Unprecedented Lunacy

Wow. Just wow. Someone has opened the asylum door….

It’s hard to overstate the lunacy of Trump’s “legal” team defenders. Rudy has been making himself a pathetic figure for several years now, but he isn’t the only bizarre figure who once somehow managed to graduate from law school and pass the bar exam.

Politico reports on Sydney Powell, recently expelled from those designated as official Trump lawyers for being too wacko even for a group that often seems certifiable.

Sidney Powell released the Kraken. And it turns out the mythological sea beast can’t spell, is terrible at geography and keeps mislabeling plaintiffs in court.

A congressional candidate Powell claimed to represent in one lawsuit said that, in fact, he had nothing to do with Powell or her quixotic effort, which she dubbed “the Kraken,” arguing the election was stolen from President Donald Trump. An expert witness cited in another suit named a nonexistent county in Michigan. A Wisconsin lawsuit sought data on alleged irregularities at a voting center in Detroit, which is in Michigan. And a filing in federal district court signed by Powell misspelled “district” twice in the first few lines.

According to Politico, Powell has, “at least twice,” sued on behalf of a plaintiff who had not agreed to be a part of the case.

Judges reportedly have been flummoxed/bemused by the multiple errors committed by Powell, who has continued crusading to overturn the election results even after she was booted from Trump’s legal team.

Powell and another Trump-supporting lawyer, Lin Wood, are causing chaos in Georgia, in advance of the Senate runoffs there. They have been soliciting donations and urging Republicans not to vote for the GOP candidates in those runoffs, because they say those candidates have been insufficiently supportive of Trump.

Powell and Wood allege a vast conspiracy in which states’ electronic voting systems have been manipulated by a company with ties to the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. What has set them apart from Trump’s official legal team, which has offered similarly unsupported claims of fraud, is their willingness to accuse sitting Republican officials of committing crimes to aid Biden’s election.

Pro-Trump crazy hasn’t been limited to lawyers. The Republicans with whom I used to work would be equally appalled by today’s GOP officeholders. Florida Governor DeSantis is a good example of just how detached from competence and reality these people are.

In addition to urging Trump to “fight on,” DeSantis has continued to be one of the President’s staunchest supporters. He has publicly urged Republican-controlled Legislatures in Pennsylvania and Michigan to overturn results in those states. He also has accused Chief Justice John Roberts of undefined “crazy stuff.” (Perhaps, in addition to being a Trump ally, he has taken vocabulary lessons from The Donald.)

DeSantis’ lack of competence has been most damaging, of course, in his refusal to follow medical advice with respect to the pandemic. In a recent speech, he criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its “ridiculous” studies on the Covid-19 outbreak, which he said were more about “affirming” the positions of “bureaucrats” than science.

I don’t think this guy can spell science. He has steadily resisted imposing state-level restrictions on gatherings or mandating–or even encouraging– mask-wearing, even as Florida has reported more than 1 million cases.

If DeSantis were the only Republican governor inhabiting an alternate reality, you might chalk up his election to the fact that Florida voters include lots of elderly folks with dementia, but there are several others. Just last week, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has refused to issue a mask mandate, declared a “day of prayer and fasting” for those affected by the pandemic. (I thought God helped those who helped themselves…)

And that, of course, leads me back to my recurring question: who believes these clowns? Who takes them seriously?

Evidently, thousands, perhaps even millions, of people do–they send money to the demented lawyers, vote for the science-and-expertise-rejecting politicians. They post comments to Facebook asserting that an election that was won by over seven million votes was somehow “rigged,” and that failure to acknowledge that “fraud” is to believe “fake news.”

If there’s a psychiatrist reading this blog, can you weigh in and explain the appeal of obvious lunacy? Because I really, truly do not get it.


  1. I certainly hope that the Lin Wood you mention in your remarks above is not related to Legally Blonde Elle Wood.

  2. While all the crazy shit is going on in public, I fear they will try a coup before this is over. WHY are they reorganizing the pentagon with a month to go? Why are they having all the special forces report to a Trump loyalist who had NO Pentagon experience? This does not seem comical or trivial. These bastards are up to SOMETHING. Stay alert and hope they fail.

