They Really ARE Crazy

Between the Indiana legislature and the lunatic caucus in Congress, I’m increasingly reluctant to read the news these days. I scan the headlines and I force myself to read the articles I really need to see, but the process gets more difficult every day.

The Indiana legislature is ignoring most of the actual work they are elected to do, in favor of protecting gun manufacturers (they’re on the way to passing a measure that would void Gary’s lawsuit against those companies) and ignoring child safety (they deep-sixed measures that would have required parents to store weapons safely); they’re doubling down on their war against Indianapolis (they’re halfway to revoking a measure passed just last year that allowed the Ciity-County Council to tax our downtown, because the Council had the nerve to actually do so, and it’s in the process of substituting the “wisdom” of our legislative overlords for the desires of the 70 percent of Indianapolis residents who voted for public transit.)

And just for good measure, the legislature has reminded citizens that the prejudices and ignorance of the self-satisfied super-majority are more important than whatever Hoosier voters might prefer: among other things, it refused to extend Indiana’s shortest-in-the-nation voting day, and refused to approve a non-binding ballot measure asking voters if we might want the ability to mount initiatives–a right voters in other states enjoy. Don’t want anything disturbing their gerrymandered power!

And then there’s Congress, which is in thrall to the most ignorant and dangerous fringe of the ignorant and dangerous cult that used to be a political party.

The House looks increasingly likely to reject a hard-won bipartisan immigration agreement negotiated in the Senate– even before they know what is in it, and even though it reportedly gives the GOP measures they have long claimed to want–because Republicans want to run for re-election on the issue. Desperately needed aid to Ukraine is contingent on passage of that agreement.

American politicians used to take pride in the fact that partisanship stopped at the water’s edge–that foreign policy was approached in a nation over party manner. If Russia wins its war of aggression against Ukraine, the balance of power in the world will shift, and not in our favor–and Republicans don’t care.

With Ukraine in the balance, with the world  dangerously close to widening war in the Middle East, what are Indiana’s GOP Congressmen doing? Well, Jim Banks has moved forcefully into the breach–he’s demanding that the City of Carmel terminate its sister city relationship with Xiangyang, China. Showing his foreign policy chops!!

Banks has long been a member of what the New York Times calls the “wrecking ball” Congress, echoing the nutty conspiracy theories and endorsing the White Christian Nationalism of the fringe of  the fringe. And that lunatic fringe just gets crazier by the day.

If you think calling the Right crazy is unfair, allow me to share one news item making the rounds: Taylor Swift is an operative of the deep state.

As Philip Bump writes,

There are lots of manifestations of this, including multiple presentations on the right’s preferred cable news channel. The iteration that attracted perhaps the most attention, though, came from former presidential candidate and Donald Trump cheerleader Vivek Ramaswamy (speaking of people who suddenly emerged in the public consciousness to polarizing effect).

In a social media post, a prominent right-wing conspiracy theorist linked Swift to … let’s see here … ah yes, George Soros. In response, Ramaswamy offered a prediction.
“I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month,” he wrote. “And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall. Just some wild speculation over here, let’s see how it ages over the next 8 months.”

The implication (again: forgive my telling you something obvious) is that the Chiefs are being ushered to the Super Bowl … somehow … to secure Swift’s endorsement for President Biden….

How would this work? Did the Baltimore Ravens take a dive? Did someone pay them? Are they just that committed to Democratic politics that they all agreed to lose? Did the Buffalo Bills before them? And the Miami Dolphins before the Bills? Or does the government have some Havana-Syndrome-esque device that it trains on opponents, causing field goals to go wide right? What’s the mechanism, exactly?

There will be a lot of important things decided by November’s ballots, including the future of reproductive rights and American democracy. It appears we will also decide between sanity and lunacy–between reality and a world in which terminating a sister city relationship is the conduct of foreign policy and Taylor Swift is an election psyop.


  1. They sure act crazy. How much of this is performance and how much is conviction is hard to tell. But the result is the same. Crazy policies. Crazy Judges. Crazy laws. The crazy party must be defeated.

  2. I never thought I would see the day I would be hoping Chris Christie would be the Republican presidential nominee; evidently hell has finally frozen over and pigs are flying.

