Jim Banks’s Active Imagnation

So among the many bits of craziness from last week, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) managed to stand out. He got suspended from Twitter for a bigoted tweet about a transgender general, but that’s not the best part. The best part is that Banks has been sending letters to federal agencies in which he presents himself as the “ranking member” of the January 6 committee.

And, of course, Banks is not on the January 6 committee. He was named for the committee by Kevin McCarthy, but Pelosi nixed him, along with Jim Jordan. From TPM:

Both CNN and Politico obtained copies of one of Banks’ letters, sent to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. In that letter, Banks claimed to be a ranking member of the Jan. 6 committee and asserted that the “minority party” in Congress should be privy to the same information provided to the majority. He requested that any information Haaland shares with the select committee also be sent to him directly. You can read the short, weird letter here, courtesy of Politico reporter Olivia Beavers.

Did Banks imagine that Secretary Haaland wouldn’t know who is on the January 6 committee? Does Banks imagine that he is on the January 6 committee? Either possibility suggests that Banks is having some, um, psychiatric dysfunctions.

You probably remember that when the committee was being formed, House Republicans were given all kinds of opportunities to be full participants on the committee, short of giving them the power to sabotage it. But no arrangement pleased Kevin McCarthy, who announced that Republicans would boycott it. But now there are two Republicans on the committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. I guess Banks is not on speaking terms with those two colleagues.

I also guess that the pro-Trump Republicans are getting nervous about what information the committee is receiving.

Josh Marshall:

The most generous read of this is that it’s yet more Trumper theater. It seems unlikely that any Biden appointee at any relevant department is going to get confused about who’s on the committee. They watch TV too. But it is of a piece with the larger story. We get to try to overthrow the Republic and equal billing on the committee charged with investigating what we did. We also get to stonewall and block the investigation from starting for months. But if you decide to do it without us – because we refused to participate – well, we still get to participate.

Marrshall calls this “Trumper privilege.” Trumpers can’t accept not being in control. Trumpers can’t accept elections they didn’t win. Trumpers can’t accept well-docuented facts that contradict what they want to believe. Marshall continues,

Is this privilege or lack of accountability or is it really simply a politics of power? It is really no different from the authoritarian impulse and hyper-masculinity politics that pervades Trumpism. We should have the power. Because we should. And anything that stands in the way of that is by definition unfair. Because we should have power.

Needless to say, this is no way to run a democracy.

Jordan, left, and Banks


6 thoughts on “Jim Banks’s Active Imagnation

  1. If the goal was to "run" the country off a cliff, WE'D BE DOIN' GREAT!!!

    There's going to be violence in our future elections.

    I hope I'm wrong in the long AND short term on that violence.

    But this country feels like a powder-keg being used as an ashtray:  All's well until it's not.  And all it'll take for a bloody explosion, is a small spark.

  2. They are not coming to take Jim Banks away, as now, those who are disturbing, are given protected people status. Therefore, those who are disturbing but not flagrantly violating the law are off limits to violation of social norms.  It is kind of like a giant loophole for all manner of people who used to be considered in need of some sort of intervention by officials of the state.  

    This has not been lost on the power seekers.  It is disturbing for those engaged in any form of public service which purports to cater to the needs of the sick, the old, the disabled, or the children and adolescents. Way too many administrators read the laws and the regulations for loopholes or lapses in enforcement.  It is much the way I have found, of many operating in the public trust, to be working against those they are charged to serve.  Too often, decisions are made that are not done in the interest of their clients, but working the grey area between providing quality services and evading legal or regulatory risk.  They treat it as a proper administrative game or role a pride themselves in how well they can do it. 

    When an elected representative  flagrantly misrepresents himself to obtain privileged information this is certainly a violation of social norms deserving of the label of categorically crazy.  It is also a violation of ethics and in need of censure by peers.  The chances of anything of consequence happening, though, is infinitesimal at best.  The only social control method left is the voter and the ballot box.  It is not surprising that voter control is under siege country wide also.  They are too privileged to need to honor honest election results too.  You see, only the vote of their privileged peers, are to be counted in their world.  

    It is a case of privilege for sure, and Trump added legitimacy to this trend which was around long before he got elected.  To some only an elite group gets to flaunt social norms and if elite enough even the law itself.  For years now the right wing press has been supported by those promoting tax evasion if not borderline fraud or worse.  They wrap themselves in the flag, highjack patriotism, and demand power while openly acting not to support the government they strive to make others fund.  This is also considered part of their privilege.  Binyamin Applebaum addressed this in an opinion piece in the NYT today, aptly entitled The Rotten Core of the Republican Party.  


  3. I think there's something to the fear they have of being caught and held accountable for their role in the insurrection. There's the line from "All The President's Men" delivered by Hal Holbrook, "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."  That's a line they will be able to repeat when this unravels. 

    DOJ has to put max pressure on the weakest person in the conspiracy. Make him squeal and go after the second weakest. When the cult of secrecy breaks, these clowns will run for cover to save their own behinds. Because the last person to make a deal has nothing to offer and will take the fall.

  4. GULAG mentioned there's violence in coming elections and I think that's true. We live in a unique world for technology but I'd call your attention to one invention that will change history when the new fascists try what the Brown Shirts did successfully with violence.

    The camera on every bleeping phone in every bleeping citizen's hand.  We need to to vote with cameras running. Get the license plates of the cars they travel in. Record what they say, and how election officials react, and how the cops react. There's plenty of lawyers who will be ready to go after the goons, BUT THEY NEED EVIDENCE!

  5. People smarter than me (or is it I?) have for years calling the Trumpers a cult. 

    Evidence abounds: delusional thinking (I'm a high ranking member of a committee; my god-emperor won an election; a comet will come to bring us to heaven), creating an insular society, avoiding all outsiders except to gain new members; a slavelike devotion to mythology; a paranoid belief in conspiracies to destroy the cult, etc

    Gulag is correct. Violence is in our future elections. The cult will not sit by and accept reality.

  6. Brownshirtism. Been thinking it started in miami in 2000. Trump just took audacity to a new level. And these mimics are learning how to use it to greater effect.

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