  3. Sheila asks, “Who takes them seriously?”

    If you can convince millions of voters that Trump is the solution, then what else will they believe?

    Also, when John joins, please tell Marv to send me an email or send me his contact info to my email.


  4. My wife is a psychiatrist and when I showed your posting asking for a professional to weigh in, she politely declined. “I don’t interpret dreams nor do I take on cases where the sick don’t want to be helped,” she said.

  5. I invite the author and readers to sample the writing of Dr. Elizabeth Mika, a NYC psychologist and writer. She had clearly and correctly called out Trump for his malignant narcissism that fuels his life. Keep in mind that she wrote this in 2016. Here’s a sample and a link to the entire article follows. You can also find more of her essays on the Medium platform. I find them to be revelatory.

    “ This is what narcissistic parental abuse looks like, even as it is coached in the language of “It’s for your own good” and “You’re gonna thank me for it one day.” This kind of abuse is perpetrated from one generation to the next, creating new ranks of emotionally crippled, conscience-deficient people, confused and blindly rageful, eager to unload their suppressed pain and anger on others — their children and spouses, and their enemies, real and imagined (though mostly the latter) — especially with the approving nod from their beloved authority figure (boss, commander, god), a substitute for their abusive parent”.


  6. I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve read what clinical psychologists have surmised. T rump is a raving, out-of-control psychopath. That said, it should be clear that only psychopaths will work for a psychopath. Only incompetents will work for an incompetent buffoon. Only fools will align themselves with a fool.

    Ron DeSantis and his ilk across the country all have blood on their hands by allowing COVID to rage through their communities. Fox News, Breitbart, et. al., have blood on their hands by perpetrating lies and disinformation for the sake of their perverted agendas and ratings.

    It’s so tiresome to keep repeating the FACT that Republicans are primarily at fault here. Powell and Giuliani are merely the symptomatic stooges of a psychopath. Remember, Powell was Mike Flynn’s lawyer when he recanted his guilty plea. Only crooks and the ethically depraved work for crooks and the ethically depraved.

    It’s so tiresome to keep repeating the FACT that Republicans have NO intention of governing, only accumulating power for their corporate masters. THAT is called fascism.

    The 70+ million fools who voted for Trump this time are part of the cult. They are active only in their hatred for “giving free shit to ‘those people’, which they equate to Democrats. That’s self-serving, anti-community, anti-Christian delusion. That’s how cults work. Oh, let’s not forget to thank Rupert Murdoch for hiring that festering carbuncle on the ass of humanity, Roger Ailes, to build his personal lie machine that created the aggrieved mass mentality.

    As Michael Steele has said, that wound has always been there. Murdoch, Ailes, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove and Donald Trump have picked at that scab until the pus once agains started to flow. We have an entire nation to repair, not just its government.

  7. Ron DeSantis, against whom I voted as many times as was legal, is no Sidney Powell. He is what we used to call intelligent, but like a fox. He, like other republican aspirants for 2024, is trying to retain the loyalty of the Trump supporters to pull his chariot the next time around.

    He has reached a reasoned decision on COVID which is that shutting down is more destructive, even to health, than COVID running its course. He defends that position rather well although he sometimes seems to fail to see (or at least talk about) the fact that shut down or leave the economy fully open are not the only two alternatives in play.

    In short, DeSantis is no Rudy, no Sidney, and no fool; he is an opponent in the next round who won’t be vanquished by bad mouthing.

  8. Copied and pasted from a Forbes’ headline article dated December 8, 2020; “Armed Police Raid Home of Ousted Data Scientist Who Alleged Covid-19 Data Manipulation in Florida”:
    “TOPLINE Armed investigators raided the home of Rebekah Jones — a former Florida state official who claimed she was removed from her role in May for refusing to comply with officials’ demands to manipulate the state’s Covid-19 numbers — and seized her computers, accusing her of illegally accessing a state-run communications platform.”

