(Illustration by Eric Shansby)

I am on the phone with Jennifer Rubin, a colleague of mine at The Washington Post. Jennifer has generously agreed to an interview on a topic recently in the news, namely, whether she is stupid.

This issue was on the table because Donald Trump had just tweeted this: “Highly untalented Wash Post blogger, Jennifer Rubin, a real dummy, never writes fairly about me. Why does Wash Post have low IQ people?”

Me: Welcome to my column, Jennifer. I want to say right from the get-go that though you and I have our political differences — you are reliably conservative and I am irretrievably liberal — I am going to treat you completely fairly here.

Jennifer: Thank you.

Me: Let’s begin by dispensing with this ridiculous allegation right from the start. To demonstrate your intelligence, please explain Planck’s constant and how it relates to quantum mechanics.


Me: Okay, kidding. But, seriously, are you an idiot?

Jennifer: I don’t know. I might be. An idiot might not know she is an idiot. I do have to say the low IQ bit never came up during my three years at Berkeley law school, where I finished first in my class. But I suppose it’s possible — it might be a law school for dummies and losers.

Me: And what about The Post habitually hiring people with low IQs?

Jennifer: Well, we have won a lot of Pulitzer Prizes. …

Me: Can’t go there. There is absolutely no correlation between high intelligence and Pulitzer Prizes.


Me: You’ll have to trust me on that. How did you manage to incur Donald’s wrath, anyway? And I ask entirely out of jealousy and self-interest, because I couldn’t help but notice that the number of your Twitter followers rocketed up.

Jennifer: I know. I gained about 300 people.

Me: I once proposed online that we adopt a hyphenated, J-Lo type nickname for Trump, and suggested T-Rump. That didn’t get a peep out of him. What’s your secret? What do you have that I don’t?

Jennifer: I called him a chicken.

Me: Whoa.

Jennifer: Yes, I suggested that the reason that he was asking CNN for $5 million to participate in their debate was that it was his way of wiggling out of the debate. I implied he was intellectually and politically insecure. I think that’s what set him off.

Me: I wonder if it particularly hurt because that taunt came from a woman.

Jennifer: I don’t think so. I think it’s more that ... Oh. Wait.

Me: What?

Jennifer: Okay, just this second Trump tweeted that I only write purposefully inaccurate things about him and speculates that it is because I am “in love with Marco Rubio.”

Me: Whoa.

Jennifer: Yeah!

Me: I don’t suppose it would be fair to ask you if you are.

Jennifer: It would be about as fair as my asking you to explain Planck’s constant.

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