Interesting Read: “The calculus behind Jason Chaffetz’s sudden decision to walk away”

Two reporters from the Deseret News craft an amazing example of what I suppose must be “Mormon nice”, turning never-less-than-postive words and carefully-buffed stories into a portrait of a vicious little self-promoter attempting to slide out of the unexpected spotlight exposing every wart of Grifter King Trump’s nasty court…

Something had flipped after the election, Chaffetz had noticed, an ugly impulse unfurling across America. He had seen anger directed at him before, but nothing like this. He’d been getting death threats, on his voicemail and in his inbox, and in the ensuing weeks it would only get worse.

He had become a target, the face of Republican fecklessness. At his D.C. office, his young staffers fielded calls from all over the country, hundreds a day, demanding he investigate Trump. As chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Government Reform Committee, Chaffetz had risen to national prominence for his aggressive inquiries into missteps by the Obama administration, making him a hero to the “Fox and Friends” crowd.

He’d hammered the Secret Service, demanded documents on the Fast and Furious gun running scandal, and most notably, grilled Hillary Clinton for hours on the deaths of four Americans at a compound in Benghazi, Libya. So why wasn’t he investigating Donald Trump? People asked him this wherever he went, at the airport, at Five Guys when he was standing in line for a burger. Tonight they wanted answers.

He stepped out from behind the curtain.

The crowd erupted in deafening boos, rising to their feet. Chaffetz smiled. He’d seen worse. As a placekicker at BYU in the mid-1980s he’d played before hostile football crowds with Ty Detmer and Jason Buck. “You think this is bad,” he thought to himself. “You’ve never been to Laramie, Wyoming.”

Besides, plainclothes police officers were standing behind the curtain, and others were scattered throughout the crowd. No one here could rattle him, not really. And even if they did, he wouldn’t let them see it. He would keep smiling, no matter what he felt inside.

Clips of the town hall were starting to go viral. For the part of the electorate who felt the Trump administration was a threat to the republic, this was a moment, #Resistance. Here was one of the few people who could bring Trump to heel, who could subpoena his tax records, force him to testify under oath, really anything he wanted, and his constituents were demanding he do it.

“Do your job! Do your job!” they chanted. Chaffetz smiled through his teeth, pleading for the crowd to calm down, but no one was listening.

In the ensuing weeks, Chaffetz insisted the protesters didn’t bother him, but those closest to him began to worry if all the unhinged Facebook posts and death threats were taking a toll. Trey Gowdy, the Republican congressman from South Carolina who Chaffetz considers his best friend, openly wondered if Chaffetz’s ever-ready smile was masking pain.

“Some of the stuff left on his voicemail,” Gowdy said, pausing. “He plays it for me and I’m trying to evaluate, do you take it seriously? What do you do about it?”…

Chaffetz said he had no doubt he’d win “by a large margin” if he ran again, but he’s also always had a knack for sensing shifts in the political landscape early.

“He sees around corners,” a staffer said, always thinking of next steps. Case in point: Chaffetz rose to power in 2008 as an insurgent candidate, running to the right of four-term congressman Chris Cannon and blasting the Republican establishment as out of touch. No one recognized it at the time, but his election heralded the arrival of a new movement in Republican politics — the tea party.

Chaffetz also broke from Republican orthodoxy in his embrace of the media beyond friendly outlets like Fox. From the time he was elected, he made regular trips to New York to woo low-level bookers to get on cable news shows. His critics have long called him a publicity hound, but for Chaffetz his ready accessibility was always strategic. The higher his profile, the more he could advance his ideas, his influence and power.

This became most apparent when he parlayed his rising visibility into a chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which he used to go after Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton and other favorite punching bags of the right. He became the most high-profile antagonist of the Obama administration, the tormentor-in-chief, and in the final weeks of the campaign he vowed that he would continue to investigate Clinton for using an unclassified email server, improperly staffing the embassy in Benghazi, and any other possible crimes, whether she won re-election or not.

Then Donald Trump got elected and everything changed…

Had Clinton won, Chaffetz would have used the platform to attack the administration at every turn, the subpoena power literally resting in the pen in his pocket. But now, he was suddenly limited by demands to play team ball for a team that was already struggling, fumbling health care right out of the gate. And whatever Trump and the fractious House Republicans did, he would be held accountable, even though he would have little control.

And if the town hall was any indication, he was already being held accountable for his team’s performance. His approval rating in the 3rd District had dropped by 14 points since the election, according to an April Dan Jones and Associates poll…

It’s unlikely Allen or any Democrat would have beaten Chaffetz, who still had a 72 percent approval rating in his district, but the amount of money Allen had raised suggested that for the first time since his election, Chaffetz would actually have to campaign and spend a good chunk of the next year aggressively fundraising, a chore he’s never enjoyed. The campaign could get costly, loud and bruising. And for someone who had much greater ambitions than the House, it could do lasting damage to his brand…

Seriously, read the whole thing — it’s a masterpiece of the form.

And don’t take your eye off young Jason, either. Columnist at another local paper, the Salt Lake Tribune:

It’s no secret that Chaffetz wants to be governor after the 2020 election, but that won’t be a cakewalk. This may be coincidence, but try pulling up jasonforgovernor.com and it sends you to Chaffetz’s congressional site.

If he does run, and I think he will, he’ll likely be vying with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, a popular hometown kid, and possibly Josh Romney for the Republican nomination. Both would be formidable and Chaffetz likely recognized sticking around in Washington could only damage his chances to be Utah’s next governor.

Chaffetz could use his spot as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to go after the unpopular Trump administration, and wreck his relationships with the White House and his congressional colleagues, not to mention Trump loyalists in Utah.

