The Washington Post

And further off the deep end...

This week in crazy? We have Darrell Issa endorsing a completely nutso theory that Fast and Furious was all a plot to rally people around gun control (painfully, tragically, disproven: any party eager to find an excuse to push gun control would have used the attempted murder of Gabrielle Giffords). And then Jon Kyl today raised impeachment as a remedy to Barack Obama’s new plans for enforcing immigration policy.

It really is worth emphasizing that this kind of thing did not happen on a regular basis when George W. Bush was president. The ideas were out there — fringe cranks on the left regularly trotted out bizarre theories about September 11 and shadowy Saudi influence, or whatever. But it stopped there, and it stopped there because responsible Democratic leaders refused to sanction it. The key story that shows the difference? Conspiracy-spouting former Member of the House Cynthia McKinney was basically bounced from the Democratic Party, and she was only a back-bencher to begin with.

By contrast, Issa is a committee chair; Kyl is the Republican Whip in the Senate. You can be sure that there will be no pressure to remove them from these positions for embracing the crazy; quite the contrary.

After all, they’re relatively moderate, compared to Alan West, who claims that there are dozens of Communists in the House Democratic Caucus. And why shouldn’t he? Michele Bachmann turned a TV appearance in which she said that Democratic Members should be investigated for disloyalty into a national profile and a presidential campaign. Politicians are quick to see what's rewarded and what's not, and it's pretty clear what's rewarded in the GOP.

Of course Jon Kyl brought up impeachment over a minor policy difference. You don’t have to believe in the crazy to be a Republican leader these days, but you do have to at least gesture to it.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained