We live in troubled times. The public space seems populated with lunatics. It is sometimes hard to determine who is just plain stupid and who is evil. One thing is sure—there are a surplus of rogues–public figures who live or act outside the parameters of normalcy.
The new wing to my gallery would have to be huge to accommodate everyone I have in mind. I’ve had to prioritize. I want to include only people to whom I owe space. People so bizarre that it is easy to imagine them being remembered as bizarre 20 years from now. I also do not want to include people who are so-well known for being a bizarre rogue that it is boring to read more about them. Thus, I will not be honoring Donald J. Trump (senior or junior) in my gallery. Everyone knows what that pair is about. . . .
Being a Washingtonian by birth, I will focus on Washington and Congress. Here are a few honorees and a few words about how they made the list.
Laureen Boebert. A champion of the Second Amendment, the Colorado Congresswoman from Colorado recently accused a fellow member of Congress of being a suicide bomber. She also is suspected of aiding the January 6 insurrectionists.
Marjorie Taylor Greene. A Congresswoman from Georgia, Greene has filed articles of impeachment against President Biden and harassed the parent of a student killed in the Parkland High School shootings as he attempted to lobby Congress for gun control.
Louis Gohmert. Currently a Congressman from Texas, he just announced that he is running for attorney general of Texas. He asked a member of the U.S. Forest Service at a Congressional hearing whether changing the orbit of the earth or moon was a solution to climate change.
Paul Gosar. A Congressman from Arizona, but also a right-wing dentist. His brother has called for him to be removed from Congress. He posted an anime of himself killing fellow legislator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Twitter. This got him censured by the full House and stripped of his committee assignments.
Matt Gaetz. A Congressman from sunny Florida. He is accused of transporting underage girls across state lines (not into Maryland as far as I know) for sexual purposes. He is MTG’s best friend in Congress.
Josh Hawley. This rogue is a Senator from Missouri. His Ivy League education did not stop him from fist-pumping fellow insurrectionists on January 6.
Ron DeSantis. Another product of the Ivy League, Florida Governor DeSantis has just announced a plan to create a small military force not answerable to Washington. He will command it. Let us hope Maryland’s next governor does not get any ideas. (If Daniel L. Cox, the right-winger endorsed for governor by our own Andy “Handgun” Harris, fails in his bid for the State House, the risk of Maryland creating its own army is decreased.)
What! No Democrats?
Do not forget it is my rogues’ gallery we are discussing here. Please feel free to build your own and include the entire Biden cabinet, the vice president, and, of course, Hunter Biden.
I have two Democrats on my priority list. Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Tlaib made a name for herself by announcing, shortly after being elected, ““We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherf***er,” referring, of course, to Donald Trump. She also has called for the elimination of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, prisons, and the police.
Congresswoman Omar most recently received notoriety after her colleague, Representative Boebert, jokingly suggested that she was a suicide bomber. Her selection for the gallery was earned back in 2012 when, as part of her long-term criticism of Israel and the U.S. support for it, she said, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Omar also offers T-shirts on her website reading, “F*uck around and find out.”
I will stop there with the politicians, but want to include one businessperson—Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced former CEO of Theranos now on trial in California for Fraud. Ms. Holmes’ company, which she founded at age 19 after dropping out of Stanford, claimed to have developed a machine for testing patients for a variety of diseases with a single drop of blood. Anyone who has ever undergone extensive blood-testing can understand why her claim of having made this technological breakthrough” was so exciting. Unfortunately,Theranos’ machines did not work. Fraud is alleged.
I have about four dozen other people on my priority list but will stop here. Please feel free to suggest additions or subtractions to my list in the comments section. As readers of this column know, I have an open mind.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, birds, and occasionally, golden doodles.
Letters to Editor
Greg Burrows says
Great piece – These damaged, toxic people seem to be increasing in numbers in our government. Could this be Russian plotting, partially? Because if they want to bring down a democracy, it’s working, and we need to do something about it. Thank you for taking action.
-Greg B.—new Chestertown resident