On the planet Naboo there lived two sentient species, one of them humanoid and the other amphibian. Because of general mistrust between the two and also general living preferences, the amphibians lived far off on their own, under the sea. These were the Gungans.
To all appearances, they were hard to take seriously, but they knew what they were doing. Of course they did. They even knew all about the Jedi, their mindtricks. While it appeared that they could sometimes be easily manipulated at the appeasement of their considerable egos...the truth is, the Gungans were far more significant than they appeared. In fact, they were the real power behind...everything.
It was the Gungans who manipulated both Valorum and Palpatine to the role of chancellor in the Galactic Republic. Not being members themselves, I can see where you would be skeptical of this claim, but these were masters of persuasion, after all. They always got what they wanted. When they needed Queen Amidala in their pocket, they got that too. They knew what they were doing.
They knew what Palpatine was all along. They kept to themselves not for self-preservation, but because it was far wiser to step aside from the chaos they knew would come. The ruins of their once-great surface kingdom served as an everlasting testament to the Gungan legacy still strong on Naboo. They were living there when Palpatine first came, his disgraces and, of course, secrets kept well-hidden to the humanoids but plainly apparent to them. This was when they first considered retreating to different living arrangements. If Palpatine was going to go about his old tricks, they wanted nothing to do with it, at least until he finally played his hand. And then they could resurface.
This was achieved in the form of the exile Jar Jar Binks, who often couldn't be bothered to understand the world around him. He was exactly what everyone assumed the Gungans to be. But he wasn't so bad. He had a great amount of courage, and devotion to spare. Like any of his kind, Binks allowed social norms to be the public excuse he needed to overcome his apparent deficiencies. Every Gungan knew the Jedi would eventually come to Naboo, and they wouldn't travel to the underwater city unless they had to. But with Binks on the surface, the Jedi would come to him. And he would become welcomed into the mainstream Naboo fold before long, even a senator representing the whole world on Coruscant, where he would one day, as with Amidala before him, offer proposals that would further draw out the true nature of Palpatine, forcing him ever closer to at last become his own undoing. As the Gungans had understood long ago.
The less he was asked to do the more sedate Binks became. Even respectable, in case anyone was watching. But in time, once again, this Gungan like every other, would vanish. And this served their kind very well indeed.