Get Ready for Garbage Politics. The Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is Just the Start
This morning I talked with Ali Velshi on MSNBC about the misuse of government powers by the GOP. This post develops from that conversation.
“Flood the zone with sh*t.” Far-right propaganda and operative Steve Bannon’s notorious imperative finds a legislative expression in the new House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Housed under the Judiciary Committee, it is the very definition of a travesty of justice and an example of what I call “garbage politics.” These are actions meant to create a media circus that baits the Republican voter base, giving it a fresh supply of enemies, while also exhausting and turning off the broader public. Garbage politics is integral to 21st century information warfare (smears and fake scandals also fall into this category).
It’s appropriate that the subcommitee’s chair, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), is an expert in covering up crime. He was involved in a cover-up of sexual abuse of athletes at Ohio State University and led disinformation campaigns in 2020-2021 meant to deceive the American public into believing that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Jordan is now a protagonist of the GOP’s massive cover-up of its complicity in the Jan. 6 coup attempt staged by former president Trump to stay in office illegally.
Seen from the perspective of authoritarian dynamics, this subcommittee fans the flame of Trump’s leader cult. Under the guise of addressing the politicization of government institutions, it will itself “weaponize” public service as it seeks to take revenge against any person and government agency that investigated Trump. It is payback for the investigations and impeachments of the former president that turned Republican politics into a war room devoted to his defense.