23 Villains for '23
A look at some of the very worst Americans.
This is now the third indictmentless day of 2023. As we wait for Jack Smith to make his first move, I wanted to throw out the names of 23 bad guys to monitor in the New Year.
A few notes on my methodology: While there are plenty of worthy foreign nationals who are as evil as they come—Vladimir the Puny comes to mind—I’ve confined myself to U.S. citizens. Also, I’d like to apologize for the lack of diversity. Incredibly, the list of horrible Americans is populated in the main by white men.
While the order is subjective, I tried to rank these miscreants according to how awful they are. For that, my primary metric is body count: how many people have suffered and/or died because of their actions. (I’m sure Elon Musk and his disciples will be disappointed to not find Dr. Fauci on the list, but in his long career, Fauci saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Only assholes find people like that villainous.)
Finally, this is hardly an exhaustive list, nor is it meant to be. There are, alas, scores of wretched Americans I could have included. Please excuse my omission of the many other worthy candidates.
And now, the 23:
23. Dan Snyder
There are owners of sports teams who are lousy humans but also good owners, in that they run their teams well. There are also owners who suck at the job but seem kind of cool. Snyder, the owner of the NFL franchise whose name he refused for many years to change to something that isn’t a horrible ethnic slur, is both a shit owner and a shit person. You can read all about it in a report produced by the House Oversight Committee titled “Conduct Detrimental: How the NFL and the Washington Commanders Covered Up Decades of Sexual Misconduct.” I know sports are a frivolity in the grand scheme of things, but they reflect the larger culture. Our society should not accept this sort of bad behavior.
22. Erik Prince
The American version of Yevgeniy Prigozhin.
21. Alex Jones
I’m not sure how he continues to produce his Info Wars broadcasts, since every dime he earns has to be forked over to the Sandy Hook families. I’m also not sure why anyone pays attention to him; those lawsuits were, in effect, a referendum on his credibility as a journalist, and he left the courthouse owing a billion and a half dollars.
20. Marco Rubio
Don’t let his earnest countenance and yen for tweeting Bible passages fool you. This schmuck is a full-on traitor, and he doesn’t get nearly enough attention for it. He’s the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He knows more than almost anyone alive about what’s really going on. Yet he continues to spew Kremlin talking points, poisoning the discourse with bullshit. His enduring popularity with the Cuban-American population in Florida is both ironic and disappointing—they, of all people, should know how to spot a serial liar propped up by Moscow.
19. Kevin McCarthy
Fodder for O. Henry; the Capitol Hill version of the guy who made a wish on the cursed monkey’s paw. In 2015, he’s cracking wise about Putin paying Trump and Dana Rohrabacher. In 2021, a few weeks after the insurrection, he’s in Mar-a-Lago, kissing the ring on Trump’s tiny hand. He wants Pelosi’s gavel so badly he’s willing to endure any humiliation, however debasing, to achieve it. McCarthy’s going to make Republicans yearn for the good old days, when the worst thing you could say about their House Speaker was that he was a pedophile.
18. The Pipe Bomber
Like the mythological second shooter behind the grassy knoll, except that someone really did plant pipe bombs at the RNC and DNC the night before the insurrection—and if the FBI knows who it is, they ain’t saying.
17. Marjorie Taylor Greene
This wretched, hateful person—accoster of school shooting victims; true believer of all the Q horseshit; proud Christian Nationalist (read: Nazi)—has no place in polite society, so of course let’s put her in Congress and give her McCarthy’s leash and the keys to his ball gag.
16. Roger Stone
Since the days of Nixon, this shameless rightwing operative has been a festering herpes blister on the genitals of our fair republic. Just when you think the rash is gone, it breaks out again.
15. Steve Bannon
Although convicted of a crime,
Sloppy Steve has done no time.
14. Ron DeSantis
Amoral dipshit runs Florida like a dictatorship, and will do the same to the country if he is elected president. DeSantistan will not be a fun place to live, guys.
13. Josh Hawley
Poltroonish senator who represents, but does not live in, Missouri. Condemns porn, but smooches his wife with all the passion of a tourist kissing the Blarney Stone. Decries the diminishment of the manly virtues, but is best known for either fist-pumping the Capitol besiegers or running away from them.
12. Charlie Kirk
Last night, as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the football game after a blow to the chest on a routine tackle—and as the new, highly virulent strain of covid-19, XBB15, makes the rounds—the Turning Point USA co-founder and conservative radio host sent out a cryptic tweet about “[a]thletes dropping suddenly,” a nod to a debunked conspiracy theory about vaccines. Kirk is also up to his too-close-together eyeballs in the insurrection. During his deposition with the J6 Committee, he pleaded the Fifth to almost everything, including a question about his age.
11. Mike Flynn
Associated with Putin, Trump, QAnon, the Christian Nationalist movement, and the insurrection. On the Mount Rushmore of traitorous generals, along with Benedict Arnold and Robert E. Lee. Word to the wise: if Flynn comes to your neighborhood, keep your bicycles locked up in the garage.
