Morning Poll: Incompetent Elected Official, Gaslighting or Jumbo?


Wait, what? Did Rep. Jim Clyburn really say that he wasn’t aware of any Federal building being attacked in Portland?

I was trying to decide whether the statement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Fox and Friends was signature significance for an incompetent, or whether he was just attempting Jimmy Durante’s stratagem, the Jumbo. (“Elephant? What elephant?”) I realized that the two alternatives were mutually exclusive. Clyburn also might be gaslighting us. In gaslighting, unlike the similar but distinct Jumbo, the ethics miscreant is trying to make everyone else think they are losing their minds, and somehow imagined something that, in truth, really happened. The Jumbo is a sign of desperation. Gaslighting is sinister.

If he knows that the “peaceful” rioters were laying siege to the Portland courthouse—and how could he not?—then Clyburn must be employing the Jumbo or attempting flagrant gaslighting. If he doesn’t know, he’s telling the truth, and that means he is a lazy, incompetent fool.

Which is it?

Also, I wonder:

  • Would the broadcast journalists on any news networks other than Fox challenge Clyburn if he said this?
  • Exactly how apathetic are the American people? Doesn’t this kind of think bother them?
  • Why would anyone pay any attention to what Clyburn said about anything after this performance?
  • How can a responsible political party allow someone who would say something like this on national television be in a major leadership position?

16 thoughts on “Morning Poll: Incompetent Elected Official, Gaslighting or Jumbo?

  1. He’s just incompetent. After all, the reliable news sources never reported an attack on a federal courthouse. Peaceful protesters simply lit a large fire outside of one (as one does), and were unjustly teargassed as a result. Anyone with <=1/2 a brain might never realize what actually happened there.

  2. I would vote for incompetence )just as I do in every election).

    I have not followed Portland that much, but I picked up through osmosis that the federal troops were supposedly protecting a federal courthouse, and possibly other federal buildings.

    This came up last week with my partner. He did not think federal troops should be deployed. When I explained that I thought they were there to protect federal property, it was news to him.

    Clyburn should be better informed than either my partner or I, but incompetence is certainly plausible.


  3. Reichstag Fire? No I’m not aware of any fire there. If there was, it must have been set by some communists or white supremacists. It’s a Jumbo. .

  4. “How can a responsible political party allow someone who would say something like this on national television be in a major leadership position?”
    Democrats responsible? That ship cast off shore lines and motored away into the sunset a long time ago, Jack.
    Jim Clyburn is merely a liberal hack, the long-time holder of a seat in a Gerrymandered black district, who can be depended upon to deliver the black vote for the Dems.
    By the way, the woke need to work on getting rid of that title “Whip,” you know, slavery and all.

  5. These kind of things are coming out of the mouths of so many on the political left that I think it’s intellectually dishonest to apply Hanlon’s razor to these kind of statements, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. These people see others spewing the same kind of lies and the anti-Trump and political left eat it up like candy and most people never bother to challenge the lies; therefore, the ends justifies the means.

    Rep. Jim Clyburn and most of the political left are using the Principles of Progressive Goebbelism which are rooted in gaslighting. His lie is along the same kind of lies as the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lies, which has become an ad nauseam mantra of the political left…

    The Principles of Progressive Goebbelism are the core guiding principles of the propaganda that progressives have used to brainwash and dumb-down our society.

    The core principles are:
    1. If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

    2. If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

    3. If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

    4. If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth.

    5. If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.

    These same principles were put into practice by the master propagandist Paul Joseph Goebbels who was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, thus the term Goebbelism.

    Here are the warning signs of gaslighting as presented by Psychology Today:

    Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

    1. They tell blatant lies.
    You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

    2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
    You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

    3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
    They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.

    4. They wear you down over time.
    This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.

    5. Their actions do not match their words.
    When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

    6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
    This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

    7. They know confusion weakens people.
    Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.

    8. They project.
    They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

    9. They try to align people against you.
    Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.

    10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
    This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.

    11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
    By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.

    The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter’s trap.

    No I will no longer apply Halon’s Razor to the tactical political statements I’ve heard coming from the political left, I’m even having a really hard time using Halon’s Razor with Biden’s gaffs, I think it all tactical in the same way President Trump is trolling the political left on Twitter.

        • Steve, I think “gaslighting” is too complicated an analysis when a simpler one will do. All these people talking about mostly peaceful protestors are simply lying through their teeth. They’re not trying to drive anyone crazy, they’re lying to get their listeners to believe what they’re saying. And it’s working in the lefty bubble. But it’s just a jumbo among jumbos. It’s a Democrat party talking point. I’d call it a “Clinton,” as in “I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Monica Lewinsky.” Or, “It depends on what your meaning of ‘is’ is.” Serial bald faced lying.

          • Other Bill wrote, “Steve, I think “gaslighting” is too complicated an analysis when a simpler one will do.”, “They’re not trying to drive anyone crazy…”

            That does not necessarily mean that they are trying to drive the victim crazy.

            “Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality.”

  6. Using Clyburn’s compatriot Hank “Guam will tip over” Johnson as a metric, I can’t dismiss sheer pig-ignorant stupidity as the problem . He’s also 80 years old, so Biden Syndrome is another possibility.