Or he could play lap dog, defend the administration and destroy his credibility and open himself up to the kind of “Do your job” lambasting he received at his recent town hall, then try to run for governor as the Washington insider who climbed into bed with an unpopular president.

Given those options, Chaffetz made the smart move. He shed the Trump baggage and will return to Utah to shore up support for what will probably be a hard-fought Republican primary in 2020.

He gets to at least try to reboot the Chaffetz brand, getting away from the partisan firebrand and bomb-thrower he has been on the House Oversight committee and recast himself as more of a statesman and problem-solver — in short, more gubernatorial…

178 replies
  1. 1
    jacy says:

    Chaffetz is really a nasty piece of work. It amazes me how many really unlikable people seem to thrive inside the Republican bubble. But I think to some degree they’ve been unmasked, so at least that’s something a little bit positive from the whole Trump shitshow fail parade. The smell test says there’s some other reason Chaffetz is resigning — that’s just not something you do. But it might be as simple as Jason Chaffetz calculating what’s best for Jason Chaffetz, and finding there is no portion in spending his time rearranging deck chairs on a ship that’s obviously going down, sooner or later.

  2. 2
    SomeDude says:

    It got too hot in the kitchen for him, so he’s gonna spend some time on the porch…

  3. 3
    feebog says:

    @jacy:

    The smell test says there’s some other reason Chaffetz is resigning

    Long term affair with a staffer which was uncovered by Russian intelligence agents. Subsequent threats of revelation from Russia if he starts any investigation into Trump. Hits all the spots, no?

  4. 4
    tom says:

    I think it’s entirely plausible that he sees the RMS Trumptanic sailing toward an iceberg, and he is heading for the lifeboats before everyone else does.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    the subpoena power literally resting in the pen in his pocket.

    Don’t fool yourself. It may be pencil thin with a sharp point, but that’s no pen in his pocket. Just the thought of more subpoenas for HRC as sitting President gave him steel hard wood.

  6. 6
    sdhays says:

    If he wants to run for governor in 2020, it can make some sense for him to decline to run for reelection in 2018. But it doesn’t make sense to announce it now; he could be raising money for his House seat right now, then pull the switcheroo next year and direct it towards his 2020 goobernatorial campaign. Oh, that’s right, he hates raising money, so his likely Democratic opponent raising a lot of money scared him out of the race. Oh no! Someone tell Jason that running for governor in a strongly contested primary will require raising a lot more money than defeating a Democrat in a R+1000 district like Jason’s!

    This smells. I don’t know if the FSM loves us enough to have a pending FBI indictment (Republican shamelessness makes this unlikely to me – it’s hard for me to imagine JackassInTheHouse leaving his perch of Congressional privilege to protect the House Majority for embarrassment), but the real story has yet to be told…

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    @sdhays:

    Oh, that’s right, he hates raising money, so his likely Democratic opponent raising a lot of money scared him out of the race. Oh no!

    I actually think they all do hate having to fundraise. That’s why they find a nice wealthy teat to suck on and toe the line from there on out.

  8. 8
    efgoldman says:

    Somebody credible (forget who) said the FBI has him by the short and curlies accepting illegal campaign contributions from the Russians.
    Of course, an affair with a married staffer would be Republiklown RWNJ typical. A lot of that going around, doesn’t seem to hurt them in the long run.
    I don’t know Utah politics, but I wonder how not being in any office for three years (even if he’s clean) gives him a platform and enough visibility to run for governor

  9. 9
    Gvg says:

    Hmm. I actually was struck by the description of him getting tired of sleeping on a cot at 50 which he had made a part of his brand image years ago…maybe he really is sick of it.
    There does not seem to be any way for him to win as a member of the party in power. His style is based on being in the minority. I don’t care for him and don’t want him to succeed but it’s perfectly valid for him to weigh that.
    He might also be in a position to know some of his party are now ceooked and he can’t win prosecuting othe republicans

  10. 10
    Kropadope says:

    Separating the wheat from the chaff…etz. The process of winnowing the Republicans will likely reveal there’s not much there, at least to those not already paying attention.

  11. 11
    Kropadope says:

    @Gvg:

    His style is based on being in the minority.

    Also typical of the current set of Republicans. It’s almost as though “against what the Democrats are for and vice versa, updated daily” is not a viable governing agenda.

  12. 12

    This guy really is one of the most loathsome creeps the Republicans have coughed up in a long time, and that’s saying a lot. I hope he runs for governor in 2020 and gets his sorry ass handed to him, bigly. How can people vote for somebody as shitty as this guy is? I mean, really. He’s as ugly as a hatful of assholes, but he’s even uglier on the inside. How do people like this shitstain con anybody into pulling the lever for them? I don’t get it.

  13. 13
    dogwood says:

    I’m not letting myself get too hyped-up by speculations of investigations and scandals that will topple any republican. Chaffetz had his dream job during the Obama administration, and looked forward to having and even dreamier job under Clinton. But instead he ended up with a shitty job, so he’s gonna take a hike.

  14. 14
    Calouste says:

    As a placekicker at BYU in the mid-1980s

    Al Bundy was a high school quarterback. Just saying.

  15. 15
    Keith P. says:

    @Gvg: So if someone clues Chaffetz in to the existence of air mattresses, we’re all fucked for another 10 years.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    When you self select and live in a bubble only listening to or being interested in, those things that either support your world view or interest you, it must be highly disconcerting to be confronted with “the other half” so to speak, when the real silent majority decided to stop being quite so silent. He made himself a rising star – the downside was being the target.

