The New Barbarians: Pundits Raise Alarm Over the Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions

There is a palpable level of panic that seems to have taken hold of Washington this week. Establishment figures are raising the alarm over the rise of dangerous figures as if they are the barbarians at the gate before the sacking of Rome in 410. The threat is coming from both parties in the form of the new Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. They may be the worst type of barbarians because they came to this city with the best of intentions.

For some in Washington, there may be nothing more unnerving than the best of intentions. This is a one-industry town where fortunes are made the old-fashioned way with influence peddling, special dealing, and pork barreling. In that world, the rise of Johnson and Kennedy are about as welcomed as a priest among the Pirates of Penzance.

Johnson is the ultimate buzz kill.

Many were aghast that Johnson used his first speech as speaker to thank God and to say that he believes that God has a plan for him. That is a view shared by millions of religious Americans and it is not the first time that a politician has made such public expressions of devotion. Bill Clinton used to invoke God and salvation continually as he set physical records for debauchery. Even after his Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton would rally liberals to “politics and political involvement dictated by faith.” The problem is not that Johnson said it but he actually seems to mean it.

I likely do not share Johnson’s views on legislating morality or the separation of church and state. However, he has always been viewed as a honest man with deep convictions. Of course, this is a city that can more easily forgive actual convictions than religious convictions.

This is a city where professed socialists and populists unapologetically give their husbands or children huge amounts of campaign funds. Rep. Maxine Waters has reportedly given her daughter over a million dollars. Confronted with millions of dollars in alleged influence peddling by the Biden family, the media has continued to maintain a lack of interest, often excusing the practice as common in Washington.

Indeed, this month, NBC compared Hunter Biden tapping shady foreign figures for millions to the controversy over Nikki Haley’s daughter using TikTok.

The panic over the appearance of an honest man in Congress was evident in an article by the Daily Beast when senior political reporter Roger Sollenberger declared that the “newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account” and apparently “lives paycheck to paycheck.”

Of course, surveys show that over sixty percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and fewer than half of Americans can cover a $1000 emergency expense. However, those are average Americans, not one of us. In this city, hard-working members of Congress plan for the future with gold bars and cash stuffed in a closet or millions transferred from corrupt foreign figures through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts.

In this city, the appearance of Johnson left people dumbfounded like seeing a Triceratops strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Daily Beast’s Mike Fuller noted:

“Mike Johnson doesn’t have any retirement savings, own a single stock, or have any assets at all. He has less than $5,000 in his bank account. He’s got a 250-500K mortgage, a home equity loan, and a personal loan. So what’s his retirement plan? To lobby?”

God only knows.

The same panic was heard this week from the rise of popularity of Kennedy in polls. Once again, there was confusion in the media why the public (yet again) is not buying the universal portrayal of Kennedy as a wackadoodle. The D.C. establishment has been described as “panicking” over the rise of Kennedy in the polls — and the threat that he may present to Joe Biden.

Polls show a shocking 71 percent believe Biden is too old to run for reelection and he is losing ground with young people as well as minority voters. The solution in the establishment and the Democratic National Committee was not to give voters a choice in the primaries and leave them with what they hoped to present as a “better too old than too evil” choice in a rematch with Trump.

That cynical plan is being undone by the rise of Kennedy in polls despite a consistent messaging in the media demonizing the political outsider. He is now near a record in polling for an independent candidate.

The problem with Kennedy is that he is truly a barbarian in the Roman sense. The Romans used the term barbarus for a wide array of people deemed uncivilized or foreign.  Kennedy is a foreigner to the Beltway.  That problem was summed up by a story from my hometown of Chicago during the heyday of the Daley political machine. A younger law student (and later federal judge) named Abner Mikva went to the ward office of Chicago Alderman Timothy O’Sullivan to volunteer to work on a campaign. When O’Sullivan asked “who sent you?”, Mikva responded, “Nobody.” O’Sullivan responded with the classic: “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent.”

