The Republicans haven’t changed at all

Sure, Trump was dumped, but the prominent Republicans, like Cruz and Rubio, are still defending him, and the majority really don’t want to impeach…and you’d think if they were really unhappy with the lyin’ demagogue, they’d want to make sure he can’t come back and run against a Republican candidate in 2024.

Worst of all, though, they are entirely complacent about have Marjorie Taylor Greene in their ranks. You know, the delusional woman who thinks mass shootings are all false flags to justify taking your guns away.

Also the nutcase who thinks the California wildfires were started by lasers from space.

The fires were part of a conspiracy by Jewish bankers to clear the right of way for their rail project, don’t you know. She just likes to “read a lot.”

Of course, anti-semitism, racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and white nationalism are her brand. There isn’t a conspiracy theory she hasn’t embraced. She’s a 9-11 truther. She thinks pizzagate was a real thing. She loves the right-wing militias. She thinks Hillary Clinton had her political enemies assassinated. She’s a dangerous loon who worships at the altar of QAnon and the Trump Cult. She thinks the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings, in which children were murdered, was a staged event with “crisis actors”.

So what does the Republican leadership in the House do?

All of this has provoked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to let it be known through a spokesman that he finds her comments “deeply disturbing” and that he “plans to have a conversation with the congresswoman about them.”

In the meantime, McCarthy scheduled a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Trump. He apparently hopes to smooth over any hard feelings the former president may have about McCarthy’s mild blandishment that Trump “bears responsibility” for the mob that he fed with false claims about a stolen election and then incited to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.

So it looks like a stern talking-to, followed by a make-up session, is the worst that can happen within the Republican family these days. And should anyone else try to exact a punishment, the party will protect its own, as all but five Senate Republicans proved this week, when they voted against even holding an impeachment trial of Trump.

They they appointed her to the Education Committee. I guess because she “reads a lot”.

The rot runs too deep. The Republican party must be dismantled and destroyed.

Not that the Democrats are flawless! Jonathan Chait, for example, thinks Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is the mirror image of Marjorie Taylor Greene, which is breathtakingly stupid. AOC hasn’t been preaching conspiracy theories and race hatred and the violent overthrow of the government; she’s working within the system to achieve progressive goals.

The leading Democratic mischief-maker is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who advocates some left-wing views I consider simplistic and impractical and, in some cases, poll badly. The top example of a conservative mischief-maker, presented in perfect symmetry, is Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Greene’s views are just a bit more controversial.

“Just a bit”! Because some of AOC’s goals “poll badly”! Fuck these neo-liberal scumbags, too.


  1. raven says

    In the early 2000’s, the GOP had a Civil War between the Corporation wing and the Tea Party. The Tea Party won.

    The GOP is just finishing their next Civil War. It lasted a whole 3 weeks. It was between the crazies and the very crazies.
    The very crazies won.
    The representative from Qanon, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has been given seats on two powerful congressional committees. This is the woman whose main trick seems to be to call for the execution of everyone but Qanons.

    The Democratic party and the real freedom lovers in the USA need to fight back or they could ultimately lose.
    (One of those is myself.)

  2. raven says

    Worst of all, though, they are entirely complacent about have Marjorie Taylor Greene in their ranks.

    She isn’t the only one.
    Laura Boebert from Colorado is just as wacko and she and her husband both have long criminal records.
    There are a lot of other GOP elected officials just as malevolent in their own ways.

    To state the obvious, they aren’t the problem, they are just a symptom.
    The problem is the voters in their districts who insist on electing fruitbat crazy loons.

    The GOP isn’t going to change until they absolutely have to.
    It will happen when hosting violent, crazy loons starts costing them elections.
    They aren’t there yet.
    Don’t forget that Trump was the worst president in history, failed to fight a pandemic that killed 400,000 Americans, and still got 75 million votes.

  3. brightmoon says

    Been voting since’72 and I’ve never voted conservative and/or Republican. I think they’re crazy and they’ve only gotten crazier over the decades

  4. Saad says

    It was obvious this is the directions the Republican party was going to go. We’re going to have absolute monsters comprise half of our government soon (and about half of the voters will be willing to sacrifice their children’s futures to get them there).

  5. consciousness razor says

    Do they have a Republican pundit in perfect symmetry with Jonathan Chait? Seems rather unbalanced if they don’t. Some fair and even-handed journalist/writer/hack should probably investigate that right away.

  6. whheydt says

    Re: raven @ #5…
    Welcome to why I like the California “jungle primary”. When you have a district–or a state–that is functionally single party, then there is a strong risk that–with the typical low turnout primaries–one party or the other will nominate an absolute loon, who then becomes one of two running in the general election. If the loon happens to be from the locally dominant party, the loon gets elected.

    In the “jungle primary”, one gets the situation where the dominant party can nominate two candidates who advance to the general election, and the chance of electing an out and out loon decreases, due to intra-party differences.

