Let Me Count The Ways…

In several previous posts, I have expressed my strong distaste for Congressman Jim Banks, who will be the Republican candidate for US Senate in 2024. It seems only fair to explain at least some of the numerous reasons for my revulsion.

Marc Carmichael, the likely Democratic candidate, has outlined a “top ten” of the far-Right, culture-war issues championed by Banks that Carmichael opposes. Here are just a few of them:

  • Banks’ adamant opposition to abortion for any reason, and his celebration of the Dobbs decision.
  • Banks’ opposition to a ban on military-style assault weapons.
  • Banks’ dismissal of climate change and government efforts to counter it.
  • Banks’ ugly attacks on LGBTQ+ youth. (As Carmichael accurately observed, those children are “being used as political pawns by mean-spirited, calculating Republicans who needed a new social wedge issue” after Roe v. Wade was overturned.) 
  • Banks’ support for gratuitous tax cuts for the rich and for corporations. 

There is much more–there are very few MAGA positions that escape Banks’ fervid support–but in addition to his full-throated embrace of Donald Trump and MAGA orthodoxy, Banks is one of the Rightwing lawmakers whose willingness to send the country into default is a result of monumental ignorance of the difference between fiscally conservative budgeting and raising–or refusing to raise–the debt limit. 

A recent report from State Affairs Pro included an interview in which Banks enthusiastically supported the crazies’ opposition to raising the nation’s debt ceiling. “Congressman Banks made clear he was opposed to raising the debt limit.” (Banks said he would continue to fight for ‘fiscal conservatism.’)

Banks clearly doesn’t understand the Constitutionally-mandated process for spending tax dollars.

The Constitution requires that Congress make all spending decisions—the President proposes, but Congress disposes. Sometimes–okay, often– Congress authorizes more spending than the government collects in revenue. That requires government to borrow the difference, in order to cover the deficit that Congress has already authorized. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Congress also votes to authorize borrowing that exceeds the previously-set debt limit, or ceiling. This seems silly, since that vote comes from the same Congress that has already voted for the spending that requires the borrowing, but the practice of raising the debt ceiling has historically been uncontroversial–for years, the ceiling has been raised by votes from large, bipartisan majorities. More recently, as MAGA Republicans have substituted pandering for governance, a significant minority of GOP Representatives has refused to vote to raise the ceiling. 

This is insane.

Failing to raise the debt ceiling would do nothing to reduce the national debt. Instead, it would cause the U.S. to default on what it owes. All economists, conservative and liberal, agree that if Congress were actually to fail to raise the ceiling, the results would be catastrophic. Such an act would require the United States to stop paying many of its bills—very much including social security and medicare, defense contractors and members of the military. Economists warn that such a failure to pay our bills would likely precipitate a worldwide economic collapse.

The last thing the U.S. needs is another Senator who either doesn’t understands that or doesn’t care.

When it comes to international affairs, his record is equally disastrous. Banks joined 69 other Republicans (led by loony-tunes Rep. Matt Gaetz) in voting for an amendment to strip all current and future military aid to Ukraine in its fight against Vladimir Putin’s horrific and illegal war.

A look at the rest of Banks’ voting record confirms his unsuitability for any public office. He has voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the  Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the For the People Act of 2021, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, the Chips and Science Act, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, and the Respect for Marriage Act—among others.  

He hasn’t alway voted no–he voted for impeaching President Biden for some unspecified reason.

Politico has reported that,

During the summer of 2021, Chairman Jim Banks sent a memo to members of the Republican Study Committee encouraging them to “lean into the culture war.” 

The head of Congress’ largest conservative caucus sent a memo titled “Lean into the culture war” to its Republican members, encouraging them to embrace anti-critical race theory rhetoric.

Earlier this year, Banks vowed to start an “anti-woke” caucus, joining MAGA warriors Ron DeSantis and Kyle Rittenhouse.

Today’s GOP is now the Trump party, and Jim Banks is an enthusiastic member of the looney-tune wing of that sorry assemblage. He is the Hoosier version of Marjorie Taylor Green, uninterested in actual governance and fixated on performative culture war. 

Dick Lugar must be spinning in his grave at the thought of Jim Banks as an Indiana Senator.


  1. What a low grade human. I wish his opponent was visible. I have seen NOTHING from the Democrats so far. Nothing. As we discussed recently, we can not defeat something with nothing.

  2. republicans,(eugenicans) all want to rid America of its standing gov agencies,FBI,CDC,DOE etc, but they dont say what they will replace it with,or how they will deal with the lose of, and the people. seems to say,authoritarianism/facists to me..
    private cops anyone? how about some southern enities idea of a private for hire fire dept? better yet a private army to demand respect,and of course a president that can control the life of
    such leaders..eh?

  3. Pushing Banks into the background; the most important information in the blog today is the name of a POSSIBLE Democratic candidate to oppose Banks. Wasn’t it just yesterday that one of the commenters here stated, regarding any possible Democratic candidate for any office, “who are these people?”

    Thank you, Sheila, for that information.

  4. Banks’ conservative stance is far from admirable. His proposal to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations would only result in the government cutting essential programs like social programs. On the matter of eliminating funding to Ukraine, I share Banks’ view that diplomacy is the key to achieving peace. However, his plan to establish an “anti-woke” caucus is perplexing. Being woke is an aspiration to attain a higher level of consciousness, so being against it is nonsensical. Banks and other cultural warriors like him lack the understanding needed to lead. It’s time to elect a democratic candidate who is not a mere puppet of the party.

  5. Todd,

    There is nothing “conservative” about Banks’ position on anything. It’s pure right-wing extremism, aka, fascism.

