Sometimes, political reality is so bizarre, all you can do is laugh– and Dana Milbank is one of the funniest political commentators around.

You’d think that We The People would be accustomed to the GOP’s steady retreat from seriousness and sanity. There’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, who opposes solar energy because we won’t have electricity after the sun goes down. Louie Gohmert has continued to protect his reputation as the dumbest mammal to enter a legislative chamber since Caligula’s horse. Lauren Bobert wants all citizens to pass a test on the Bible…The litany of idiocy could go on for hours.

What set Milbank off was an even more recent example: one of Trump’s endorsed congressional candidates–a North Carolina  Republican nominee named Bo Hines– “weighed in recently on all the talk about the United States becoming a banana republic, one of those nominal democracies where the rule of law is shaky. But Hines, a former college football player, spoke as if everybody was referring to Banana Republic, the clothing retailer.”

“A lot of people have likened the situation going on right now, is, you know, they say we’re in a Banana Republic,” he told radio host John Fredericks. “I think that’s an insult to Banana Republics across the country. I mean, at least the manager of Banana Republic, unlike our president, knows where he is and why he’s there and what he’s doing.”
Hines’s campaign retroactively labeled this “a joke.” Ha! I nearly split my pleated chinos.

Sorry, but that excuse is a total Lululemon. Misunderstanding a universal idiom, particularly while maligning President Biden’s mental acuity, suggests Hines is just not very PetSmart. On an intelligence scale of 1 to 10, he’s Five Below.

I wonder how many Trump Republicans would understand Milbank’s references…let alone laugh…

The column also has fun with the ongoing joke that has been Dr. Oz’s campaign for Senate in Pennsylvania. Among other gaffes, the noted quack distributed a video showing him shopping at a Redner’s supermarket.  Not only did he misidentify the grocery as “Wegner’s,” he filled his arms with broccoli, asparagus, carrots, guacamole and salsa, leading Milbank to note that supermarkets have these things called carts. The point of the video was to blame President Biden for the high price of the vegetables, which he called crudités, a word unlikely to be used by average guys going to the store for their wives. (The Democratic candidate, John Fetterman, who has had what looks like a lot of fun trolling Dr. Dense, tweeted that people in Pennsylvania “call that a veggie tray.”)

Milbank had fun with several other GOP candidates, but he outdid himself when he came to Hershel Walker, Georgia’s Senate candidate. (Granted, it’s hard NOT to laugh at Walker. I know it’s not kind to make fun of people who are mentally disabled, but typically those individuals aren’t running for the U.S. Senate.)

Leading this confederacy of dunces is Herschel Walker, GOP Senate nominee from Georgia. He took the position that there are 52 states and asserted that the theory of evolution is wrong because, “If that is true, why are there still apes? Think about it.”

Then think about Walker’s thoughts on the futility of fighting air pollution: “Since we don’t control the air, our good air decides to float over to China’s bad air. So, when China gets our good air, their bad air … moves over to our good air space.”

Cleanup in the crudité aisle!

Milbank then returned to the Banana Republic gaffe, and noted that the retailer is

all about encouraging sedentary Americans to pretend they are 19th century explorers in safari tents or sailing ships, wearing “pieces inspired by our history, a story of daring vision and imagined journeys.” Its clothes “wink at our heritage.” 

Given the current devolution of the GOP, Milbank had some suggested “winks.”

  • The White-Nationalist Linen Line. Yearn for the days when White men alone ruled America? Then put your wardrobe through a Great Replacement and return to the hoop skirts, bodices and tail coats of yore.
  • Stasi Style. As you report to the state on the activities of teachers, journalists and those who seek abortions, show your fashion sense by wearing the jackboots, baggy trousers and belted military jackets popularized by the East German secret police.
  • The Dezinformatsiya Line. Russian state television reports that it is “worried for our agent Trump.” Share the worry, visually, with a clothing line inspired by classic Cossack hats and babushka headscarves.
  • The Giuliani Collection. As Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani becomes a target of a criminal investigation, his chief financial officer prepares for a guilty plea and top-secret government files are found in Trump’s home, wear the crisp pinstripes and bold orange jumpsuits that define prison chic.

If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry…As Hershel Walker would say, “Think about it.”


  1. I find it hard to laugh when I consider these dim bulbs could be elected. The R’s have quite a history of electing dim bulbs.

  2. patmcc has again stated the very heart of our problems. Democrats have not yet figured out that the Republican UNITY is their strength; the Trump Republicans and that other faction stand strong in their separate views of Trump but come November 8, 2022, they will merge into one huge faction of Republican voters. Dim bulbs and Bible Thumpers are THEIR dim bulbs and Bible Thumpers. They will maintain Taylor Green, Bobert, Gohmert, Graham, McConnell, et al and elect Walker, Hines and Trump’s other choices; once in office they will return to their two factions to support all who claim the Republican membership. Come 2024 they will again come together after battling for a year to support the Republican candidate for President even if it is Rudy Giuliani.

    Pence will be of no help or hindrance to either party; he is a weak link with no chain to call home. He is the one enemy of the Republicans.

  3. I enjoy Milbank’s columns regularly, as I enjoy nearly all satire. I got a number of good laughs from this one. That said, we have for too long watched as the Democrats have managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory too many times to count. Fetterman is doing the right thing in his ads, calling out Oz’s hypocrisy (really, salsa on crudité?). We just have to make sure that other candidates don’t make the mistake of saying the truth out loud. Yes, these candidates’ combined IQs wouldn’t make for one smart person, but never say that in an ad or on the stump. In fact, keep that thought entirely to yourself and focus on policies in small sound bites.