    If he had been even half the person he bragged he was, then 1- this wouldn’t have been such a surprise, 2 – he might have built up some goodwill, and 3- the morality he was so chauvinistic about would have been applied in the same measure to an “ally” as it was to an opponent. Of course his morality, like a lot of modern day Republicans, was only skin deep and it seems that Republican skin is less Rino and more than just a little thin. As if Obama didn’t have to listen to some really hateful words and the Secret Service didn’t have to wade though a shit ton of threats.

    Now the little whiner can go home and pout and blame all those mean libs.

  17. 17
    ThresherK says:

    First, this whole “Republican hated in their own state” is getting many chapters. I don’t know if “lay low and come back to be governor” is one, after Christie and Pence.

    Second, a BYU placekicker? Hmm.

    All I can think of is J.C. Watts, a better football player, who may well have won a few Grey Cups in Ottawa if it weren’t for injury. Upon retirement he rode his Football Star image (Oklahoma) all the way to being, with hardly any accomplishment (except for, you know), to being the #4 Republican in the House. Ottawa’s loss was the USA’s…loss.

    If only Chaffetz had followed his dream and spent the last 20 years trying to catch on in the lower levels of indoor football, we might have been spared this.

  18. 18
    Suzanne says:

    I think he had wood at the thought of investigating Hillary Clinton and making noise for four years that raises his profile but doesn’t actually do anything, and is now in what he sees as a no-win situation in which he would either investigate his own party and lose every friend he had or back off and look even more craven than he does already. He could actually attempt to responsibly govern, but that’s effort.

  19. 19
    Ksmiami says:

    There are no good Republicans except dead or disgraced ones.

  20. 20
    efgoldman says:

    @ET:

    Now the little whiner can go home and pout and blame all those mean libs.

    The huge majority of whom have never been to Utah and can’t vote against him

  21. 21
    sdhays says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I actually think they all do hate having to fundraise. That’s why they find a nice wealthy teat to suck on and toe the line from there on out.

    No doubt. But what’s farcical is that he’s leaving the House because he hates it so much, but is also planning on contesting a supposedly very challenging race for governor in 2020. Either you hate raising money so much that you decide to cash out of politics or you suck it up and raise the money. The idea that he’s leaving a seat where he almost certainly still doesn’t have to work that hard to win because he can’t stand the thought of raising a bit of money to keep it and he’s planning on running in a race that will require a lot more money is just insulting.

  22. 22
    Suffragete City elftx says:

    But those Tea Partiers holding signs of Obama with a bone through his nose and pictures of a noose were just exhibiting economic anxiety.

  23. 23
    lollipopguild says:

    @jacy: Part of the problem for The GOP with trump winning is that no one in the GOP actually knows how to get anything done, It is already very obvious that trump and the people around him are a shit-show. The GOP has to RUN things and when they fail they will get the blame. You are going to see other REPTHUGs heading for the exits-a state office-Gov. or a job in private business or a right-wing think tank.

  24. 24
    Taylor says:

    This sounds like a cover story. Doesn’t like fund-raising, but wants to run for governor?

    He may have been given the option of quitting or being outed. We know he played a central role in conning Comey into sending those letters, but we may never know the whole story.

  25. 25
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Suzanne: So, in true Republican fashion, if there’s nothing in it for him he declines to participate. Seems likely. Though I did speculate that there might have been evidence of malfeasance on the part of Trump folks that he could be shown to have deliberately disregarded to the point of collusion. Just my little daydream.

  26. 26
    Suzanne says:

    @Gelfling 545: Yeah, I would be surprised if there was actually anything on him. I think he just found out that real governance is hard work and that doing the right thing doesn’t mean you personally always come out ahead. Hard work and concern for others’ well-being are not Republican traits.

  27. 27
    MomSense says:

    I’m not buying this cover story. I’m sure there are shades of truth to it but I don’t think it’s the whole truth.

  28. 28
    efgoldman says:

    @Suzanne:

    I would be surprised if there was actually anything on him. I think he just found out that real governance is hard work

    That would indicate self-reflection and self-awareness, abilities and traits notably missing from the current edition of RWNJ Republiklowns.

  29. 29
    Ric Drywell says:

    I thought there were sources saying he’d be gone already?

  30. 30
    silvery says:

    That Deseret News article is truly a masterpiece of the genre. From putting “prayerful consideration” into quotes to the many references to his eagerness for publicity, to the list of 12 months of investigations he headed prior to the inauguration, an interesting read indeed.

  31. 31
    Barbara says:

    @Taylor: I agree that it sounds like a cover story. But even as a cover story, what it says about Chaffetz is that he is only interested in working on behalf of the polity when it intersects with his own self-interest. As soon as his official duties pose a risk to his ambition, he is gonzo. He doesn’t belong in public office even if this story legit.

  32. 32
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @efgoldman: True but they do have a certain animal cunning, politically.

  33. 33
    lollipopguild says:

    @efgoldman: You are being SHRILL! Kneel before Chaff-etz!

  34. 34
    efgoldman says:

    @lollipopguild:

    You are being SHRILL!

    I’m a baritone.

    Fuckem

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    I remember vividly how excited and eager Chaffetz was when asking Comey questions and Comey saying he could only answer under subpoena and Chaffetz laughingly stating he would have one to him by end of day.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    Nathan Deal left congress when the House was investigating ethics violations. He’s the governor of Georgia. It’s possible that Chaffetz is following Deal’s footsteps.

  37. 37
    MattF says:

    Another possibility is that Chaffetz has seen the evidence against Trump. “Ship is gonna sink, I have gray fur and a long tail. Here goes…”

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    Quid pro schmo.

  39. 39
    lollipopguild says:

    @efgoldman: And the horses they rode in on.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    I hope to goodness and whatever deity you prefer that Chaffetz is proven dirty AF. That will put Comey in the real hot seat. He let a dirty, crooked Congressman stampede him into fatally damaging the D candidate for President. Chaffetz may have only wanted a deep wound he could use as a platform to continue making HRC’s life a living hell, but what he got was Trump. Which he do.not.want.