10. Chaya Raichik
The former real estate agent and January 6 rallygoer who maintains the hateful Libs of TikTok account finally revealed herself last week, appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show, so now we can match face with name. (To my jaded eyes, the face in question looks uncannily like that of Devin Nunes). Here’s what the Anti-Defamation League says about Libs of TikTok: “The account, which has over 1.3 million followers as of August 2022, attempts to generate outrage and stoke anti-LGBTQ+ hostility by reposting selected out-of-context social media content created by LGBTQ+ people and liberals. The individuals, events and organizations targeted by the account are frequent targets of harassment, threats and violence.” Raichik likes to equate gays, lesbians, trans people, and drag performers with “groomers” and “pedophiles.” As I’ve explained, this sort of thing, when amplified by the likes of Carlson, leads to acts of stochastic terrorism against trans people. She has blood on her hands.
9. Donald Trump
According to the ticker I saw on Newsmax, which was on the television over the counter at the New Jersey diner I went to over the weekend, no less an authority than Dick Morris thinks Trump has already won the 2024 election. My first thought was, “That’s madness,” but to be fair, the ticker did not specify which election Trump would win next November. Vice president of a homeowners association of some condominium complex in The Villages is, I’m reasonably confident, within the grasp of his small fingers. Every legal pundit out there thinks indictment is imminent. That should be the case, in a nation governed by rule of law. But I’ll believe it when I see it.
8. Elon Musk
Once the world’s richest person, still the worst’s boringest, Epic Thread lost $200 billion last year. That’s a fuck-ton of apartheid emeralds. I’ve written extensively about this Pretorian fraud, and made many jokes at his expense, but let me be clear: his ownership of Twitter—and his failed ownership of the libs—will result in countless innocent people dying, in the U.S. and around the world.
7. Leonard Leo
Knight of Malta and loser from Central Jersey is more responsible than any other individual for the rightward listing of the Supreme Court and the circuit courts—and, therefore, for decisions that imperil the health and life of women, the LGBTQ community, and, because of SCOTUS’s apathy toward climate change, life as we know it on earth.
6. Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton
The troika that rules the Lone Star State—and yes, I’m using troika because it’s a Russian word—is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of pure evil. There are banana republics less corrupt. What with the voter suppression and gerrymandering, the fascistic anti-abortion laws so draconian they harken back to the Fugitive Slave Act, the extreme vaccine and mask denial, the preponderance of guns, and the state power grid pooping out every time it gets too hot or too cold, Texas exemplifies the GOP attitude toward the people: “Fuck you, die.”
5. Ginni Thomas
“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.” That sounds like something my crazy aunt would post on Facebook. Ginni Thomas is someone’s crazy aunt. And, I’m told, she does post—or used to post—crazy shit on Facebook. But she has enormous influence over not just her husband, the odious Clarence Thomas, but the entire Leonard Leo wing of the Supreme Court. And she didn’t publish that batshit paragraph on her Facebook feed—she texted it to the fucking White House Chief of Staff.
4. Tucker Carlson
How many dictators can he fluff
Before this traitor’s had enough?
3. Sam Alito
The United States of America may well fall apart because this not-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is wannabe stand-up comic disgraces the bench with his unique blend of garbage jurisprudence and utter lack of empathy. But the dissolution of the union is small potatoes next to the Dobbs decision, which will be directly responsible for the suffering and death of many thousands of women for as long as it lasts. That’s a lot of blood on the hands of this pompous imbecile.
2. Rupert Murdoch
Most straight male billionaires in their mid-eighties would happily retire to some private island with the former model who was the longtime partner of Mick Jagger, but not Rupert Murdoch, no sir: he just had to double down on his legacy of awfulness and horror by backing and covering for the criminal Trump.
“He’s morally bankrupt. He’s a nothing man who may well be more personally responsible for the death of this planet than any other single human being. . . . In terms of the lives that will be lost by his whoring for the climate change deniers, there’s a very persuasive argument to be made that he’s worse than Hitler.” That’s what Logan Roy’s brother Ewen said about Logan on Succession, but it’s no less true of the real-life News Corp magnate, except that Murdoch also allowed his Fox News hosts to spew vaccine disinformation, exacerbating the pandemic—despite the fact that he was one of the first people on earth to get the jab. Rupert Murdoch is unequivocally one of the worst human beings to ever draw breath on this planet.
1. Jared Kushner
Look, I kind of understand, if I don’t condone, letting Mark Meadows get away with voter fraud, and Erik Prince slide for perjury, and even giving FPOTUS a mulligan for the whole insurrection business. It’s like Yale handing Dubya the gentleman’s C. But once the death toll you’re directly responsible for hits seven digits, I feel like, I don’t know, maybe the DOJ should take some action?
Functionally, Kushner oversaw Trump’s pandemic response policy. He chose to ignore the recommendations of his own shadow advisory board because he thought letting covid-19 run amok in New York, New Jersey, and California would help his father-in-law’s re-election prospects. He hoarded supplies and watched the states fight over them. And, as we found out this week, he made sure during the transition that the incoming Biden people would be denied critical information regarding the pandemic response. Think for a moment, please, about what that means and what sort of abominable human would do such a thing.
Jared Kushner is a fucking monster who engineered a Blue State Genocide. A million Americans are dead now because of him. Yet our broadcast media allowed him his ridiculous book tour, going along with his statesman cosplay, as if he were Talleyrand and not a Genghis Khan-level mass killer. And we all saw him with Elon Musk at the World Cup in Qatar, feeding at the trough of fossil fuel money. Where is the fucking outrage?
Let the ball, and the indictments, drop.
Note: I’ve been too preoccupied these last two weeks to sink my teeth into the January 6th transcripts. From what I’ve seen, they confirm what we already know: Trump did it, lots of people helped him, and they are all miserable traitors.