An honest question: Is House Benghazi investigator Rep. Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, stupid?

This question comes up yet again because Gowdy seems entirely unable to grasp the basic outlines of the investigation into whether members of a major presidential campaign may have collaborated with Russian government espionage efforts. And, presuming he is not intentionally covering for such collaboration by tossing out intentional misdirections—in accordance with a transparent Republican and conservative and, especially, Fox News-led media effort to do precisely that—he seems to be as dumb as a fucking post.

“That’s been my focus in 2017 ― understanding that Russia tried to subvert our democracy,” he continued. “And it would be great if my Democratic friends helped a little bit.” [...]

Gowdy pointed to reports that linked opposition research by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign with a secret dossier about Trump and his alleged ties to Russia. Both the DNC and the Clinton campaign have maintained they had no knowledge a law firm they worked with had made payments toward the research.



“It’s certainly interesting whether it’s collusion, coincidence, coordination ― I don’t know yet,” Gowdy said about the recent reports on the alleged Democratic funding of the dossier.


Gowdy was taking the lead of his Fox News host, who hypothesized that Democrats hiring a firm to do opposition research into Trump that turned up links between Trump and Russia is itself evidence of a Clinton “link” to Russia far greater than that of Donald Trump. This is every bit as stupid as it sounds, and was quite possibly a question posed on a dare, possibly while his Fox News host was swimming in a pool of cocaine.

Gowdy and host both ignored the similar involvement of a prominent conservative outlet in the now famous "dossier" that resulted from that research, possibly because it is inconvenient for them to mention, possibly because it has been the unspoken Fox News law that nobody shalt mention dat, or possibly simply because they are both extremely stupid and at least one of them is armpit-deep in The Cocaine. In any event, to believe that conducting typical and, aside from the eyebrow-raising conclusions it reached, entirely unremarkable opposition research on major political candidates, in this case by hiring a group of ex-Wall Street Journalites that in turn hired a British firm to investigate Damn Odd Things that one particularly seedy-seeming candidate appeared to be involved with, is the equivalent of "colluding with Russia" or any of the other things that Trey Gowdy, who is fucking stupid, has supposedly charged himself with investigating.

In fact, to even suggest such a thing requires a human being be deeply fucking stupid. Not the usual sort of stupidity, of the sort that politicians regularly stumble into during the course of their day jobs and television, but a deep and fungal stupidity of the sort that cannot be expressed except to stare at a person, then stare at them a bit more, and then comment to your neighbor that that might be the stupidest fucking person you have ever laid eyes on. The kind of stupidity that cannot be brushed aside as a result of The Cocaines, or The Paint Huffies, or The Entire Cabinet Full Of Scotch, but is written in very stupid letters to a person’s very stupid genes.

No, Mr. Gowdy. I swear to the heavens that if you wish me to, I shall present to you a full-size laminated flowchart explaining that conducting opposition research into a presidential candidate's potential ties to international crime figures or Russian intelligence operations is not "colluding" with those Russians, or even slightly similar to it. I will hand-deliver it to any office you wish, and I will laminate it twice if you need me to, and for an added fee of one million dollars or your personal resignation I will personally sit with you and explain why conducting that opposition research into a political candidate—and paying for it—is not the same as accepting the assistance of a hostile foreign government and their espionage efforts against your political opponent. You fucking moron. You unbelievable buffoon. You preternatural jackass. You pointy-headed creme egg in a suit.

On the other hand, we may be badly misreading this situation. Mr. Gowdy may not, in fact, be the stupidest fucking man in Congress. He may not be an uncomprehending empty mind vacuously agreeing with whatever the latest Hookers and Blow Forever Fox News stooge has poured into his eager ear on any given moment. He may instead be himself seeking to deflect the impact of any true investigation into how "Russia tried to subvert our democracy" by pretending that those crimes are of no greater import than whether someone, at some point, had previously attempted to find out about them.

Which would be the actions of a traitor to his nation, but not a fool—in which case we would owe Mr. Gowdy a very sincere apology. Our bad, and so forth.