    According to Rebekah Jones, armed men with a warrant entered her home, pointed guns at herself and her children as they removed all of her electronic devices. In my opinion this is an American 21st Century Kristallnacht carried out by Trump’s brown-shirted Florida Governor DeSantis. Another part of Trump’s legally manipulated lunacy and part of his removal of his responsibility for any outcome of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the escalation of number of cases and deaths we are facing.

    “If DeSantis were the only Republican governor inhabiting an alternate reality, you might chalk up his election to the fact that Florida voters include lots of elderly folks with dementia, but there are several others.”

    We must commend those in positions of leadership in states other than Florida who have stood strong behind the Constitutional rights of voters and the election laws in their individual states. Some of whom, along with their family members, have been targeted by armed agents of Trump to be “removed” from his path of “scorched earth” as he, hopefully, leaves or is removed from our White House and the end the powers he has abused for four years.

    “If there’s a psychiatrist reading this blog, can you weigh in and explain the appeal of obvious lunacy? Because I really, truly do not get it.”

    We have 44 days to survive this lunacy which, as intelligent, thinking Americans we cannot possibly understand or explain to the world how and why it is happening.

  9. Well, is it any wonder?

    Psychiatry brought us eugenics, mass institutionalization’s, the Holocaust, to mention a few! And even though the Nazis burned Sigmund Freud’s books, they used his ramblings as an outline to justify their insane onslaught against German society, compassion, education, and ethics! Of course with the advancement of medicine and analysis, psychiatry has realized there are medical and clinically medicinal issues to most if not all of psychotic behavior. As in chemical imbalances including hormonal.

    As for the governor of Oklahoma, maybe he should be a better student of what he thinks he believes!

    James 2:15-16 reads;
    If any brothers or sisters are lacking clothing and enough food for the day, 16 yet one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but you do not give them what they need for their body, of what benefit is it?

    Matthew 25:35-36 reads;
    For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; 36 naked and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you visited me.’

    1st John 3:17 reads;
    But whoever has the material possessions of this world and sees his brother in need and yet refuses to show him compassion, in what way does the love of God remain in him?

    Maybe Gov. Stitt should be a student of what he claims to believe, instead of being a useless rattletrap!

    As far as Sydney Powell and the Kraken, it does truly seems like there is a screw loose for sure, even Don Quixote doesn’t explain it!

    “Grandiose delusions (GD), also known as delusions of grandeur or expansive delusions, are a subtype of delusion that occur in patients suffering from a wide range of psychiatric diseases, including two-thirds of patients in manic state of bipolar disorder, half of those with schizophrenia, patients with the grandiose subtype of delusional disorder, and a substantial portion of those with substance abuse disorders. GDs are characterized by fantastical beliefs that one is famous, omnipotent, wealthy, or otherwise very powerful. The delusions are generally fantastic and typically have a religious, science fictional, or supernatural theme. There is a relative lack of research into GD, in contrast to persecutory delusions and auditory hallucinations. About 10% of healthy people experience grandiose thoughts but do not meet full criteria for a diagnosis of GD” (Knowles, R; McCarthy-Jones, S; Rowse, G (2011). “Grandiose delusions: A review and theoretical integration of cognitive and affective perspectives”. Clinical Psychology Review. 31 (4): 684–696.)

  10. I feel privileged that Florida has finally gotten the attention of the blog, and that it only took over a million cases of Covid 19 to get here. When all of this started our dear governor was seen having a difficult time figuring out how to put on a mask. At the same time a FaceBook meme showed a dog doing that small task perfectly. Yes, our governor is dumber than a dog.

  11. I once joined a religious group and the warm belonging was like a drug. I eventually recovered, but while I was high on that in-group euphoria, critical thinking was not on the menu. Republicanism and most certainly Trumpism today is a religion, a giant cult, not based on facts or reality.

