Another Answer To “What’s WRONG With These People?”

A lot of them are ignorant.

At least, if a recent report from the (admittedly leftish) New Republic is at all accurate. That article looked at the GOP crazies’ enthusiasm for a government shutdown, and found that–in addition to their antipathy to government in general–several of them appear convinced that a government shutdown would prevent the prosecutions of Donald Trump from continuing.

If this is really one of the motives for our current dysfunction, it rests on a misconception.

A government shutdown would not end the four Trump prosecutions! Two of them, of course, are being undertaken at the state level, in New York and Georgia, so Congress has no power over those at all. And the two federal ones, both led by Jack Smith, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Florida, are protected from any shutdown. In the past, reports NBC News, federal criminal matters have been exempted from government shutdowns. A Justice Department memo from 2021—long before Trump was indicted anywhere, so presumably written not with him specifically in mind—states that in the event of a shutdown, “criminal litigation will continue without interruption as an activity essential to the safety of human life and the protection of property.”

It’s hard to believe that people elected to the Congress of the United States are so ignorant of the rules promulgated by that government, but there is massive evidence that several of them really are that clueless. Marjorie Taylor Green comes to mind…. and how many times have you watched a political advertisement in which a candidate promises to do something that is either patently illegal or–as a practical matter– impossible? I always wonder whether the candidate really believes s/he can accomplish whatever it is, or whether (more likely) s/he thinks voters are too ignorant to know better.

That said, according to the linked article, most elected officials do know better.

Very few of them believe this garbage. As Mitt Romney told McKay Coppins recently, GOP senators regularly criticized Trump behind his back and once “burst into laughter” after he left the room. The House is more extreme than the Senate, so maybe a dozen of them really believe Trump’s narrative. But most don’t. And yet they say it and say it and say it, with conviction.

The only thing that explains the culture warriors who aren’t acting out of ignorance or stupidity is venality. Only a dishonest calculus can account for their public pronouncements: If pandering to a crazed base–a cult–is what it will take to avoid a primary challenge from the even-loonier Right, then that pandering will take priority over both personal integrity and the clear interests of the American public. There’s no bottom to their cupidity and self-interest.

Representative Andy Clyde—the guy who called January 6 a “normal tourist visit”—is seeking to add amendments to the appropriations bill to remove all federal funding from all three prosecutors (Smith, Fani Willis, and Alvin Bragg). Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene want to defund Smith. And Jim Jordan (of course) wants legislation dictating that the department can’t spend money on “politically sensitive” investigations.

Can these people possibly get more corrupt? (Don’t answer that.) But this is what happens when reality is turned on its head. Trump has created a “reality” that is the direct opposite of real reality. In real reality, ample evidence exists to suggest that Trump committed serious crimes, and he tried, right in front of our eyes, to lead a violent coup against the United States. But in Trump reality, it’s all McCarthyism.

The past few weeks have demonstrated just how little today’s Republican Party cares about governance or the American people. The GOP House members have vacillated between paralysis in the face of events requiring crucial decision-making, and toyed with installing a legislative terrorist as Speaker.

The last paragraph summed up our situation:

And let’s remember the bigger picture with respect to democracy. When one of two political parties is led by people who either (a) genuinely believe a fascist interpretation of reality or (b) don’t, but pretend to out of fear of a strongman and his well-armed followers … well, if that party takes power, democracy is kaput. We’ll find out soon enough how much of the country cares.

We will indeed.


  1. And I found another “Another Answer To “Whats WRONG With These People?” in my neighborhood. A former neighbor friend (a Trump supporter) posted a “David Ray For City Councilor” in her yard for 2 or 3 days then it disappeared, she must have discovered he was a Democrat. Being my Councilor I had voted for him twice before (a strict Democratic Party vote) but when a new voice was heard from I researched Andy Nielsen (who primaried Ray) due to the majority of infrastructure improvements appeared to be throughout the areas in higher income neighborhoods. I had seen the many David Ray Facebook posts throughout the summer at Catholic Church functions, festivals, etc., and the “Andy for Indy” interests throughout the Council District Four area. Two days ago a yard sign for the Republican (also Catholic) Councilor candidate Brenda Bishop-Kyle appeared my former neighbor friend’s yard. I’m sure it will remain till after the November 7th election.

    “A lot of them are ignorant.” True, but along with being staunch Republicans a lot of them are of the Catholic persuasion, such as the Supreme Court.

    “We’ll find out soon enough how much of the country cares.” I keep saying that those currently holding the federal government hostage at the federal level did not begin their political careers at the top but at the local and state elections; November 7th is only 16 DAYS away.