  3. I’m a fan of Taylor Swift. If she’s using her superpowers to get college age students not to vote for Donald Trump all the power to her! If I had any influence I would certainly do so. Who knew Taylor Swift could be Trump’s arch nemesis. LMAO. She probably has a bigger crowd size.

  4. Agree with patmcc comments. I’d go further, saying whether the Republican Party is crazy is beside the point. When we discuss the Nazi Party and their extermination of Jews and ‘others’, we didn’t refer to Nazis as crazy. It was made up of believers and those who remained silent.

    The Republican Party must be thoroughly defeated and destroyed with a new conservative party formed to replace it.

  5. I had no idea the Swift woman was a foreign agent. My impression was of an animated Barbie doll invested with insatiable greed for money and attention.

  6. Excellent analysis of what is transpiring with the crazies. I might suggest next up to be the utterly transparent actions – or should I say inactions – of Judge Aileen Cannon, Mr. Trump’s Florida ally in the jurisprudence arena. Her meeting yesterday with the government’s prosecution team in the classified documents trial, regarding the handling of those sensitive documents, held in a scif without attorneys for the defense, could have, should have, been held months ago. This is unconscionable considering the urgency and magnitude at stake.

  7. I don’t think Taylor is Greedy for money or attention. She is pretty, talented, and smart. That makes people want to follow her. Just like people followed Princess Diana.

  8. This is a deliberate strategy to move the Overton Window to the point that standards and truth don’t matter.

    It’s one of the key features of a fascist movement to pretend that everything is arbitrary except for the words of the leader. I’m listening to Sheldon Wolin’s Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Many points are dated or out of context for today, but he made many, many observations (2008) that are even more true today. We may not think of the Bush years as being a precursor to Trump, but there are very deep similarities between The War on Terror (Iraq in particular) and the Border Wall, and fabricated issues like trans kids, CRT, pedophilia in the Democratic Party (Pizzagate), and The Big Lie (about elections). It’s demand that we spend disbelief.

  9. Choosing which topic to discuss is hard since they are all mind-boggling. Indiana’s legislature backdating a law to wipe out a specific lawsuit against gun makers because they are scared of discovery is jaw-dropping.

    After killing the border proposal (no doubt called upon by Trump), the GOP was all over X (including Elon Musk) claiming Biden is failing the people at the border.

    As for international policy, Genocide Joe has a natural ring and may stick. International law is not just for everyone else besides the US and Israel. I don’t think the people are in the mood for another Middle Eastern war, but our MIC sure seems hellbent on the idea.

    We need grown-ups at the table — not what we have today in Indiana or Washington.

  10. I have always wondered about countries with parliamentary governments.

    To form “new” governments, the legislators form alliances of usually competing parties which, theoretically at least, better reflect all of the tribes in the country with their various functions and dysfunctions.

    Republicans are trying to pull off the same strategy with voters here. They promise to give single-issue voters whatever they want. They take advantage of the anti-democratic aspects of our Constitution slipped in to drag slave-owning States into the Union. They form a misled coalition of enough voters to take over the country.

    Can it work?

    Certainly. If politicians don’t mind lying, have plans to end democracy anyway, and voters fall for being misled as they are blinded by their single issue, it’s a strategy to end the intentions of Constitutional rule, especially when the Judicial Branch is seeded with “Originalists” who refuse to keep up with massive changes in the times.

    As happens, the big picture reveals so much that the details obscure.

  11. Way back in the 60’s one of my college profs told us that the definition of insanity was being unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Fantasy can be much more appealing than reality but being unable to distinguish between them is a serious, often fatal, weakness. The crazies are in the process of collapsing precisely because they are crazy. The sooner they go down, the safer the rest of us will be.

  12. The problem lies in defining mental illness. The reality is that we choose to treat certain brain dysfunctions and ignore the reality that half the population can’t think. Ironically it is they calling for the end of self-governance who are incapable of self-governance. In a sense they know themselves better than we know them.

