Texas isn’t the only place the Republicans are in the middle of a brutal civil war— generally mainstream conservatives vs the MAGA cult fascists. The more important one is playing out in DC, and right now the front is the government shutdown Trump is demanding of his allies in the House. Chaos under Biden, imagines Trump, will stoke fear and discontent and false memories about the Trumpist good old days. Yesterday on This Week, Hakeem Jeffries, having memorized a batch of scripted bullshit to puke out on cue, told Jonathan Karl that “House Republicans are in the middle of a civil war. A civil war has the following attributes, chaos, dysfunction and extremism. The House Republican civil war is hurting hardworking American taxpayers and limiting our ability to be able to solve problems on their behalf.” For the sake of his own credibility, he should have stopped right there. Instead this putrid bullshit about bipartisanship: “It’s unfortunate, but as House Democrats we’re going to continue to try to find common ground with the other side of the aisle, to work with Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans and President Biden. And hopefully, the House Republicans will come along so that we can work to make sure we are funding the government, that we have a government that can provide for the health, the safety, the economic well-being of the American people and we can end the partisan, political gamesmanship that right now has captured House Republicans.” I guess he and his consultants think everyone who watches This Week is an 8 year old.
Later, he added that “This is an illegitimate impeachment inquiry. It’s a product of the House Republican’s civil war. Why in the world, in the middle of all the issues that we are trying to tackle, all of the problems that we are trying to solve on behalf of the American people, would House Republicans inject this illegitimate impeachment inquiry in the middle of us trying to do the business of the American people. It’s quite unfortunate. It’s wrong. It’s distracting. And it should end now… [Democrats] have a vision to put people over politics. That’s what we should be doing. That’s why we were sent to Washington, D.C., not to make an ideological point, but to make a difference. And we’re going to continue to focus on making life more affordable for everyday Americans, lowering costs, better paying jobs, safer communities, defending democracy, fighting for reproductive freedom, and, of course, building an economy that works for everyday Americans. And we urge our Republican colleagues in the House to join us. Stop fighting each other in the reckless, reprehensible Republican civil war and let’s get to the business of the American people.”
Is “unctuous” the right word to describe the way this guy presents? Honestly though, he comes across less like Uriah Heap from David Copperfield and more like the manipulative and deceitful Becky Sharp from Thackeray’s Vanity Fair— not quite Iago but along those lines. Like Jefferies Sharp is intelligent, ambitious and skilled at manipulating others— amoral and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. Like her, Jeffries is more interested in making an impression on the audience and manipulating them than in speaking in a straight-forward way. That shouldn’t be hard to do since he has right on his side.
I know this is off my topic but I couldn’t resist Karl’s next question and Jeffries bullshit response. Karl asked him what the Democrats would do if Gaetz proceeds with this threats to introduce a vacate the chair motion. “Will Democrats help bail McCarthy out? Are you going to be there to— to help him, are you going to go along with the effort to— to oust him?” Instead of an honest answer, Jeffries insulted the intelligence of the audience with the patently absurd claim that “we haven’t given it any thought one way or the other because, Jon, as I've indicated, we’re going to continue to focus on solving problems for the American people.”
Is Jeffries trying out for the part of Aaron Burr in Hamilton now? Would Karl go into a state of shock if he jumped up and donned a black tricorn hat, a white powdered wig and a black coat with white fur cuffs and started singing "The Room Where It Happens."
I'm not throwing away my shot.
I am not throwing away my shot.
Hey yo, I just met someone so incredible
He's even got his own set of wheels
And he tells me I got to go, oh
I'm going to be a part of his cabinet
If it means I'm the villain, I'll do it
I'll start a revolution if I have to
I'd rather be divisive than invisible
Anyway, between shutting down the government, impeaching Biden and kicking McCarthy out of the speakership, no doubt the GOP is consuming itself in civil war. This was at the top of Matt Gaetz’s Twitter page yesterday:
And this tweet wasn’t far from the top of Gaetz's page. You go, girl!
And, needless to say, it’s Trump instigating all of this, hoping to brew as much chaos as possible. Asked by Kristen Welker on Meet the Press, if his allies should abandon their threat of a shutdown, he said “No, I think if they don’t get a fair deal – we have to save our country. We’re at $35 trillion in debt, we have to save our country. I’d shut down the government if they can’t make an appropriate deal, absolutely.” The Members advocating a shut down, besides Gaetz, are among the House’s most egregious lunatics: Bob Good (R-VA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Chip Roy (R-TX), Scott Perry (R-PA), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Andy Ogles (R-TN), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Dan Bishop (NC)…
Bobby Azarian reported something that everyone knows but no one feels comfortable saying: “there are a lot of stupid people in the world, and their stupidity presents a constant danger to others.” In Germany they have the AfD, in Hungary it’s Fidesz, La France Insoumise and Naational Rally in France, Vox in Spain, Oathkeepers in Serbia, United Right in Poland, Brothers of Italy, Swiss People’s Party, Freedom Party in Austria, UKIP in England… and here we have the MAGAts, the Trumpified GOP. Their members have the power to vote. “We may have heard,” he wrote, “of ‘collective intelligence,’ but there is also ‘collective stupidity,’ and it is a force with equal influence on the world. It would not be a stretch to say that at this point in time, stupidity presents an existential threat to America because, in some circles, it is being celebrated. Although the term ‘stupidity’ may seem derogatory or insulting, it is actually a scientific concept that refers to a specific type of cognitive failure. It is important to realize that stupidity is not simply a lack of intelligence or knowledge, but rather a failure to use one's cognitive abilities effectively. This means that you can be ‘smart’ while having a low IQ, or no expertise in anything. It is often said that ‘you can’t fix stupid,’ but that is not exactly true. By becoming aware of the limitations of our natural intelligence or our ignorance, we can adjust our reasoning, behavior, and decision-making to account for our intellectual shortcomings.”