Kennedy is that nobody and nobody sent. He has no bona fides for the Beltway. Just some guy who doesn’t like vaccines and the establishment. In other words, a barbarian.

The problem is that a lot of people in the United States want to open the gates. That is what swept Trump into power in 2016 and it is driving the rise of Kennedy. It may have less to do with policies or personalities as much as a deep-seated resentment of the political and media establishment. The more that the establishment and the media try to convince the public that they should not consider Kennedy, the more they are drawn to him.

Likewise, the more that the media mocks Johnson for his abundance of faith and lack of cash the more the public is drawn to him.

The real concern for the establishment is that a nation of “nobodies” may be ready to send another message to the somebodies of Washington.


119 thoughts on “The New Barbarians: Pundits Raise Alarm Over the Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions”

  1. I’ve listened to him. Regardless of what anyone thinks of his positions or what I think of them one thing I’m certain of is he believes what he’s saying, and that he’s a rarity in the cesspool that is DC. An honest man.

    Yea, I’d consider voting for him. Its about time a Mister Smith came back to Washington.

  2. One question that is not addressed: is Kennedy really drawing voters mostly from Biden or is Kennedy drawing more voters from Trump?
    The Rising show said that the core of Kennedy’s success is among the Independent voters; this is precisely the area that Trump distinguishes himself from the Republican establishment. As such, it is certainly possible that the Democrats view Kennedy as more Perot than Stein.

  3. I am neither Christian nor religious, but I would strongly prefer the company of the new speaker to any of the totalitarian inclined progressives who are now the leading voices of the democratic party, and who are to spineless to condemn the vicious anti-Semitism of the so-called pro-Palestinian rallies. I gladly prefer his leadership over many of my Jewish progressive relatives who seem to be more aghast at Israel than the their allies who seek Israel’s defeat in this war and who still worship that insidious mountebank, Obama who has the temerity to pontificate on the current catastrophes in the ME and Ukraine which he helped authored!

  4. At some point when the gentry stop listening, the hoi polloi speak louder.

    Not a fan of Kennedy personally, but I do not see a problem with him running any more than anyone else. If his name was Smith and not Kennedy, would anyone listen?

    The problem is not his name, but that he has gained attention as a spoiler and not a serious candidate. Next generation of Ralph Nader?

    I think a couple of barbarians are good for the system and not the party. That is the real problem. I doubt this one can be bought off like others

    1. The Nader-As-Spoiler for the Democrats in the 2000 election trope is a myth, much like Russiagate later, promulgated by establishment Democrats to deflect blame over their failures.

      Over two hundred thousand registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush that year, yet somehow Ralph Nader and the piddling Green Party are at fault? Please…

  5. “Of course, this is a city that can more easily forgive actual convictions than religious convictions.”

    Should this be the other way round?

    “Of course, this is a city that can more easily forgive religious convictions than actual convictions.”

    Actual convictions are the true horror to those greasy enough to use religious “convictions” for their own ends.

  6. “Bill Clinton used to invoke God and salvation continually as he set physical records for debauchery.”

    I was obliged to comment when I laughed out loud as I read that.

  7. Yep we are done with the belt way. Bcqw. We the ppl are done providing their greasey palms on our dime. Johnson is our man and not there to make himself rich or get a new wife 30 years younger who is ugly and only 23. Baby. Nor is he they to by the sword convert ppl to Christians… vhe’s there bc somehow we the ppl put him there. That the ptb are soon going to have their shurades exposed … well we the peons see it and are wise. So there! Coach. Jug5. And there is more than one way to skin a cat.

  8. ITS TIME to Clean House or the corruption, Elites, Davos Crowd, the pretend/fake reformist like Bernie Sanders who owns at least 3 houses, flies by private jet, is a multi-millionaire, etc. Time to clear out the Neocons/war hawks, simply we need fresh and better leaders like Kenndy, Johnson etc. Trump may be the only one who can definitely clean house, not looking for $$$ like Biden crowd or create a two tier system of haves vs have nots, like the Davos crowd with their Great Reset crap

    1. Trouble is that when Trump was elected he immediately surrounded himself with the very Swamp Rats that he had railed against. One of Trump’s main problems is that he doesn’t have a moral compass and is very gullible to any charlatan that sells him a bill of goods while proclaiming their fealty to him. He thinks that anyone proclaiming loyalty to him knows what is good for the nation.