  41. 41
    Schlemazel says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):
    You are asking a nation where 40-some percent of the population voted for motherfuckingtrump how anyone could vote for this guy? He will promise to cut taxes and keep the brown people down. What more could they ask for?

  42. 42
    lollipopguild says:

    @NotMax: The missing Fourth Stooge!

  43. 43
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Although it’s a warm and pleasant fantasy to imagine the loathsome Mr. Chaffetz being arrested by the FBI and led away in handcuffs, it’s not going to happen. Unfortunately, I think this dirtbag is smart enough to realize the Trump administration is a sinking ship and he’s heading for the nearest lifeboat.

    (And I see that MattF, got there first. Well-played, sir.)

  44. 44
    StringOnAStick says:

    If he is the first rat deciding to get off the sinking SS Drumpf, then let us hope that there are more behind him. A lot more.

  45. 45
    germy says:

    I mentioned Chaffetz’s cutting of embassy security yesterday, and this was Adams’s response:

    Adam L Silverman says:
    April 21, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve got the quote and seen the clip. The Director for Regional Security testified, under oath, that the funding cut had nothing to do with the decision on how to allocate security for the Benghazi site. Moreover, Ambassador Stevens was cautioned by the Regional Security Officer not to go until they could staff up a proper Personal Security Detail for him. He overrode the concerns on his own authority and went anyway.

    Cutting the security budget for State and then being blase about it and then beating President Obama and Secretary Clinton and a bunch of others up about what happened, when this type of thing does happen on a rare, but somewhat regular, basis is a dick move. But Chaffetz is no more responsible for what happened at Benghazi than President Obama or Secretary Clinton. He’s responsible for being a smarmy, self righteous, self important prick.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    If he is the first rat deciding to get off the sinking SS Drumpf, then let us hope that there are more behind him. A lot more.

    Actually, let’s hope there are no lifeboats.

  47. 47
    NotMax says:

    Saw this yesterday and thought it might be on interest to some here:

    U.S. Navy versus the cat people.

    (AL long ago wrote we ought to treat any of her threads as open.)

  48. 48
    MattF says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: In the same vein, I’ll note that tom at comment #4 got there well before everyone else.

  49. 49
    germy says:

    @tom:

    I think it’s entirely plausible that he sees the RMS Trumptanic sailing toward an iceberg, and he is heading for the lifeboats before everyone else does.

    Dressed as a woman or a child?

  50. 50
    delk says:

    The campaign could get costly, loud and bruising. And for someone who had much greater ambitions than the House, it could do lasting damage to his brand.

    You know what else does lasting damage to your brand? Quitting your job.

  51. 51
    J R in WV says:

    EFG… you got it the first time!

    Fuckem, all of ’em.

    Hateful, Anti-American, anti-freedom fascists, all of them.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @germy

    The iceberg is FAKE NEWS! Full steam ahead!

    ;)

  53. 53
    Felonius Monk says:

    @germy:

    Dressed as a woman or a child?

    Both.

  54. 54
    germy says:

    Watching the PBS newshour weekend.

    Scientists are being recruited by 3.14 Action to run for political office. Local, state, everywhere. From the smallest districts to the largest. They fighting back against the anti-science agenda.

    And the PBS correspondent keeps asking them why the aren’t recruiting republicans, just democrats. I mean, really?

  55. 55
    lollipopguild says:

    @delk: Paging Gov. Palin.

  56. 56
    efgoldman says:

    @delk:

    You know what else does lasting damage to your brand? Quitting your job.

    And it’s not like whoever Granny Starver appoints to replace his smarminess is going to expend any more effort investigating the maladministraion.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    Well then, Captain Trump will totally be hitting that as they row away from the plunging craft.

  58. 58
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Corner Stone: I didn’t say anything about there being lifeboats on the SS Drumpf. Even if they were specified during construction, you can be sure any usable lifeboats have long since been sold, under the table of course.

  59. 59
    StringOnAStick says:

    All snark aside, is he really bailing to try to save his political future? I hate to admit that I lean towards “probably”, but only because I think the jerk has few options left and none of them are good. Egotistical pricks like this guy will of course do things like register web domains for a run at governor or POTUS because he won’t just walk away with his tail between his legs, he has to walk away with both middle fingers firmly upraised and who knows, he might get lucky and ride out this storm.

    No one knows how bad the Drumpf presidency is going to get but this little weasel has a talent for getting out of the way when the getting is good. Utah is a unique place politically because of the Mormon influence, but it is also where McMullen did the best as an independent against Drumpf because Drumpf is just too obviously ungodly even if there is an R behind his name. Chaffetz sticking around to let Drumpf get his stink all over him as the BS blizzard increases in intensity would definitely hurt him with the home crowd it seems.

    Rep Schiff has made his list of invitees to the committee, we’ll see just what happens once they get up to testify. I hope Sally Yates puts some serious bunches in Chaffetz’s shorts.

  60. 60
    efgoldman says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    All snark aside

    You sure you’re at the right blog?

  61. 61
    bemused says:

    Chaffetz is a grasping, grifting Republican, in it for power and money. Add in his “prayerful considerations” and it’s clear how phony and corrupt he and the rest of them are.

  62. 62
    cmorenc says:

    @JPL:

    Nathan Deal left congress when the House was investigating ethics violations. He’s the governor of Georgia. It’s possible that Chaffetz is following Deal’s footsteps.