  7. PaulBC says

    whheydt@9 I like having a choice between two Democrats, most recently Anna Eshoo and Rishi Kumar, but I admit it feels a little wrong. I should probably dispel myself of this silly objection. You are voting for people, not parties, right? In fact, it would not have made any difference (at least not in recent memory) to put a Republican up in Eshoo’s district.

    None of this would prevent the Republican party from benefiting from jungle primaries in other places.

  8. anxionnat says

    The thing that I find to be particularly insidious about Greene and her ilk is that she salts her fantasies with just a smidgen of sort-of-fact, which unfortunately acts to make the whole craziness she spews sound more plausible. For example, everybody living in the area where PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company–the local gas and electric company) is– pretty much the northern half of California–can tell horror stories about that company, including about the role that decades of non-maintenance of their energy grid played in the wildfires in 2019. The company’s behavior and history is not a matter of conspiracy fantasies; it’s very real, a matter of public record. But when taking note of this history of PG&E, and its stranglehold on some politicians and lots of legislation in the state, Greene ignores the basic reality that we here in California have been trying to rein in and regulate this energy behemoth for decades. There are a number of organizations that have a long history of fighting for utility rate reform and the like. Instead of being cognizant of this long history, Greene (who has probably never set foot in the state, and probably doesn’t know anybody else who has) pretends that these decades of organizing are just part of her latest conspiracy fantasy. To people who know and care zero about state history, these sort-of-facts can make Greene sound well-read and her fantasies more plausible. But to people like me in northern California, she’s just another ignorant bozo, as are members of her fan club.

  9. PaulBC says

    I am not a PG&E superfan, but to get from the smidgen of reality “California has wildfires” to Jewish bankers firing lasers from space platforms seems like a leap to me. I guess this is sort of like “Pizzerias exist and you aren’t there watching them make the pizzas all the time” to pizzerias are running pedophilic sex rings and extracting precious bodily fluids. Yeah, who knows? Can you prove they’re not?

  10. unclefrogy says

    the thing that bothers me about the conservatives at the moment is the number of prominent republicans that have retired and let the crazies take over. That iss the impression though some have spoken out lately but not loud enough yet. The party hacks have given a home to the ignorant racists and ultra-nationalists for some years now feeding them falsehoods, paranoid ideas about the left for years. Now it is a small step to qanon fantasies that have no connection with reality at all. the inmates have taken over the asylum. and they have violence in their minds and guns in their pockets and their hearts are full of fear and resentment.
    uncle frogy

  11. PaulBC says

    whheydt@14 Yeah, you’d think the guy would be more confident in the efficacy of his own exorcisms.

  12. hemidactylus says

    I tried watching some stuff on Vice about QAnon and kinda get lost in the weeds. I can sorta model Trilat, Bilderberg, and Illuminati lunacy in my head and Icke doesn’t quite blow me out of the water.

    The LARPing and Kayfabe stuff totally loses me. Is it insincere playacting? Epistemically brainfucked per referential correspondence? Not even trying to be consistent or coherent? A joke gone horribly wrong?

  13. stroppy says

    A vortex of mindless blether floating in space made up of heterogeneous trash growing around a nucleus of degenerate grey matter by the attractive force of crank magnetism and loosely cohered by various strains of malignant goo.

  14. microraptor says

    hemidactylus @16: I’m pretty sure it was kayfabe originally, when right-wing talk radio and FAUX Noise commentators were just saying whatever as long as it stirred up the base and brought in advertising dollars.

    But it’s been going on for so long that the people who grew up listening to it are now getting into positions of power and unlike the originals, they believe it.

  15. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    I love the framing that Greene and AOC have views which poll similarly well, so that is the only axis for comparison. It’s not even true (progressive ideas poll well in a vacuum), but it’s also hardly all that matters.

  16. landdownunder says

    Hmmm, yourcountry with same but more exotic conspiracy. We didn’t have lasers in sapce, but last year in the Oz bushfires, guess what, east coast fires all lit to make way for a high speed rail network. Guess the lasers are value adding to our exported conspiracy theory!

  17. hemidactylus says

    @18- microraptor

    The creepier idea is that the Q thing is an elaborate psyop. They (on Vice show) interviewed some former intelligence guy who came across as 🦇💩 unreliable narrator, but the show did a turn toward Flynn who was DIA. Too Oliver Stone script.

    But I was intrigued years ago by the bio of Ed Lansdale who allegedly spooked the Huks in the Philippines by exploiting folk beliefs in vampire-like creatures by having an enemy combatant bled out. He went on years later to have involvement in Mongoose.

    If Q tropes regarding adrenochrome and pizzagate rings exploiting fears of child exploitation are a highly scaled up effective psyop against gullible US citizens that would be disturbing to contemplate and reeks too much of a conspiracy mode assumption in itself. But I have long wondered if conspiracy theories themselves could be the actual conspiracy. This one looks weaponized. Cui bono?

    Q stuff is befuddling. Hopefully it fizzles.

  18. PaulBC says

    I sort of doubt it’s psyops. There are people who really believe crazy things and always have been. Usually, though, it’s something like ufology or cryptozoology and it’s not mixed with politics. (Or if it is, it’s more conventionally crazy like supply side economics.)