  9. I don’t have a prediction for how this will turn out, but I am in favor of Washington turning away from the institutions that have run rampant with their actions to destroy our basic rights under the guise of “security,” and all this is wrapped around the idea that the US has to be the world’s policeman.

    Consider that the nation has gone through a period that was punctuated by claims from the alphabet-soup agencies (that are under the command of the President, no less) that President Trump was violating national security rules by talking about the contents of some of these documents in “insecure” locations, and then removing items that pertained to national security issues from the White House. Why is there such a high level of classification placed on many of these documents? If the US weren’t expected to be the world’s policemen, then there would be plenty fewer classified documents.

    And this is what I think Washington hates the most. It hates outsiders getting in positions of power, where they can dismantle some of the internal workings of the government that keep these people in powerful positions. In other words, government hates competition.

  10. Soon, they’ll be getting the razor wire from Biden’s inauguration out of storage. And calling out the National Guard. The ones that pass the political loyalty test, anyway.

  11. Johnson’s Finances Are Stranger Than Hunter Biden’s

    Jordan Libowitz of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, offered a blunt assessment:

    “It’s strange to see Speaker Johnson disclose no assets,” Libowitz told The Daily Beast. “He made over $200,000 last year, and his wife took home salary from two employers as well, so why isn’t there a bank account or any form of savings listed?”

    Johnson has also carried debts over for several years, which Libowitz said would sharpen the question.

    “He owes hundreds of thousands of dollars between a mortgage, personal loan, and home equity line of credit, so where did that money go?” Libowitz said. “If he truly has no bank account and no assets, it raises questions about his personal financial wellbeing.”


    Do we honestly believe the Johnson’s, a couple reporting over $200,000 in annual income, have no bank accounts??

    Are we to imagine that Speaker Johnson does his banking at a Currency Exchange? That he purchases money orders, with cash, to pay all his bills?

    Professor Turley risks his credibility by praising Johnson’s ‘modesty’. There is obviously more than meets the eye regarding Johnson’s finances.

    1. The Daily Beast is a Leftwing hate- for-profit agitprop rag, and you’re just a copy/paste troll too stupid to decipher what your handlers are feeding you.


      Meet Roger Sollenberger, the brother of Barstool’s Eric Sollenberger, better known as PFT Commenter. Roger is a reporter for the Daily Beast, a leftwing hate-for-profit blog.

    2. Anonymous, with propagandists like you, Hunter and is Dad are both shoo ins. For Leavenworth.

    3. Dear Anonymous (the Cretinesque one):

      Congressional ethics rules only require financial disclosure of a bank account if a member of Congress has total deposits in interest bearing accounts worth more than $5,000. Mike Lee does have a savings account, but it doesn’t pay interest. Unlike your favorite Democrats and RINOs, Mike Lee doesn’t accept payoffs from China and various Deep State shell companies.

      But don’t give up hope and your lies and false accusations, Anonymous (Cretin). Perhaps you could get a letter signed by the nation’s Deep State “Intelligence” Operatives that concludes that Mike Lee’s financial disclosures “have all the earmarks” of corruption?

      You could then circulate the letter to all the presstitutes you can think of and they will spread “the word” in their publications and on TV.

    4. I have no idea what you beleive – nor do I care.
      Is it beleivable that Johnson has no bank accounts ?

      There are many unconventional – but rational approaches that explain this.
      Certainly. Johnson is conservative and christian.
      There are a number of conservative christians who are unbanked or more accurately self banked.

      I do not know that Johnson is among them. But that does not alter the fact that it is possible.

      One appoach that fitsd the facts would be if Johnson has significant amount of whole life inusrance.