    Yeah, but do the people of Georgia really deserve Chaffetz as their governor?
    :=)

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    That will teach me to assume. I saw two pretty Black girls come into the park district. I assumed that they were here for gymnastics like Peanut. Well, they break out the ice skates….and, their private coach came to give them a lesson.😄

  64. 64
    efgoldman says:

    @cmorenc:

    do the people of Georgia really deserve Chaffetz

    You’re asking this about the same state which elected Lester Maddox on nothing more than standing in the door of his shitty restaurant with an axe handle in his hand, right?

  65. 65
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Chaffetz is yet another example of how the Republican Party of the past 15+yrs became the most corrupt, partisan, self-indulgent group of grifters ever seen in American politics.

    If there is one thing I have learned from these times, it’s that the supposedly “perfect” Constitution and US governing system are full of flaws, and our national integrity is wholly dependent on the character and morality of those who serve us. All it takes is opportunistic, amoral people like this guy and his buds to destroy it.

    I just wish that we could have a wave of people, from both parties, who can put country and common sense governing over personal graft and sleazy political power grabs and find a way to fix the errors in our system that they’ve managed to exploit.

    They’re out there, they exist right now. Let’s work to get them elected.

  66. 66
    efgoldman says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    I just wish that we could have a wave of people, from both parties, that can put country over personal graft and political power grabs

    Yeah, I wish for one of those unicorns that poops platinum bricks, too.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I posted this when it was first published, but the New Yorker did a really interesting profile of Black Canadian hockey player P.K. Subban in 2014. His parents were both immigrants from Jamaica and his dad fell in love with hockey. At least one of Subban’s younger brothers is also a pro hockey player and two of his sisters were star athletes in college as well.

  68. 68
    PPCLI says:

    I wonder if any of the death threats he is supposed to have gotten were anything like the ones Trump guest Ted Nugent made toward Obama and Hilary.

  69. 69

    @Ella in New Mexico: I’ve been worried as Trump removes people from the government. I feel like knowledge and skill are being dumped down the drain. For a while, I hoped Trump’s incompetence would save us, but he has enough time to do damage even if he’s slow.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Also, did you see Simone Biles kick butt dancing as Moana on “Dancing with the Stars”? I think Auli’i was happy no one was going to bonk her in the head with a flagpole this time. ☺️

  71. 71
    craigie says:

    It’s interesting – if that’s the word I want – that he sees his job as torturing Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton and other Right Wing boogie men, and not, you know, legislating. Being a Republican now is just constant red meat theater for the rubes in the cheap seats. Do your job indeed.

  72. 72
    Cckids says:

    The first thing I thought of when I heard the “I’m not running, but I’m not leaving either”, was that this frees Chaffetz up to f*ck up any Trump investigations, then ride off into the warm sunset of wingnut welfare. Without worrying about answering to any constituents.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    it’s that the supposedly “perfect” Constitution and US governing system are full of flaws

    It has always depended on the majority of people in the system acting in good faith. Any system of government does – if it is to be successful.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @craigie:

    he sees his job as torturing Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton and other Right Wing boogie men, and not, you know, legislating.

    As we have seen, they’ve forgotten how – even the basic steps. That’s what happens when you spend decades believing your own propaganda.

  75. 75
    sdhays says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: We were guaranteed damage on November 9th, 2016. All we can do is stop what we can and hope incompetence will limit the damage that does occur.

    It’s not comforting, but it’s what we’ve got…

  76. 76
    RepubAnon says:

    @jacy: perhaps he’s pulling a Palin: resigning to cash in while the brand remains recoverable.

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    If he’s aware that impeachable offenses will be coming to light, it could be a move so that he avoids the pressure in Washington (for example to bring a resolution not bring a resolution), and attacks from rednecks all the way up to trump’s threat machine. Combined with job offers of money and power, from someone who wants to keep him politically untarnished and on the scene in Utah.

    If the Rs succeed in getting state control over selling/leasing federal land, then mining interests, etc would love to have the governorship of Utah and other offices be obedient to them. And before that, someone on the ground there to coordinate the process.

  78. 78
    TriassicSands says:

    @jacy:

    It amazes me how many really unlikable people seem to thrive inside the Republican bubble.

    I’m going to assume that you aren’t really amazed, in the sense of being surprised, by the number of odious people who populate the Republican world. But it is “amazing.” It’s become nearly impossible to find a successful Republican politician who isn’t a genuinely horrible person. Old-timers like John McCain, who skated by for years by occasionally voicing a slightly contrarian point of view, still always managed to fall in line for the big, important votes. I just got finished watching Taxi to the Dark Side* and McCain speaks out during investigations into the atrocities at Abu Graib, but in the end voted to support the administration. Even his years of captivity and being tortured weren’t enough to overcome what a rotten person he is at his core. The same goes for the rest of the Republican Party. If one’s life experience is to have come up through poverty to become successful, that means that every poor person should and can do the same. If on the other hand, one grew up privileged and secure, it is a given that was a result of the inherent superiority of one’s family and personal social circle. Often, those fortunate enough to escape poverty, are the ones who hate the poor the most. Yes, they probably got by with plenty of help from the government, but that was because they had to not because they were lazy like all the takers today. African-Americans like Clarence Thomas and Ben Carson are epic tales of self-made men who owe their success to no one and nothing but their own towering virtue.

    What is so sad is that the Republican Party is not a fringe also-ran party on the verge of extinction, but the dominant party in most of the states — whether they got there legitimately or not. That is, in part, because so many Americans are being fairly represented by the horrible politicians of the GOP. Hateful people electing hateful representatives.

    * The film makes it abundantly clear that Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, and John Yoo, to name but a few, should all be in prison serving long sentences for war crimes. The real problem is how to go about holding an administration accountable without creating a perpetual cycle of partisan retribution. The Obama Administration might have been relied upon to conduct fair and impartial investigations into the Bush Administration, but if they had, then numerous high-ranking Bush officials would be in prison. Imagine, then, what the Trump administration would have done with J. Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General.