    I suppose anything’s possible. But my feeling is that Marjorie Taylor Greene just isn’t much of a critical thinker, to say the least, and she believes her spew.

  19. raven says

    By Paul Krugman | The New York Times
    | Jan. 29, 2021, 12:00 p.m.
    Here’s what we know about American politics: The Republican Party is stuck, probably irreversibly, in a doom loop of bizarro. If the Trump-incited Capitol insurrection didn’t snap the party back to sanity — and it didn’t — nothing will.

    What isn’t clear yet is who, exactly, will end up facing doom.
    Will it be the GOP as a significant political force? Or will it be America as we know it? Unfortunately, we don’t know the answer. It depends a lot on how successful Republicans will be in suppressing votes.

    I’ll just put Paul Krugman’s take on the GOP and the attempted coup here.
    Krugman is worth listening to because he is very smart, has a Nobel prize in economics, and a history of being right.

    We’ve all seen that the GOP has been getting steadily crazier since the 1990’s. They impeached Bill Clinton for a minor affair. They spent 7 years investigating Hillary and Benghazi, a made up issue that went nowhere.
    Now they have wackos like Laura Boebert and Marjorie Greene, and flat out extremists who are brighter and more dangerous like Gaetz and Gosar.

    They aren’t going to change. They will get worse, not better.

    It’s come down to them or us.
    We haven’t won in the long term. Despite Trump’s massive incompetence, 400,000 dead Americans, and the Capitol building attack, the GOP is still very strong.

    So who will ultimately win? Got me, I’ve been watching this for unfold for 30 or so years.

  20. petesh says

    I don’t enjoy defending Chait, who believes (wrongly, in my view) that AOC is too far left, but “just a bit” was very clearly litotes. He ends his piece:

    The thing is, you can be much more moderate than MTG, and still be extremely crazy.

  21. raven says

    @27 The similarity is obvious.
    It is that crossed with various antisemitic conspiracy theories as well.

  22. outis says

    @25 raven: thanks for the NYT link, I’ll read it.
    As for the rest, it’s clear that at the moment and since at least 20 years, the GOP is what in Italy is defined as istituzione eversiva: an organization aiming at the overthrow of the state. Sort of familiar, a bit like the partito fascista, remember that? Started small, ended messing up big, not least because many thought they could use it for their own ends, mainly the larger industrialists hungry for war production. Which thing has a certain horrid familiarity with what we see today in some countries (not only the US). Trouble is, they didn’t have social media then, and I’d say they are now a huge part of the problem: Mussolini would have pawned his soul, if any, for Facebook and Twitter.
    Also, having a good half of the Senate rooting for the one who was trying to have them hanged is… new.
    (Reference: I don’t know if there’s a translation, but Ernesto Rossi’s “I padroni del vapore” gives a cogent analysis).

  23. Paul K says

    Chait didn’t do it very well, but was clearly enough, to me, writing that the Axios article was ridiculous. It was Axios that compared MTG and AOC in more or less equal terms. I read that article and was so pissed that this both-sides crap could even be attempted anymore. It just doesn’t work. But Axios did it anyway, and with homicidal loons on one side and moderate progressives on the other.

  24. PaulBC says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite@27 I agree it’s similar. In this case, it has been weaponized, or maybe both are weaponized but with different targets. Claims of a satanic plot among daycare providers clearly did a lot of harm to people in that profession, but the political effects beyond that were limited. In this case, the targets are more ambitious.

    I’m not sure it’s anything really “new” though and tying it into antisemitism is unsurprising, because that has used for political ends going back centuries. People are willing to believe things uncritically. We know that already, whether it is a standard religion, crystal healing, efficacy of vitamins and folk cures, or countless other things. With the right mental “hack” you can mobilize them to terrible ends (look at genocides in former Yugoslavia or Rwanda). I’m not even suggesting QAnon was as well-thought-out as that, but once certain people saw what was going on, they chose to exploit it.

  25. PaulBC says

    I didn’t have a strong opinion about Chait, though I have read some of his work and will continue to. Any comparison between Greene and Ocasio-Cortez is highly offensive and not because of my political stance.

    Republican bigots like to dismiss AOC as a “bartender”, which is a job she once did when young to pay bills (and there is nothing wrong with that) but she has been a highly curious and accomplished student since her childhood, winning awards for science projects, interning for Ted Kennedy, and graduating college cum laude. Her statements are informed and well reasoned. You might disagree with her conclusions, but there is a sharp mind at work. (This is also true of conservatives–let’s take Josh Hawley, a horrible person, a fascist, and a traitor, but someone who is smart enough to know when he’s lying.)

    Greene is a run of the mill conspiracy theorist who gloms onto crazy ideas uncritically and spreads them like measles. It is a category error to even try to make a comparison here, whether Chait or anyone else is doing it. It’s disingenuous (or ignorant) and it is complete bullshit.

  26. publicola says

    @25: Had to laugh– the only way you can say Mad Dog Gaetz is brighter than anything is to compare him to Boebert and Greene.