  13. Let’s see…fantasy vs. reality: Oh, easy, I just go kill and behead my father, because I know he’s an agent of the evil government! Piece of cake. All this utter craziness can be traced to tfg’s self-serving blatherings.
    Whether the crazies know they are in La-La land, or forget how they got to where they are, does not seem to matter. I’m reading Liz Cheney’s “Oath & Honor,” and early on, she describes the early, reasoned, responses of the Kevin McCarthys and Jim Jordans shortly after tfg began to rant about the “stolen election,” after he was told by his staff that he’d simply lost.

  14. Colin Cowherd is a Faux Sports commentator. He defends Taylor Swift and lays bare the hypocrisy and silliness of the conspiracy theories.


    It’s curious how fine these people are with seeing male celebrities at the games, but they freak out over Taylor Swift. What could it mean?? 😉 Of course, she did suggest to people recently that they should register to vote, so it’s obvious she’s anti-Republican. I find it ridiculous–but also a little funny, honestly–that the right are so terrified of her.

    Also, to be perfectly fair, they are right to be scared. Her audience is young, mostly white, and pretty evenly split between male and female. It’s a demographic they are terrified of losing, and know that they already are. She endorsed Biden last time, and it seems likely she will again.

  15. The fact that a pop singer, or whatever category of music Taylor Swift is considered, can have any power in a presidential election in the United States of America, shows how unstable this nation is at its base. The fact that Trump is responding to Taylor Swift is not at all surprising; he fill in love with Kim Jong Un in an exchange of love letters and Republicans cheered him on and donated a few more million to reelect him.

    Trying to get information on who local Democratic candidates are for the coming Primary Election has been difficult. I have spent the past few years annually responding to DSCC and DCCC by maintaining my membership, paying by check when I receive their letters and forms. I have received literally hundreds of E-mails from DSCC, DCCC and federal level Democratic candidates claiming my membership has lapsed and to renew it by ActBlue or Pay Pal. Are they not notified of my active membership year after year or are my checks accepted and cashed but do not count as renewing my membership? I have three checks out for mail pickup today; have included the membership number from my membership cards on my checks. They are pushing hard for cashless/checkless financial records for memberships while warning us of foreign hacking and phishing of government and personal Internet contacts at all levels. Are they doing the same for maintaining Democratic membership and voting support for numbers as they praise Taylor Swift’s actions?

  16. Since “I cannot lose” is baked into Trump’s brain it is perfectly consistent with his attempts to secure power to correct the “wrongs” of a mere election. Trouble is, of course, anyone can lose – see the odds on Truman’s win over Thomas Dewey in the election of 1948. Trump is simply not capable of recognizing and being bound by the results of elections that are contrary to what his brain tells him such results must be.

    On the other hand, he may be using such pretense to excuse electoral results adverse to his interests knowing full well that he has lost, especially with the advice of Republicans to such effect who still think that losers should go quietly, losers who traditionally congratulate their erstwhile opponents and wish them successful administrations.

    You may remember such occurrences in what was known as “country over party” rather than “the election was rigged, I was robbed, democratic institutions have been corrupted in need of coup to straighten them out, failing which, we must end the Constitution, establish totalitarian government, build concentration camps for border jumpers, and burn the whole place down.”

    To do: VOTE.

  17. Not a Swifty but who cares if she’s greedy? I’m a little greedy myself, as is nearly everyone I know. If I had a talent to exploit, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Swift isn’t the problem, the wrong wing is the problem.

  18. As Sheila reminds us often, a necessary ingredient in democracy is an informed electorate. A misinformed electorate could easily end it.

    Misinformation is very “sticky” as humans are adverse to changing our minds. Staying within the bounds of reality is a lifelong task. Once someone is led out of bounds they are very hard to persuade otherwise.

  19. I greatly prefer being a “Democracyy” as a reason to vote to being a Swifty. What are we teaching our young folks about thinking and about their responsibility for the future of this country and world?

  20. Democracy? That’s so out of date. Hopefully Taylor Swift and Paris Hilton will receive more tax credits. *Greed is good—dontcha know!*

    * Something Sara Palin would parrot.

  21. Cone to think of it,Swift is the quintessential Democratic Party voter.

    Privileged multi-millionaire white woman.

    Who says only Repubs have an exlusive and unhealthy adulation for entertainers?

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