It took them long enough, but after roughly forty years, Democrats have finally come to understand that the best weapon against Republican gaslighting is not dialogue, not compromise, not logic, not "working across the aisle," not any sort of appeal to civic duty, social need, or the greater good.
The best weapon is ridicule.
It's not that hard. Whenever Republicans open their mouths, they open themselves to mockery. Reporters, pundits, talk-show hosts — and, above all, Democratic legislators — are finding it increasingly hard to keep a straight face at the things these clowns are willing to put on the public record.
Biden clearly gets it, finally, that Republicans are barely toilet-trained. He must marvel at the sheer scope of their ineptitude, at their ham-handed efforts to subvert a legislative process they know nothing about. And which he, of course, knows everything about, having been a legislator most of his life, starting well before a lot of them were born.
So when they speak of the hearings they'll hold, the deep-state plots they'll expose, the public outrage they'll invoke, Biden surely must laugh his ass off.
And when he stops laughing, he wipes the floor with them. He smacks down their talking points, he publicly calls their bluff, he dares them to reveal to the world what they actually want to do, as long as they're, like, in Congress.
Of course, he knows they can't. He knows they have no programs, no policies, no platform, no collective goal beyond greed and cruelty, and not necessarily in that order. They've assumed they can get away with that forever, and Democrats — Biden included — spent way too many years letting them.
But thanks to their own twisted primary process — which guarantees that the worst and the dimmest rise to the top — the whole party keeps getting progressively stupider. They're so incompetent, so compromised, and so utterly unable to execute even the most simple-minded agenda, they deserve every belly laugh they provoke.
Jim Jordan brings on three supposed "whistleblowers" to prove Jan 6 was a tourist jaunt. Or an Antifa plot. Or a George Soros false-flag. Or a conspiracy between Xi Jin Ping and Hunter Biden's laptop. Or something. You'd think he would bother to vet his own witnesses, to see if maybe their testimony might make him look stupid.
But it's okay, Jim, there are Democrats on hand to vet your bogus whistleblowers for you. And they're happy to point out — as publicly as possible — that you do indeed look stupid.
Rand Paul's Senate committee calls in Secretary of State Antony Blinken for a tongue-lashing. But it's not about Ukraine, Russia, China, Iran, Saudia Arabia, NATO, or anything that might be on a secretary of state's immediate and quite pressing agenda. No, Paul needs to castigate him over some Covid records that are supposedly being kept from him, thereby hiding from the American public the truth about Dr. Fauci's pedophilia. Or something.
But it's okay, Rand, there's a Democrat on hand to bring Blinken back around to the things that actually matter, and to remind everyone how you aided and abetted Trump in the evisceration of the state department and the sabotage of American foreign policy.
It must be fun, almost, to be a Democrat on these committees, to be able to shine a light on all the fatuous posturing. And remember that some of the most fatuous are also under investigation, and could well be indicted at any time. There are alleged Jan 6 seditionists on these very committees — or in the case of Jim Jordan, chairing one. They have no way of knowing what Jack Smith has on them, or how he plans to use it, and he has to be messing with their heads.
One would think that Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Barry Loudermilk, and other obvious miscreants are well lawyered-up by now, waiting for the FBI. But I'm not sure they're that smart, and besides, lawyers are expensive.
So yes, these are all people ripe for ridicule, but we can't get too wrapped up in the schadenfreude and dark humor of it all, because that loses sight of the performances these committees are staging.
These performances, inept as they are, are intended only for consumers of right-wing media. They've effectively written off everyone else as too smart to have their brains washed. If you don't live in the right-wing media bubble, you do not exist to them.
Happily, this is a small audience that seems to get smaller all the time. Happily, every time Trump speaks, the GOP seems to lose another thousand swing voters. But nonetheless, these so-called hearings — these fantasy forums where the "deep state" has somehow been "weaponized" against "conservatives" — are entirely for the benefit of that audience.
It's hard to see the endgame of so much duplicity and dysfunction. They seem to be backing themselves into a corner, where their only option is some half-assed fascist coup. And they haven't thought that out much, either.
Unless there are forces at work we don't know about. Like Russia, for instance.
Republicans are not just reading from the fascist playbook, they're reading from the new Putin edition. Given the number of Republican elected officials acting like Russian assets, it's not too far-fetched to think they actually might be. Whether through bribery or blackmail, too many of them are doing Putin's bidding. Rand Paul and Ron Johnson are the biggest names, but there are plenty more, both on and under the radar.
Consider that if Putin asked him, Oleg Deripaska could drop five million dollars on every member of the Republican congressional caucus, and not even feel it. Do we doubt that he would? Do we know that he hasn't?
In the meantime, the House continues to refuse to raise the debt ceiling — sort of a suicide pact they're forcing on all of us — which might be the only serious leverage they have. And they're just dumb enough to not understand what they're monkeying with.
Triggering a global financial meltdown would shoot everyone in the foot, including them. But for Putin it would be Christmas in July. Is that the plan?
Today's GOP is transparently ludicrous, which is all the more reason to keep making fun of them. Let's lose no opportunity to point out that their fly is open, their breath is bad, their morals are appalling, and their behavior would embarrass a third grader.
When confronted with people this ridiculous, ridicule becomes a civic duty.