    • Willem Reese wrote, “Using Clyburn’s compatriot Hank “Guam will tip over” Johnson as a metric, I can’t dismiss sheer pig-ignorant stupidity as the problem . He’s also 80 years old, so Biden Syndrome is another possibility.”

      Lest you forget; this is the same Rep. Jim Clyburn that said the following signature significant statements about President Trump that earned him the unethical quote of the month right here on Ethics Alarms,

      “I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini, Putin, is Hitler.”


      “I believe very strongly that this guy never had any idea about being — want to peacefully transfer power. I don’t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections.I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue hold onto office.”

      Rep. Clyburn hates President Trump and this is ALL about smearing President Trump. There is a pattern of anti-Trump statements that needs to be taken into account before you can blindly apply Halon’s Razor to this statement which is directly related to an action taken by the Trump administration to counter the continued attacks on the Federal Courthouse building in Portland. Clyburn’s complete denial of the fact that the federal building was being attacked gives him a perceived political justification to continue down the path of smearing the Trump administration for the efforts to protect the federal building. If Clyburn were to acknowledge that the Federal Courthouse building was being attacked it would completely disarm him from being able to effectively smear the Trump Administration in the political arena for protecting the building.

      This statement from Rep. Clyburn was not “sheer pig-ignorant stupidity”, it was a blatantly obvious political strategy to maintain their perceived ability to smear the Trump Administration. Rep. Clyburn is a willful liar.

      • To whom are they trying to appeal with this new “DHS are Gestapo stormtroopers” narrative.

        If they condemned the attacks on the federal courthouse, maybe the Democrats win Oregon by “only” seven points instead of fifteen, but it is no skin off their nose.

        Losing Wisconsin by one instead of winning Wisconsin by two is the Democrats’ nose.

        Is there something about critical voter constituencies that they know about?

  7. I voted for “Clyburn is incompetent, and is shooting off his mouth without bothering to follow current events” because it comes closest to what I think, which is Clyburn just doesn’t care. He’s in a safe district and his constituents have demonstrated that they care about the stupid things he says, either. I call it the “Sheila Jackson-Lee Cynicism Factor”. One of the major impediments to bad behavior is fear of consequences. When there are none, then what stops you from doing whatever you want whenever you want?

    As we all know, Sheila Jackson-Lee is an embarrassment to the Houses of Congress. She continually uses her times in subcommittee hearings to deliver soundbytes and photo She is corrupt, dishonest, and disreputable, but will she say and do anything she wants because there are absolutely no consequences for the stupid things she does or says. Her constituents vote for her every time she is up for reelection, usually by a huge margin – any challenger gets obliterated. Her party leaders don’t sanction her for the stupid things she does and says.

    Clyburn is no different. He is as dumb as a bag of hammers but simply does not care. He got on Fox News, which is great publicity. He probably thinks that talking about him in a negative light is better than not talking to him, so to him it’s a win.


  8. He’s incompetent, but more specifically, he’s so hopelessly partisan that he is protected from news stories that are inconvenient for the Democratic Party.

    If you look at far-Left corporate news outlets or on Leftist Twitter, they treat any news that doesn’t make them look good as fake, Republican news. They are able to encase themselves so fully in that bubble that reality can’t get in. They still think the Steele dossier was true. They think that “Obamagate” is just a crazy conspiracy theory. They’re still saying that General Flynn betrayed his country, and that Trump was conspiring with Russia. And yes, they constantly reassure one another that Antifa basically isn’t even a real thing. I’m not just talking about random kooks, these are the journalists, the celebrities, and the politicians.

    On Left-wing Twitter, even actual videos of Antifa burning Bibles, launching explosive devices, and beating up random people is treated as if they were deep fakes using white supremacist actors funded by Russia. The ones close enough to the situation to admit that there really was a weeks-long assault on the courthouse just blame the entire situation on Trump somehow. Remember, a full third of Democrats believed that George Bush orchestrated 9/11, and presumably still do.

    This fits into my larger theory that large chunks of the political Left (and not-negligible pockets of the super far Right too, but it’s mostly the Left) are becoming actually, clinically, provably sick. Politics are not the root problem, but Marxist politics are intended to be a replacement for the faith, introspection, and soul-searching that are supposed to fill the massive void in these people’s souls and give their life purpose. Marxist politics are based on blaming everyone else for one’s problems, as opposed to looking inward. Because they are rejecting God, family, and objective Truth, their situation will continue to grow worse, both personally and in terms of relationships and the soundness of the institutions they control.

    Meanwhile, those who find a way to insulate themselves from the craziness of postmodern wokeness (Bible-believing Christians, tradcons, Mormons, Catholic immigrants, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims) will fare better and better by comparison, even in their more modest digs. They will create their own insulated, healthier versions of the corrupted mainstream institutions. Eventually, as often happens, the unhappy majority will take out their frustrations on the happy subculture. You’ll notice that, with the exception of the most extreme fringe of the far right (the white supremacists,) it’s the Left going out of its way to harass and pick fights with their enemies, even though they control education, entertainment, and most of politics, and therefore should be satisfied. The enemies they’re hunting for are mostly are happy to be left alone, to the extent that antifa mobs can’t even find any “nazis” to punch most of the time, and resort to beating up moderate liberals instead, or mistaking teenage Black kids for facists and shooting them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.