Let’s turn to Trump for a moment— “The Dunning-Kruger effect,” wrote Azarian, “is a well-known psychological phenomenon that describes the tendency for individuals to overestimate their level of intelligence, knowledge, or competence in a particular area. They may also simultaneously misjudge the intelligence, expertise, or competence of others. In other words, they are ignorant of their own ignorance… What’s particularly disturbing about the Dunning-Kruger effect is that people are attracted to confident leaders, so politicians are incentivized to be overconfident in their beliefs and opinions, and to overstate their expertise. For example, Donald Trump— despite not having any real understanding of what causes cancer— suggested that the noise from wind turbines is causing cancer (a claim that is not supported by any empirical studies). It is well documented that on topics ranging from pandemics to climate change, Trump routinely dismissed the opinions of the professionals who have dedicated their lives to understanding those phenomena, because he thought that he knew better. It’s bad enough that politicians like Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene don’t recognize their own ignorance and fail to exercise the appropriate amount of caution when making claims that can affect public health and safety— but what is really disturbing is that they are being celebrated for their overconfidence (i.e., stupidity). It is less surprising that politicians who regularly exhibit the Dunning-Kruger effect are being elected to office when one realizes that they are being voted in by people who also display the Dunning-Kruger effect.”
Late Sunday night, it leaked out the 6 ideologically diverse Republicans— mainstream conservatives Dusty Johnson (SD), Stephanie Bice (OK) and Kelly Armstrong (ND) plus fascists Scott Perry (PA), Chip Roy (TX) and Byron Donalds (FL)— had hashed out a deal to keep the government open with a CR. “But,” reported Marianna Sotomayor a nd Leigh Ann Caldwell, “it is far from certain that the proposal would unite their fractious conference to send a bill to the Senate, where it is expected to be rejected. The short-term funding bill would keep the government running until Oct. 31 and trigger a 1 percent cut to current fiscal levels.” The cuts— as much as 8% to some departments— was supposed to get the Trump allies who will accept nothing short of a shutdown, on board. But that’s impossible… even though it included a xenophobic border security bill. And it ignored Biden’s request for $20 billion in aid for Ukraine and $16 billion in disaster relief.
It started falling apart almost immediately. Trump wants a shutdown, not a compromise. His allies began their sabotage job immediately. Marjorie Traitor Greene had a canned MAGA-tweet ready to fire: “I’m a NO. No money for Ukraine, COVID, or weaponized Gov. America First!” Another extremist moron, freshman Cory Mills (R-FL), tweeted that if border security is just being added to the bill to entice the Senate to negotiate and compromise on Ukraine aid, he will vote against the deal. “I’m sick of the DC backroom deals to appease 61 in the Senate and not going to play this game. Enough is enough!” And North Carolina neo-Nazi Dan Bishop jumped right on that. “I’m with Cory. No CR,” which is what Trump has made clear he wants.
By early Monday morning— 13 days before the shutdown Trump and the extreme MAGAts are demanding— the deal had collapsed. Matt Gaetz said he’s not going to back “this 167 page surrender to Joe Biden.” In Trump world, keeping the government open at all is a surrender to Biden. Montana neo-Nazi (and Senate candidate), Matt Rosendale, dubbed the plan a “continuation of Nancy Pelosi’s duet and Joe Biden’s policies.” Arizona fascist Eli Crane posted one word: NO! Other crackpot nay-sayers— all who have only one goal: shutting down the government to cause chaos— included Ralph Norman (R-SC), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Andy Ogles (R-TN) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL). That’s too many opponents for McCarthy to even bring the proposal to the floor. The Trump faction wants a shutdown and that’s that.
Frustrated and not quite getting what they're all about, this morning, McCarthy warned the Trumpist extremists that "I’ve never seen anybody win a shutdown. You only put the power in the hands of the administration… If you’re not willing to pass appropriations bills and you’re not willing to pass a continuing resolution to allow you to pass the rest of the appropriations bills and you don’t want an omnibus, I don’t quite know what you want."