Top Nine Lunatics of 2020

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It is a sign of the times that Lou Dobbs, Sebastian Gorka and several other obvious lunatics didn’t make my list. Putting the list in some kind of order was difficult too. I think #1 is obvious, but after that it’s practically a random assignment. If you disagree with any of my rankings, no problem!

Keep in mind that this is not a list of people I dislike. I dislike Mitch McConnell, but he’s obviously not a lunatic. This is a list of lunatics.

  1. Kristi Noem. The nakedly ambitious governor of South Dakota, facing a skyrocketing outbreak of COVID-19, refused to even encourage residents to wear masks and socially distance. Does this count as lunacy these days in the Republican Party? I’m not sure, but I think Noem deserves a spot on the list regardless.
  2. Mark Levin. Conservative radio talkers are all kind of nuts, but Levin regularly distinguishes himself as a genuine lunatic. In 2020, he was the first out of the gate to demand that Republican state legislatures ignore the vote and install their own slate of electors to the Electoral College. It’s all been downhill since then.
  3. Scott Atlas. Atlas is a professor of neuroradiology who wormed his way into the White House and went on a rampage of false information about COVID-19. Masks don’t help. Children don’t transmit the virus. Testing is a con “perpetrated on the world.” Herd immunity is the best approach. The people of Michigan should “rise up” against the states’ coronavirus restrictions. He’s so bad that even the normally diplomatic Dr. Fauci admitted, “I have real problems with that guy.”
  4. Jair Bolsonaro. I wanted to include more non-Americans, but the only ones I could come up with just didn’t hold a candle to America’s lunatics. An obvious exception is Brazil’s president, who recently ranted that the Pfizer vaccine might turn people into alligators. This was after he had called the pandemic a “fantasy” and told his followers that “We have to stop being a country of sissies.”
  5. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene, now a Republican congresswoman, is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theories. Enough said.
  6. Mike Flynn. The evidence suggests that Flynn started going crazy around 2014 or so, for unknown reasons. By 2020 he was publicly asking Donald Trump to declare martial law and have the military rerun the presidential election so that it “reflects the true will of the people.” He is currently hawking QAnon merchandise.
  7. Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has been an endless font of lunacy as Donald Trump’s “personal lawyer.” Most recently he’s put together a team of the worst attorneys in history to file an endless series of baseless lawsuits questioning the results of the 2020 election. He’s lost every one of them.
  8. Sidney Powell. When even Rudy Giuliani thinks you’re crazy, it’s a safe bet you’ve gone seriously off the deep end.
  9. Donald Trump. The pandemic will magically go away! Hydroxychloroquine will save us all! Can we inject bleach into people? We don’t need no stinking masks! The election was stolen, I tell you, stolen!

And for all you non-lunatics out there, how about making a contribution to Mother Jones? If you already have, that’s great. If not, let’s get cracking. Just click here.

NOTE: This post has been edited to remove mention of Tara Reade, whose claims have been cast into doubt by independent reporting, but are of a different nature than the others in this list.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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