  79. 79
    Mike in NC says:

    Chaffetz is creepier than the Jason in the hockey mask.

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    All it takes is opportunistic, amoral people like this guy and his buds to destroy it.

    That’s true of any grouping of people — communities, neighborhoods, fraternities, on and on and on. We’re nothing more than layer after layer of social contracts, each as fragile and flawed as any of its members.

  81. 81
    ixnay says:

    @efgoldman: Countertenors tend to naturally speak in a baritone range.

  82. 82
    Jinchi says:

    @jacy:

    The smell test says there’s some other reason Chaffetz is resigning — that’s just not something you do.

    Unless he’s going the Palin route.

  83. 83
    Buskertype says:

    I guess he decided not to do his job?

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jinchi:

    Unless he’s going the Palin route.

    An off the shoulder, lace blouse in the Oval Office? How tacky.

  85. 85
    TriassicSands says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Anyone who hasn’t seen Taxi to the Dark side…should. But be forewarned the scenes from Bagram and Abu Ghraib are horrifying. We’ve seen them all before, but in the film they’re brought together in a seemingly endless stream of nightmarish atrocities. The film deserved its Academy Award.

  86. 86
    piratedan says:

    @Cckids: i kind of get this vibe too… think on it… he resigns now… for whatever bullshit reason he chooses to sell to the masses. Gets hired by CNN as a “special consultant” and gets to snipe from the sidelines as the shit starts to hit the fans. It would be a classic GOP tactic to try and control the framing of the issues via the media and then they can play all of the crap that he’s getting as simply “partisan” politicking by those evil liberals, who are still secretly pulling the levers of power that Trump is busy trying to drain the swamp to uncover them… yada yada yada…

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jinchi:

    Unless he’s going the Palin route.

    I have to tell you. His pig face has never sent a thrill up my legs to this point.

  88. 88
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @Mike in NC: He looks like a squirrel with a bad perm.

  89. 89
    efgoldman says:

    @ixnay:

    Countertenors tend to naturally speak in a baritone range.

    Not the ones I’ve known (for real – mrs efg has sung with a lot of early music groups)

  90. 90
    efgoldman says:

    @LurkerNoLonger:

    He looks like a squirrel with a bad perm.

    And i really, really hate squirrels. They are vermin.

  91. 91
    zhena gogolia says:

    OT, but I just was made aware that Alec Baldwin is going to be hosting “The Essentials” on TCM. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Too soon, I think.

  92. 92
    boatboy_srq says:

    @feebog: They either found about his other three wives, or the boy he keeps as an “intern” when he’s in The District.

  93. 93
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Need some parenting advice: my daughter and a friend are in Chicago for the weekend. I am originally from the North side like my father before me, and thus genetically a Cubs fan. Tonight, she is going to the White Sox game. In her defense, the original plan was to see the Blackhawks play, but their suckitude foiled that . And I can’t blame her that the Cubs are away this weekend. Also, as she is resourceful (and maybe too pretty for her own good), she scored them seats in a luxury box.

    Question: should I disown her for going to a White Sox game, or just take away her car for a semester?

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I know how you feel, but, sadly Robert Osborne is gone. He would not want us to stop watching good movies just because he’s not here to introduce us to them anymore.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I have a mixed marriage: I’m a Cubs fan, G is a Sox fan. Somehow, we’ve managed to make it work.

  96. 96
    Goku says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: The best thing that could ever happen to this country would be the Republicans blowing up and the Democrats replacing them as a center to center-left party with the Berniecrats becoming the Social Democratic party. Will never happen for various reasons

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    All Rethuglican scum needs to suffer as Chaffetz suffered.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Were the tickets free? And did she wear Cubs gear?

  99. 99
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: of course and no. So it’s a tough call.

    BTW, as a fellow lawyer you might feel the way I do that paying for sports tickets is a sign of weakness. Either you firm pays for it as client development, or a firm takes you as their client development, or your buddies at a firm give you their extra tickets and don’t expect you to pay them back.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Goku:

    The best thing that could ever happen to this country would be the Republicans blowing up and the Democrats replacing them as a center to center-left party

    I get what you are saying, but that sentence can be read as though you see the GOP as a center to center-left party and that could cause severe whiplash.

  101. 101
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: Excellent point. I was wondering who the new “face” of the TCM legacy would be. He and Alec had great rapport and I think Osborne would support this, though I was hoping Drew Barrymore would be the host. However, I’ve enjoyed both her and Alec’s insight into the featured films and think they’re intelligent, articulate and passionate.

  102. 102
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Chaffetz is enveloped in a scandal soon, but the speculations were out of control—just makes us look like paranoid fake news purveyors

    There were and are plenty of lurid facts to use to beat Trump about the face and head with. No need to invent stuff that then makes the left look stupid.

  103. 103
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: totally different from the right: we are speculating; they would be reporting as fact 24/7.

  104. 104
    Goku says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Certainly not. I meant the Dems and social dems becoming the dominant two parties. I see what you mean and would edit if I could

  105. 105
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Goku: i would love for today’s Democratic Party to be considered the rightwing fringe. Am I too European?

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Goku: Like I said, I knew what you meant. It’s a nice dream.

  107. 107
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ha! Cubs handed the Reds their glutes today, Downtown is always full of Cubs fans when they’re in town. I had to do double take when I heard local sportscaster say that the two best teams in NLC were Cincinnati and Chicago. Words “best” and Cincinnati Reds have not been uttered in years, unless you count best imitation of 1963 New York Mets.

  108. 108
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have a mixed marriage: I’m a Cubs fan, G is a Sox fan. Somehow, we’ve managed to make it work.