      Whole life insurance is suboptimal at a number of financial tasks, but despite that it also functions to meet numerous financial goals.
      It is an investment – though it does not usually show up as one on financial discolsures.
      It is a retirement fund.
      It is something you can borrow against, and it can be used to self bank.

      I do not propose that is exactly what Johnson has done – but I can assure you there are many 40yr olds people making over 200K/year with no bank account and no traditional retirement and no traditional investments who will likely have a 7-9 figure net worth when they retire.

      I would further not that Johnson is young. While I had a bank account at his age – and whole life. I also had a significant mortgate, no IRA and no assets. I am doing fine today.

      Johnson is both conservative nd christian – and he appears to be very christian. He is a former prosecutor and appears to have serious concerns about even the appearance of conflicts of interests. While I doubt that he has no investments at all. His lack of traditional investments means that he can not be accused of conflicts of interests.

      There are actually people who conduct their affairs with that levl of integrity.

      I do not know that Johnson is one of those – though he appears to be.

      That you do not beleive that does not alter than one iota.

        1. When you are paying for my writing, then I will care about your critique of spelling.
          In the real world I have been published by Technical magazines about half a dozen times. I have had the back page editorial in technical magazines on two occasions.

          This year I have a scientific paper published in a industry technical journal. It appears that ACM is going to republish that paper shortly.

 is not ACM, it is not a magazine that is paying for my content.

          I do not waste time here with spell checkers or other tools.

          If you can point to an error of fact, logic or reasoning – and you can do so sufficiently well that you are credible – THEN I care about your criticism.

    5. Is there any evidence of Johnson raising millions of dollars — using intimidation and promises of political access — from foreign entities, including entities close to foreign, unfriendly governments? It is there any evidence of illegal, if not criminal, expenditure of funds on, for example, illegal drugs, trafficked young women, and firearms? Trying to equate Johnson with Hunter Biden is profane.

    6. Making $200K a year and not having a lot of cash is not uncommon at all.
      If Johnson isn’t feeding at the trough of “gifts”, it is actually completely believable.

    7. Your source is CREW who are neither oriented toward Responsibility, nor Ethics? Why not quote WIKIPEDIA or the Huffington Post instead? Guffaw!

  12. In referencing barbarians perhaps the Left is referring to Jews marching into DC Nov 14.

    Tomorrow might may well be the mother of all anti-semitic violence committed by Democrats. This march is occurring in a city where violent crime is higher than ever and where vacancies with LEO are dangerously low. Thank DC Mayor Muriel Bowser with her anti-police / defund the police Democrat talking points.

    Perhaps Professor Turley will be in attendance


    November 14, 2023 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

    MARCH for Israel
    MARCH to Free Hostages
    MARCH Against Antisemitism

    Tuesday, November 14th | 1:00 PM

    National Mall, Washington D.C.

    To connect with others from Across Greater Washington and pick up rally signs, meet us in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (South side, closest to the Mall on Madison Drive NW). We will coordinate here from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, moving in shifts to go through security.

    The program begins at 1:00 PM. Doors open at 10:00 AM to allow people to enter the area and get through security. The pre-program event begins at 11:30 AM. We expect the entire program to be over by 3:00 PM.

    Federations are guiding and leading their communities’ participation in the march. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington will designate one single point of contact, maintain a list of participants attending from within our community, and communicating details back to The Jewish Federations of North America.

    March for Israel’ in DC expected to bring large crowds, parking and traffic restrictions

    More than a month after the Oct. 7 attack by terrorist group Hamas on Israel, tens of thousands of people are expected on the National Mall in D.C. Tuesday for a “March for Israel.” The permit issued by the National Park Service, based upon information provided by the organizers, anticipates up to 60,000 people.

  13. Kennedy & Johnson were a great team in 1960. Why not in 2024?

    It’s certainly an improvement over the Democrats’ “dream team” of Kamala Harris and Ray Epps.

  14. In theory, women have the power to make the human race go extinct. Men should get a say in whether that happens.

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