    As witnessed yesterday, the killing of Pregozhin by Putin laughs in the face of any “diplomacy” needed to end the mindless war in Ukraine. Putin invaded the country. Remember when Germany invaded Poland in 1939? How well did diplomacy work then? Same thing today. Putin is not going to “negotiate” his way out of this mess he created because it will mean the downfall of his pathetic hold on power.

    Until the DNC and the Indiana Democratic Party starts fielding, training and funding candidates that speak to the people who vote in your state, nothing will change and the Republican horror show will continue.

    Politically, being a woman in Indiana must resemble being a woman in Afghanistan. YUCK!

  6. It’s getting to the point where the crazier a candidate is, the more attractive he or she is to the “base” of Republican voters. How long will we have to deal with this? It’s getting tiresome, to say the least.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the history of our country lately. We seem to always be divided into three camps. During the revolutionary war, about a third of the people wanted independence. Another third were Torries who wanted to remain British subjects. The last third didn’t care. In the civil war, a third wanted abolition a third wanted slavery, and the last didn’t care. Today, about a third want authoritarianism, a third demand democracy, and, again that last don’t care.

    It’s only when that last third gets motivated by an action, such as Dobbs today or the “gays” during “W’s Presidency, that things change. The wrong wing is generally better at that game than the Dems. That’s why we’re here. It’s a sad commentary on our world.

  7. Vern:
    the right has weaponize religion. women today,and espaecially tommarow should be in the
    forefront of any new canidates. women today are standing up, and coming to be the best
    expanding voting bloc. we should weaponize women!

  8. Copied and pasted from Forbes web site: “The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed Friday calls “for a more energized role for each university and the production of more graduates ready to participate in the modern economy.” It also charges university leaders to develop a higher education model for the future that will strengthen the economic competitiveness of Indianapolis and Indiana.”

    Can this be anything but politically motivated; Mitch Daniels appointed enough Purdue University Board Members to have them return the favor by appointing him to President of Purdue University. Few are further right in politics (including the attempt to ban one author’s books from Purdue) than Mitch Daniels. Indiana University may be the larger of the two enrollments but the Purdue graduates “ready to participate in the modern economy” will be Republican based. Politics in Indiana education at the highest level.

    “Dick Lugar must be spinning in his grave at the thought of Jim Banks as an Indiana Senator.” What must his thoughts be of Mitch Daniels’ control regarding education and the economy in Indiana and does Daniels have his eye on a return to politics at a higher level than Indiana?

    “Let Me Count The Ways” of unending Republican control of this state.

  9. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

  10. One mo time…hardcore GOPers will vote for Banks, no matter what – “Vote RED, no matter what is said”. Hardcore DEMs (likely fewer) will vote for Carmichael, no matter what.

    However, that leaves about 60% of voters…independents and “leaners”. It takes (gulp) moderate views to get them off the sofa to vote:

    – Biggest focus on “kitchen table issues” – cost of gas, healthcare, groceries
    – Second biggest focus (linked to first) is coming down hard on corporations/the rich for hurtful pricing and tax dodging
    – Abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” and decided by woman/doctor
    – Gun focus on gun safety – red flag laws, lock up guns from kids, eliminate “ghost” guns
    – Recognize climate change and continue moving away from fossil fuels
    – Only talk about LGBTQ+, if asked and then recognize their equality – The country is tired of identity politics; tired people don’t vote.

    One dog’s bark…

  11. I can live with Eisenhower Republicans or moderate Republicans (if any of the latter exist), but Banks is to the right of Atilla the Hun, a proposed solon living in his version of a human society in which progress and change are dirty words, and to contemplate giving him six years in such a powerful position is almost more than I can bear. But not quite. With the help of youth, the Dobbs fallout and rural organization, let’s end this hillbilly fascist’s political career come the fall of ’24.

  12. I am sincerely frightened to be a woman in Indiana. If Banks is voted into ANY office again, women, who no longer have any rights in Indiana or in the United States other than the right to VOTE are doomed and are likely to be incubators without any other options. I have emailed Banks multiple times, as he is my Congressperson, and have NEVER received a response. He is inept as a Congressman – why would he be any different as a Senator? He has been bought and paid for by the extremist right wing MAGA Trump loving white supremacists who have no business running our country and tearing down our democracy. He, like Trump, cares for no one other than himself and the money that comes his way. If you think otherwise – you have consumed the RED kool aid that Jim Jones passed out to his followers. Jim Banks should have been FIRED but I personally would prefer to see him INDICTED along with his bestie!

  13. Only 3.7% of adults consider themselves LGBQT. According to a UClA study with 1.7% saying they are LG only. Thats a small tick up. My grandmother is getting ready to cancel herself and she considers herself a liberal Democrat. Its just too much this culture crap they are shoving diwn down her throat she says.
    The backlash has begun, more and more are thinking about keaving our party and we need to come to grips with it.
    No I don’t like Banks much either and I don’t know the Democrat candidate yet. But Ive always called for a balanced budget and Banks leans that way.
    Since GW we are up $22 trillion and nothing is sliwing. Does he really think we shouldn’t raise the debt ceiling or is he trying to get our attention.
    Our debt costs the poor $many new program opportunities as we drop $1 trillion to pay of our debt each year.
    So if its Banks and the culture thats one thing, but its Banks fighting a corrupt Washington who is funneling money left and right with no concerns.
    Ray Dalio, look him up, he’s spelling out our future. Our debt crisis future!!!

  14. I think Banks does understand the Constitutional process for spending tax dollars. He is just playing to the ignorance of his base who does not understand it. His stance is not conservative; it’s just “play to the crazies”.

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