    Wow–that is true love! I’m hoping this is a one-off; anyway, she is genetically a Braves fan, though that is less appealing today than it was the year she was born (1995).

  109. 109
    Kathleen says:

    @LurkerNoLonger: Hell, 3/4 of the Pasty Supremacist Posse look like squirrels with bad perms.

  110. 110
    Millard Filmore says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    They either found about his other three wives, or the boy he keeps as an “intern” when he’s in The District.

    dailykos is on the job!
    http://www.dailykos.com/storie.....Laundering

    At this point his fears do not point in a sexual direction.

  111. 111
    efgoldman says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    but the speculations were out of control—just makes us look like paranoid fake news purveyors

    Because the 20 thousandth most popular blog has so much influence over the political dialogue.
    Are you clutching real pearls or are they plastic?

  112. 112
    randy khan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Well, if she roots for the White Sox, at least take away the car. But if she roots for the opposition, add to her college fund.

    Edit: She’s a Braves fan? Why haven’t you disowned her already?

  113. 113
    germy says:

    A wave of first-time candidates eager to fight President Trump and his young administration plan to challenge House Republican incumbents, giving Democratic Party leaders hope that they can capi­tal­ize on the anger and intensity at grass-roots protests and town hall meetings across the country this year.

    At least 15 declared candidates or contenders on the verge of announcing have emerged in districts that Democrats must win to take back the House, including in several districts where the party did not seriously compete in 2014 or 2016, according to party officials.

    It’s like they were listening to balloon-juice comments.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-partner-with-political-newcomers-hoping-to-create-anti-trump-wave-in-2018-midterms/2017/04/21/91514ec8-2502-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.c68c75be8922

  114. 114
    randy khan says:

    @efgoldman:

    Wait! I thought this was a top 10 thousand blog. I may have to take my trenchant comments elsewhere.

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Millard Filmore: They’re damning enough…laundering Russian money through campaign contributions.

    LOCK THEM UP!

  116. 116
    efgoldman says:

    @randy khan:

    if she roots for the White Sox, at least take away the car.

    My kid’s been in DC/Nova for nine years. Still wears her Red Sox cap.
    Grandpa might have bought one for granddaughter, too. “Just like Mommy’s”

    Meanwhile, fuck the Montreal Canadiens

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @randy khan:

    Wait! I thought this was a top 10 thousand blog.

    It was during the Greenwald wars.

  118. 118
    Another Scott says:

    @efgoldman: There’s one less around here today. One decided to jump and run across the road right in front of me on the way to the March and I couldn’t stop in time. At least it didn’t scream the way the last one did about 10 years ago…

    Urgh. :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  119. 119
    MomSense says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Thank you for saying that. I didn’t want to seem catty but now that you’ve brought it up — wow did she look tacky.

  120. 120
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Did we win?

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MomSense: I can be as catty as the next girl – or something like that….

    @Baud: The only way to win is not to play.

  122. 122
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @efgoldman: you misspelled New York Rangers

  123. 123
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: So we didn’t win.

  124. 124
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: No one did. But civil discourse was the worst casualty.

  125. 125
    raven says:

    Ok geniuses, medical issue. i overdid the surf fishing by fighting my way out past the break to cast for hours and hours yesterday. Last night I awoke with a nasty hammy cramp. I laid off the morning fishing and went out about 3pm. I was shooting the breeze with some folks when I got a big strike (turned out to be a ray) and, when I took off running, I either cramped or pulled a calf muscle on the same leg. It hurts like hell but I managed to keep fishing and catch the sunset. I’m icing now but I’m not sure if there is anything else to do?

  126. 126
    efgoldman says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    you misspelled New York Rangers

    I don’t particularly love the Rangers, but I hated the Canadiens before you were born – in original six days.

  127. 127
    efgoldman says:

    @raven:

    I’m icing now but I’m not sure if there is anything else to do?

    Try amputation

  128. 128
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s good. I fucking hate civil discourse.

  129. 129
    Another Scott says:

    @Gvg: If he’s now sick of sleeping on a cot, he presumably was sick of it 5-6 months ago when he won re-election, and when he actually decided to run for re-election…

    I dunno.

    But he’s certainly thrown whatever influence he had in Congress in a pit and then set fire to it. If he was actually thinking about resigning in a few months (rather than soon – the delay would kinda make sense from a “do your job” standpoint ), talking about it so early cuts his own throat. He’s making himself less appealing to potential employers, and looking like a loser if he’s thinking about running for other offices. If he was afraid of having to cast some unpopular vote that would hurt his chances in the future, why is he worried now? The GOP has rarely cared about policies that hurt their voters – they almost exclusively care about policies that help their donors.

    It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but almost nothing that Republicans do these days does…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  130. 130
    Chet Murthy says:

    @raven: I’m rather prone to cramps if I work out regularly and hard. And esp. hamstring. Esp. at 3am, lying in bed. Man that sucks. I find that daily potassium tablets help a lot.

    Like: since I’ve been takin’ ’em, I can’t remember the last time I had a ham cramp. Or frankly, any other.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    debbie says:

    @raven:

    Hurt like you tore something or more like a deep ache?

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chet Murthy: For me, it is my calves and the arches of my feet.

  134. 134
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: God is punishing you for missing G-Day

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Well, maybe you won.

  136. 136
    raven says:

    @debbie: I didn’t hear anything but it felt like I got shot. I tried stretching and I kept fishing and then I dragged my big ass cart with all my shit it in up from the beach and about 1/4 mile back to the house. I’m icing now.

  137. 137
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yay!

    ETA: Fuck you.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: RICE and see where you are in a couple of days.

  139. 139
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    It hurts like hell but I managed to keep fishing

    This should be on your tombstone.

