Digby:
Poor Paul Ryan. The golden boy of the Ayn Rand crowd was once assumed to be a future president, or at least one of the great statesmen of the Republican Party. He was considered a rarity among Republican pols --- a policy wonk with the polish and personality of Ronald Reagan. (I know that sounds crazy, but people really did think that.)
In his years as Presidential hopeful and Speaker of the House he was revealed to be an incompetent fool. The man is not remotely credible, never was. How did he get so far?
Objections on the left to conservative officials often center on their intellectual failings: their literal disbelief in facts and their repetitions of errors. Conservative economics makes no sense, the conservative understanding of science makes no sense. Their foreign policy is brutal and criminal. They fail even at remembering what they said a few days ago, even with technical aids. Liberal blogger and podcasteris fond of saying, “Memory is the liberal superpower” and this is true: conservatives do not remember, even from a few days ago, what was said. Rudolf Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Brett Kavanaugh, Republican lawyers all, seem not to know the law, or even how to negotiate. These mediocre white men come apart when stressed. They are incompetent.
Why then are they in charge of anything?
As a society, we have a bias towards mediocre white men. As a society, we make the mistake of raising skin color, sex, and appearance over other characteristics, downgrading intelligence, honesty, and competence. It is not hard to know that Donald Trump is a dangerous fool and a poor executive, or that Giuliani is a poor lawyer, or Cohen was a corrupt lawyer who made his way by making corrupt deals, or that Kavanaugh started cheating in high school and never stopped. These mediocre white men have competence in some areas but, without the bias that supported them in their careers, they would be powerless mean non-entities.
Racism, sexism, and class prejudice make us poor judges of character and vulnerable.
Racism, sexism, and class prejudice make us fools.