John Conyers’ Disorientation and Nancy Pelosi’s Strategic Obliviousness

The first Morning Jolt of the week features Senator Al Franken’s implausible claim that he’s a victim of a witch hunt against hugs, a discussion of that big New York Times profile of a white nationalist and how it revealed more than the editors thought, and revelations about Congressman John Conyers’ disorientation and Nancy Pelosi’s strategic obliviousnesss.

Congressman John Conyers should have been removed from office a long time ago, for his own good. He has already handed over much of the day-to-day committee work to staff aides and other Democratic members in recent years, and has often appeared disoriented. In at least two separate occasions — once at a United Automobile Workers event in Michigan and once at a meeting of top Democrats on Capitol Hill — Mr. Conyers showed up wearing pajamas, according to two people familiar with the incidents. A spokeswoman for Mr. Conyers said she had “no knowledge this ever occurred.”

When members of Congress are exhibiting signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, and no one around them takes steps to ease them out of governing responsibilities… stop asking why Americans don’t have more faith in their leaders! Our old colleague Tim Alberta observed last week, “John Conyers has not been all there, mentally, for some time. Every top Dem in MI and DC knows that.” You wouldn’t let your grandpa operate heavy machinery if he started wandering around in his pajamas.

Why did Democrats allow Conyers to keep operating as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee all this time? Forget stepping down as ranking member on the committee; he does not belong in Congress, for his own good. How the hell does Nancy Pelosi not know that the guy set to run the Judiciary Committee is wandering the walls of Congress in his pajamas? How does she not do something about that?

Yesterday morning, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Pelosi, “Do you believe John Conyers’ accusers?” She responded, “I don’t know who they are. Do you? They have not really come forward.”

As Perry Bacon of observed, “Seriously? One of them talked to the Washington Post. Another filed a lawsuit against Conyers. A third reached a settlement with him.”

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