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Oh, go blow a goat.

  141. 141
    raven says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Looks like they had about 60.

  142. 142
    Tehanu says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Hey! Freddie Freeman! And let me repeat,Freddie Freeman!

  143. 143
  144. 144
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @efgoldman: I’m not as old as you profess to be, but I go back to the Original Six too – I got Jean Beliveau’s autograph just after he retired

  145. 145
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I ain’t got a couple of days. This is the makeup for the November trip when my bride broke her wrist. I’m fishing if she has to wheel my sorry ass down there! Rice is good though except for the rest part!

  146. 146
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Tape it then.

  147. 147
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    Yikes. It could be muscle strain. i hope you feel better tomorrow after resting.

  148. 148
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Tape it up and run on it!

  149. 149
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: or walk it off!

  150. 150
    MomSense says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Ha! One of my all time favorite skits.

  151. 151
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Tehanu: and he’s signed through 2021!

  152. 152
    debbie says:

    @raven:

    Drink lots of water and take a boat tomorrow.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: It got me through a lot of rugby.

  154. 154
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    All Rethuglican scum needs to suffer as Chaffetz suffered.

    But nobody has set him on fire yet.

    /Too soon?

  155. 155
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m a “social member” of the UGA Blind Pigs RFC. Having rods holding my spine together made me think it was not my sport. Quitting drinking really killed it!

  156. 156
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @TenguPhule:

    But nobody has set him on fire yet.

    /Too soon?

    Absolutely not.

  157. 157
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @efgoldman:

    The speculation started on other blogs and twitter. It was just discussed here.

    I understand that your default mode is to attempt to do snark like the kids do nowadays, but you ain’t got the chops for it.

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    @raven:

    I’m not sure if there is anything else to do?

    Take up golf.

  159. 159
    raven says:

    @TenguPhule: A good walk spoiled.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    but the speculations were out of control

    30 years of speculation ruined Hillary Clinton’s reputation.

    I’m sure a few months can’t make Chaffetzs look any worse then he actually is.

  161. 161
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Steve in the ATL: that is true, prolly

    I just saw several references on “conservative” site pulling up the guy who said Chaffetz was going to resign Tue. Or Wed after those days passed and having some fun

    Unfortunately so,e of the more excitable types don’t realize that every single day is a battle for credibility.

  162. 162
    TenguPhule says:

    @raven: But you’ll never have to worry about cramps again. The heart attack from all the swearing over lost balls will kill you first.

  163. 163
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I don’t give a shit about Chaffetz, but I do care when members of the left, broadly defined, embarrass themselves.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: What the hell is the matter with you? Why would you suggest that to anyone?

  165. 165
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I like to make jokes about golf?

  166. 166
  167. 167
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    My wife is a West Virginia University graduate – Gold and Blue – (as is the rest of my family) while our parents were taking us to WVU football games from the age of 9 or 10.

    Yet because of life choices, and where we bought our farm, I am a Marshall University graduate, Green and White!

    Can’t be further apart as far as rooting for sports teams!!! Actually, I’m still a WVU fan, and a MU fan. When they play each other, I root for whoever has the ball!

  168. 168
    The Dudeist says:

    He even hated small businesses with his Internet sales tax. He was in big with Walmart and others who wanted to hurt small Internet and b&m stores who sold on the net. He’s a jerk…

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congr.....s-tax-bill

  169. 169
    satby says:

    @raven: I hope you’ve got some NSAIDS like Aleve to take (or asprin, etc). Aside from helping with the pain it will also help with reducing inflammation at the injury site. Take them on schedule even if you think the pain isn’t so bad, at least for a day or two.
    Edited to add: not Tylenol or acetominophen. It isn’t anti-inflammatory.

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @satby: My guess is that he goes with taping it. He wasn’t asking how to avoid pain. He wanted advice about how he could continue what he was doing. The answer is tape.

  171. 171
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus
    satby
    : I got an ace bandage at the grocery store so I’m using that and icing. Plenty of NSAIDS too so I’ll get on that. After reading up I am not happy with the “back to normal in a couple of weeks.” It definitely wasn’t a cramp like I thought. Lot’s of discomfort in the lateral gastrocnemius, maybe it’s just a strain but time will tell.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Satby’s right, though — he needs to take NSAIDs (Aleve or ibuprofen) to keep the swelling down, or the taping won’t work as well.

  173. 173
    satby says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: agreed. My point was about trying to keep the inflammation of an injury reduced though, because it can cascade into more damage before the whole reaction subsides. Or at least that’s what the orthopod kept saying when I ripped the tendons in my arms.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @raven:

    I feel your pain, because I managed to sprain my bad knee the day before I left for Disneyworld. Rest and ice for 24 hours did a lot of good and I was able to get around fine with a few rest breaks. If you can do a boat tomorrow instead of surf fishing, that will give it a little extra time to heal.

  175. 175
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @satby: I am not an MD. I am, however, an ex-athlete who could gut out another game. raven probably gets what I said. It is probably horrible advice medically.

  176. 176
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Plan B is to just cast from the beach and not drag my ass 50-75 yards though the surf,

  177. 177
    No One You Know says:

    @efgoldman: @Amaranthine RBG:

    Hear, hear.

    As for the rest…

    I’m more embarrassed by purity ponies than by individuals speaking what they feel, personally. Also not feeling the need to represent the whole left myself, or assume that other individuals do, or let anyone claim they speak for me. I admit to wishing other people would assume the same.

  178. 178
    cwolf says:

    @tom:
    I think it’s entirely plausible that he sees the RMS Trumptanic sailing toward an iceberg…
    …but…but…but,
    Ain’t that why we have Global Warming ?
    …so that Titanics won’t hit icebergs?

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