  12. Gov. Noem of South Dakota has replicated Gov. DeSantis with her actions in SD. No masks, no lockdowns but high Covid-19 rates and high death rates. It’s hard to believe she is a college graduate.

  13. Once Newt Gingrich decided that he and other Republicans should never compromise, the health of our democracy began to erode.

    I wonder how many Trump devotees were themselves abused as children ? I wonder how many of the women are codependents. I I don’t know. I think your earlier blog about how isolation disconnects people from the world and facts sheds light on how people can align themselves with a narcissist like Trump. These are the people who cannot tolerate moral ambiguity. They want a place for everyone and everyone in their place.

    The movie “Unorthodox” clearly demonstrates how a closed Hasidic community has not healed from the trauma of the Holocaust and as a result has become paranoid towards the wider world which in turn leads them to traumatize their children. It is a perfect example of how people can develop a paranoid delusional system and propagate it through their children.

    There’s a country song that has this hook line “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Many Republicans in Congress have forgotten how to stand for the truth and the high moral ground. They have forgotten how to uphold the constitution and our democratic principles. They have fallen to the addiction of the lust for power and lost their capacity to support the power of love. Like Trump, they are not, in my opinion, working for the American people. They work only to retain their power. And they play upon the fears of people who want a place for every one and every one in their place.

  14. Alan, you scare me: DeSantis may be positioning himself for 2024? OMG! He just had state police raid the house of the recently fired lady who was punished for collecting valid Covid-19 info!
    Robin, Newt, whose “contract For America” was actually a “contract ON America,” was there in the time of Reagan, who’s said that “Facts are annoyances,” and was quick to pronounce Acid Rain as fake news.
    I’ll be back.

  15. A quick bit of research on eugenics reveles the following: The idea of eugenics first shows up in history around 400 BC when Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding to humans. The Romans even put their ideas into practice by making it a law that new born babies were to be inspected by their fathers, and if found to be defective in any way the father was to kill the baby.
    During the mid to late nineteenth century Sir Francis Galton coined the term “eugenics” and expanded on the ideas of selective breeding. He was a statistician, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, explorer, geographer and inventor. He was not a psychiatrist.
    The ideas of eugenics spread to many countries, including the United States. In Germany, where the seeds of anti-semitism had already been planted by religious bigots when they pushed the belief that judaism was a race and not a religion, the Nazi Government used “eugenics” as a defence for their crimes against humanity.
    Like all other parts of medical history, the science of psychiatry has had its wrong turns and dead ends. The investigation and research on and about the workings of the human mind is and will continue to be one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

  16. Woods & Lin holding rallies and telling trumplicans not to vote for Perdue & Loffler is puzzling. I heard them say “they don’t deserve your vote” with some faint cheers coming from a seemingly confused crowd. That’s maybe a vindictive move for being booted out of trump’s legal team? Their round-about reasoning doesn’t help the Republican aim of winning the Georgia Senate run-off. This interference if continued might help Dems? Looks like Woods & Lin want something from Republican Party.

  17. NYT just did an article on “Elite Strike Force” attorney Jenna Ellis exposing her lack of qualifications and embellished resume. It’s unfortunately behind a paywall. Not that a person should be blamed for what one’s partner does, but her husband is very active in making money off of “creation science.”

    Of course, Ellis is just trying to get a media gig. That’s what her role is all about. She used to be a huge Trump critic before he won in 2016.

  18. Here is one response to your request, Sheila. https://www.alternet.org/2020/12/trumpism/
    I am not a psychiatrist, but am a retired psychotherapist, and believe that part of the attraction of Trump, for many people is his skill at appealing to people’s limbic system, their emotional craving for someone to, they hope, fix it all for them. He appeals to their sense of being left out, or passed by, by the greater culture, and his “Poor me” stance feeds this. Somehow they think he’s one of them.
    “The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the ax because its handle was made of wood and they thought it was one of them.”