  4. JoAnn – you are SO correct.

    We Hoosiers will also have to deal with the soon-to- be- elected more extreme R state legislators that won their primaries against less extreme R incumbents.

  5. The references to politicians campaigning “on the stump” reminded me of something I read about the Lincoln-Douglas debates in the late 1850s. The two of them would travel to different parts of Missouri and debate by having one of them stand on a tree-stump in a field for sixty minutes, then the other would do the same for ninety minutes, and then the first one would jump up and talk for another thirty minutes. All this time a group of men (white men, of course) would stand in the field and listen.

    Can you imagine anyone standing in a field for three hours today, to listen to any two (take your pick) candidates for any office?

  6. While Herschel and MTG don’t understand weather patterns I’m sure they will quickly catch on to the simplicities of international finance and the history of Bolshevik murder by the millions of White Russians via Stalin in the years following Lenin’s reign, a story my now deceased sister in law (who was born and raised in Tel Aviv) told me about as her then eight year old father watched his parents machine gunned to death by Bolsheviks in a ditch just north of Odessa.

    Worse than ignorance of weather patterns, these Republican candidates for office don’t have a clue about the human condition (see Dobbs) or the socioeconomic patterns by which societies organize themselves and the rationales therefor. On the other hand, and contrary to Mitch’s complaint that his party has put up some weak candidates and will likely lose the Senate this fall, Trump endorses those who will be rubber stamps for his fascist plans for our future and who will “owe him” their total allegiance if elected.

    Our task? My old World Politics professor at IU refused to designate humans as homo sapiens, insisting instead that we be called “homo saps.” It appears that he was on to something and that Dana and Sheila agree, at least in part. I concur.

  7. For the record (according to Wikipedia – easiest place to find this kind of info):
    MTG – University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration
    Herschel Walker – played college football at the University of Georgia (no mention of being a graduate)
    (The University of Georgia must be so proud!)
    Lauren Boebert – dropped out of high school
    Louie Gohmert received a Juris Doctor degree from Baylor Law School in 1977. (say what?!??!!)
    Bo Hines reportedly went to both NC State U and Yale — no mention of graduation – all college mentions are regarding his football stats.
    Dr. Oz – undergraduate degree in biology at Harvard University.[ he obtained MD and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Penn’s Wharton School

    I guess being college educated only means so much. Do you think MTG, Louie G. & Dr. Oz are just playing to the cameras? Or are they just very good cons?

  8. One of the memes of 2016 was “elect a clown, expect a circus!” Now, we have a plethora of clowns!
    But the circus they will put on, if elected, will be more like “Blood Wedding!”
    Kathy’s World Politics prof. nailed it!
    It’s my turn to say “I’m glad I’m old!”

  9. ignorance is prevalent everywhere, whereas ive been acustom to dock hands that couldnt count, or dispatchers that feel a inch in a map is driveable in a impossible amount of time left. but when we elect fools or, are selected by a political group, RNC comes to mind, ya gotta believe, like schedual F that wants to be able to fire nonpartisan workers for the goverment agencies we depend on to, fulfill the dream of a total one sided goverment. kinda like hitler,when the industrialists and bankers join his party. these morons mentioned above only amount to a signature when elected. they will be told what to do,how to do it,and when to do it,,like a good nazi. selling out our rights and where you hide, and when they relize the game,they have sold themselves down to,wheatever the right side ,er, only side of the isle left. warehousing green,boebert,walker in the private prison system they have investments in when they get chewed up and find themselves useless. the idiots mentioned wont last,their too damn stupid. i expect a more admirable clan like miller,bannon and gorska to fill up whatever goverment they decided.. the working class is doomed,and if you dont produce,its a china like existance for you in a internment camp. corp America loves this scenerio, they have seen it,and would love to see slave labor produce their rewards,for free.. green hollow mind,boebert gun guru, walker concussion as an excuse. i have to say,ignorance elected this, and its bell ringers havent a clue except to hate others..

  10. Humor is good. It does keep us from crying, but their stupidity, and the hubris of the Supremes, gives me hope.

    I again had a chance to hear the three women heading Indiana’s state wide ticket down in French Lick, and in the little time since the state convention, thier stump speeches have been well honed.

    Treasurer candidate, Monroe County Treasurer Jessica McCLellan, is open about her sexuality and comfortable about touting her experience and qualifications.

    Stand back Republicans, Auditor candidate ZeNai Brooks, is an unabashed religious Christian, married to a pastor. Can’t out religious her, and she is outspoken in her believe that religion is a private matter and EACH person has the right to pick their own or none. She isn’t about imposing hers on others. Add her career as a CPA, and again, we are talking about “most qualified”.

    Finally, Destiny Wells, who beyond her stance on the issues (which I think are great) is a formidable candidate. She grew up on a farm in Morgan County, attended IU and enlisted after 9/11. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve, a lawyer, a mother, and a great speaker. As visibly tired as she was, she turned that into a rallying cry to keep on pushing.

    There was much talk about how wonderful it is to have three women on the ticket, but Palin, Boebert, and Greene are women. What impresses me is their strong qualifications to do the job once elected, and now, I hope, their fearlessness in confronting the idiot Republican candidates and in articulating a positive message might surprise the GOP.

    One can hope, especially after a good laugh.

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