Conservative Hugh Hewitt Called Out For Saying Louisiana Purchase Is Also Quid Pro Quo: 'Are You Really This Stupid?'

Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt came under fire Wednesday after he issued a tweet calling the Louisiana Purchase quid pro quo. Stylized as a Jeopardy question and response, Hewitt attempted to defend President Donald Trump's recently uncovered actions toward Ukraine, equating the situation with Thomas Jefferson's deal to buy land west of the Mississippi River from France.

The tweet led to an outpouring of dismay on Twitter, with many calling Hewitt out for the false parallel. Notably Media Matters editor Parker Molloy, who simply wrote "Are you really this stupid, Hugh?"

"I'll take Quid Pro Quos for $1,000 Alex"
"U.S. acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of Mississippi river for $15 million."
"What is Seward's Folly?"
"Sorry @Steelers fans, it is 'What is the Louisiana Purchase, the Louisiana Purchase.'" #QuidProQuoJeopardy

— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) October 23, 2019

Are you really this stupid, Hugh?

— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) October 23, 2019

Vox also took the time to debunk Hewitt's claim that other past presidents have exercised quid pro quo agreements similar to Trump's withholding of military aid from Ukraine as leverage to secure a public investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden—Trump's likely opponent in the 2020 presidential election—and his son, Hunter. Writing that explaining the absurd comparison "feels like an insult," reporter Zack Beauchamp went on to outline in the simplest terms he could muster that activities done in the public interest—such as expanding national borders—by mutual agreement with a foreign power is acceptable policy. The difference is that using presidential power for personal political interests is wrong.

Back on social media, Joanne Freeman, a history professor at Yale University, put it simply, explaining "The Louisiana Purchase isn't a 'do me a favor and I'll give you money' moment. It's not an example of quid pro quo. The US bought land from the French." While David Frum, a senior editor for The Atlantic, tweeted "To make the analogy accurate, Thomas Jefferson would have used the public money to buy Louisiana for himself personally."

No.
The Louisiana Purchase isn't a "do me a favor and I'll give you money" moment.
It's not an example of quid pro quo.

The US bought land from the French.
Period. https://t.co/dtREeEfB2k

— Joanne Freeman (@jbf1755) October 23, 2019

To make the analogy accurate, Thomas Jefferson would have used the public money to buy Louisiana for himself personally. https://t.co/q193ZAfArG

— David Frum (@davidfrum) October 23, 2019
Hugh Hewitt Twitter
Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt faced many on Twitter asking him, "Are you stupid?" on Wednesday following a tweet calling the Louisiana Purchase an example of quid pro quo. Kirk Irwin/Getty

Many more Twitter users were quick to make fun of Hewitt and his simplistic interpretation of Trump's Ukraine investigation and the Louisiana Purchase. Jonathan Franks, an advisor for The Montel Williams Show, wrote, "Come on now, Hugh. You would fail any 1L for a false premise like this." SiriusXm broadcaster and comedian John Fugelsang also took a dig at Trump in a dig that sounded like a disappointing Hamilton sequel. "No, Hugh. If Jefferson secretly tried to delay the Louisiana Purchase to make Madison look bad, and it got ppl killed, this might make sense. Except the only things Trump has in common w/Jefferson is they both wear wigs & were never fans of getting a woman's consent"

Come on now, Hugh. You would fail any 1L for an false premise like this.

— Jonathan Franks (@jonfranks) October 23, 2019

No, Hugh. If Jefferson secretly tried to delay the Louisiana Purchase to make Madison look bad, and it got ppl killed, this might make sense.

Except the only things Trump has in common w/Jefferson is they both wear wigs & were never fans of getting a woman's consent. https://t.co/fVwYPJBMQM

— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) October 23, 2019

Others were quick to follow Molloy in simply calling Hewitt "dumb" or "stupid" including author Benjamin Dreyer, who wrote "Pretending to be as stupid as your acolytes is a far graver sin than simply being as stupid as your acolytes."

Washington Post journalist Daniel W. Drezner shared a clip from Adam Sandler comedy Billy Madison where an academic decathlon host tells Sandler, "Everyone in this room is now dumber."

Pretending to be as stupid as your acolytes is a far graver sin than simply being as stupid as your acolytes.

— Benjamin Dreyer (@BCDreyer) October 23, 2019

https://t.co/icxyRyPlcX

— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) October 23, 2019