  19. Lin Wood’s law partners sued him earlier this year, claiming he’s gone off the deep end. Sending threats via email and texts late at night. Physically assaulted two of them. Emails suggest he is either God or was working at the direction of God. Those are the allegations in the complaint. Wood’s Twitter feed is entertaining but totally unhinged. I really think there may be something wrong with Wood and Giuliani.

    Ironically, Lin Wood, although a Trumper, hasn’t voted in a Republican primary in GA in nearly 20 years. That’s what the GA Secretary of State said.

  20. We know intuitively that both parties are supported by voters of many different types. That’s apparently hard to measure and maybe dynamic as data are scarce. Some types for sure are single party or issue or race or gender voters. Oligarchs are a block much larger in influence than in numbers. Economic or order illiberal authoritarians are growing segments. Clearly, Trump and his clown car of incompetent and corrupt enablers did gather many votes.

    As Sheila reminds us often the real question is what are we going to do about it? I can’t imagine a stickier problem.

    In the lead-up to WWII FDR faced a similar problem with a country divided about our involvement in the war. It’s a testament to his political skill that he seemed to use the issue that divided us ultimately to unite us but it’s always hard to separate political reality from just the inevitable march of history happening.

    I refuse to believe that the sincerity of Biden won’t make a dent in the problem but have to admit that I thought that of Obama too. Will Biden’s race matter in the issue?

    We are in unsettled unsettling times. There are many more surprising events coming as the world keeps bumping up against the pressure of cultural evolution to force humans back into our lane of sustainability given our numbers and average lifestyle.

    I’m old enough to not be surprised much by anything anymore but too old to not be exhausted by the chaos. Peace from the pace of life is becoming a universally sought but increasingly rare commodity for everyone but I don’t see it becoming sufficiently available for many decades.

    Let’s all hope that humans are collectively smarter than we appear at the moment.

  21. Robin:
    Completely off topic. But FWIW: The adage: “When you stand for nothing, you fall for anything” is often attributed to Alexander Hamilton. But there are also similar references in the Bible and by many others. Used in the lyrics to several hit songs, including a 1990 hit by Aaron Tippin (probably the country song you remembered), but also in a 1985 song by Seymour, Indiana native John “Cougar” Mellencamp. Sorry for the digression.

  22. Well, Sheila, the answer to your question is obvious. With so many citizens in this country supporting these conspiracies, they must be true. Not only that, there actually are Leprechauns. We just haven’t figured out how to get them to reveal themselves, but they hide for obvious reasons. They don’t want to give up their pots of gold. Maybe deSantis will get some of the Trump lawyers to file lawsuits to force them all to reveal themselves. Just think how much we could reduce taxes even further on the rich and those poor fortune 500 companies if we got our hands no that gold.

  23. FYI, it was just announced that Trump attorney Jenna Ellis has Covid-19.

    But it’s a hoax!

  24. I have to give The Trumpet credit. Like a true Con-Man that he is, he saw his “marks” so to speak. Somehow he sold himself as successful billionaire businessman, even though he has had numerous bankruptcies in his past and will not reveal what he has paid in taxes.

    Even though The Trumpet has led the La Dolce Vita, “the sweet life” or “the good life” for all to see, he managed to with some meaningless words and Pastor Pence sell himself as this “Christian Soldier”.

    The Trumpet has energized the Neo-Confederates, and the gun toting fat asses in camouflage gear to intimidate those who disagree.

    The lunatic fringe with their bizarre conspiracy stories have found a happy place in The Trump Cult. Rudy Giuliani once respected has descended into a comically stereotypical member of The Trump Cult.

  25. “…it should be clear that only psychopaths will work for a psychopath. Only incompetents will work for an incompetent buffoon. Only fools will align themselves with a fool.”