  2. Jim Jordan “wants legislation dictating that the department can’t spend money on “politically sensitive” investigations.” That _suggests_ he wants investigations into Hunter Biden to be shut down. But, I bet not, because he’s an ignorant, duplicitous, lying sack of $#!&. 🙂 I’d be willing to bet the ramifications of his suggestion never even occurred to him.

  3. Jordan is the result of extreme gerrymandering. But it seems that the “selection” of his district was careful to define all the voters there as knuckle-dragging morons. They elected – 8 times – somebody who truly represents them. And it’s not just Jordan. Virtually ALL of the so-called “freedom” caucus follow that same script.

    This shit-show of electoral politics is destroying our democracy by putting the least of us in government. Thanks to Citizens United, these cretins can receive unlimited money to continue the con game of the still-weaker voters.

    How do we change that set-up? By getting off our asses and registering real, thinking voters to overwhelm the moron caucuses everywhere, aka, Republicans.

  4. It seems as if the Freedom Caucus is getting exactly what they want. If the so-called “moderate” Republicans are what they want us to believe them to be, they’ll make a deal with Mr. Jeffries and get to work.

  5. I will never forget a statement from MTG that we have to stop giving money away to foreign countries, like Guam. . . I can assure her that Guam is not a foreign country but is rather a United States Territory, having served as its tax attorney under a two year contract and turned down an offer to be its Attorney General. What is really hair-raising is the possibility that she would be the VP of an old and ailing traitorous president who knows about as much about governing as I do about brain surgery – and become president!

    Should such a democracy-ending possibility come to the fore, it is not a stretch to see her make up her differences with Lauren Boebert and appoint her Secretary of State while appointing George Santos Secretary of the Treasury – among other such cabinet choices. Can’t you just see Lauren making speeches before the UN and negotiating with Putin and Netanyahu? Or giving the thieving Santos the keys to the mother lode?

    We got trouble, folks! Right here in River City! We either win this ’24 election and save our democracy or else we are candidates for a failed state and Chinese colonial status. Can’t happen here? I suspect that’s what the Romans and soviets and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire thought. . . It can happen here, and may, unless we vigorously defend our democracy from the MTGs and Jordans of today. Very vigorously!

  6. This is moot. It’s July 28,1914.

    Your seasoned statesman i(Brandon) is just biding his time in his basement. We could use a genuine statesman,instead of the grifting idiot king we now have in the WH.

  7. Ian, thanks for the demonstration of projection! “…grifting idiot king??????” There is only one of that sort, and he’s 91 counts behind the 8 ball!
    What’s wrong with them, the same old same old: They can not think.

  8. *Ahem*

    Trump is an idiot,but he is not in an elected office. Ergo,he is not a king. I realize he occupies much space within the heads of a lot of folks. Perhaps it is time to reprise a cat hphrase from the sixties; FREE YOUR MIND!

  9. The black community has suffered more at the hands of the US government than any other group as a whole embodying both parties.
    Black pastors claim the welfare state has done more to destroy the family. This is causing more one parent families through supporting the dissolution by making men pay for child support,(also women are more likely to have sexual relations outside of marriage), married couples are less likely to work out the difficulties of marriage making an exit easier.
    Reparations promised by politicians go unanswered or aren’t viable, but the exact opposite of providing prosperity to black citizens who were ancestors of slave families are disenfranchised by open borders that allow an excess of immigrants to increase the labor market. This reduces chances for employment and drives down the wages due an increase of the supply of laborers.
    Conservatives are on the short end trying to cut budgets, many times the black community receives cuts seemingly first
    What is really crazy is that some Democrats are now realizing that Trumps son in law Kushner was on the verge of providing a solution bringing peace in the middle east by giving Palestine statehood
    MJT and other politicians need to look deep inside to their cause and instead give support

  10. Well,we are witnessing American Government sanctioned ethnic cleansing at this very moment. Those Maxwell/Epstein tapes must be some doozies.

  11. Ian — thank you for demonstrating Sheila’s main premise today. I love Show and Tell!

    I bought a stack of postcards today that I will be addressing and sending to voters in Ohio to remind them to vote in November. If you want to do some writing, besides what you do on this blog, to get out the vote, this website is a good place to start:
    There are campaigns/elections going on in different areas of the country and folks need to get a written reminder to get out and vote. You get a script to follow and everything you need to do this except the postcards. 20 stamped cards is $11. (Research has shown the hand written postcards work.)

    Vernon said, “How do we change that set-up? By getting off our asses and registering real, thinking voters . . . . ” I’m getting off my ass to do my little bit to GET OUT THE VOTE!” 🙂

  12. Yes,remind the voters of Ohio they could all be treated with the same contempt by Democrats as the town of East Palestine.

    Btw, it’s so telling you need a scripted solicitation instead of an earnest summation of accomplishments by your party. I guess one needs a script when all you’ve got is meaningless ephemera.

    Show and tell,indeed. Have a good day.

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