    O.K. Vernon, I find your point quite convincing, but remain mystified as to what to do about the condition we find ourselves in. Can we educate ourselves out of this dilemma? Given a normal distribution curve, the number of Americans who cannot be educated is roughly equal to the number of Trump voters in the 2020 election. Without meaning to be critical (they certainly didn’t choose their handicap), there is unlikely to be any argument that would assuage their feelings of incompetence and, in some cases, psychopathy. So naturally, they relate easily to Trump. They have recently become a force because from 1789 until 1980 no one told them they should express themselves. Reagan, Gingrich, Cheney and Rove have opened Pandora’s box and, for a long time to come, we will all be working on how to slam that lid shut again.

    Perhaps we can kneecap the Republican party by conducting a relentless campaign to make it clear just how anti-American they have become. Any given strategy they have advocated in the past 4 years – for example awarding vast amounts of government money to wealthy individuals and corporations and ignoring a pandemic on its way to killing 300,000 of our loved ones – can be shown to be opposed to our national interests. We need to get better at explaining that fact to the Trump loyalists and their flatterers by clarifying how such policies hurt them personally, and highlighting their political representatives’ disloyalty. In the process, we can stress how Fascism is inimical to the interest of all but a tiny minority of Fascists, and how threatening it is to democracy. History gives us some good examples.

    Republicans have become adept at exploiting ignorance. Shouldn’t smarter people be more capable of selling intelligence and competence? Woops! That sounds a lot like education.

  26. I have had a place on a lake near Naples, Florida, since 1990, and this is the first winter I am staying in Indiana for some 30 years, and the reason why is that we have a crazy governor there apparently intent on Out-Trumping Trump. His latest Himmler/Gestapo move is to send state police armed with a search warrant and with drawn guns to a woman whistleblower’s house to terrorize her and her children while seizing her computer and records which supposedly detailed his attempt to hide the state’s death and infection rates from public view. I think an investigation of this matter is in order, beginning with the governor’s office, the AG’s office, the court that authorized the search warrant, and the gestapo who served it, but fat chance with the Nazis in control and with a federal investigation of a civil rights variety in the hands of Barr.
    So what’s the next big building project at Tallahassee, Herr DeSantis, gas chambers? Heil DeSantis?

    I am not hot to pay my tax money into the support of a police state and am thinking of alternatives, like selling my house on the lake in Florida and checking out the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii where one can raise his/her own coffee, where sanity reigns and where (get this!) all seventeen state senators are Democrats! With such a friendly political as well as physical climate, an international airport, and most importantly, a COSTCO, what’s not to like, except for the distance involved (and there’s always Southwest)? I’m thinking about it.

  27. I am a psychiatrist as is my wife and we consulted on our answer. We think that there is no pat answer as to why 70 000,000 people believe as President Trump does. For some it is naivete. For others it involves lack of critical thinking. In others it is sheer ignorance. It could be a group delusion. It might be folie a million [We made that up. A FSM5 code has not been assigned as yet]. It could be that their tv remote is broken and stuck on Fox News. And, of course, if someone repeats their lies enough, people will begin to believe them. God only knows.

  28. Irvin States,

    “Yep, we are back with religion.”

    No truer words have been said!

    It’s so refreshing, short precise cutting edge blurbs by an unknown intellect that continues to dazzle! I can’t wait until tomorrow!

    Mark Twain or maybe Donald Trump, lol, be damned!

  29. Just when you think the bottom has been reached, Texas digs the hole deeper:

    The state of Texas, aiming to help Donald Trump upend the results of the US election, decisively won by Joe Biden, said on Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin at the US supreme court, calling changes they made to election procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic unlawful.

    Texas also is asking the supreme court to delay the 14 December deadline for electoral college votes to be cast.

    Paul Smith, a professor at Georgetown University’s law school, said Texas did not have a legitimate basis to bring the suit.

    “There is no possible way that the state of Texas has standing to complain about how other states counted the votes and how they are about to cast their electoral votes,” Smith said.

  30. Earlier I mis-spoke and meant Powell & Woods. It’s important to keep the facts right these days. Pardon me.

  31. Paul – it is a sign of our times, and a sad one, but I am forced to ask –

    What’s a hoax? That Jenna Ellis has it, or is that her view of Covid-19?

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