After 21 days and 20-ish hours without a speaker, Republicans finally managed to find their guy. The guy they could agree on. The guy who best represents their policy agenda. The guy they can count on to bring or not bring bills to the floor for a vote. The decider.
Who is this guy?
Second in line to the presidency is now Mike Johnson, a man who doesn’t see women or gay people as human beings. Not only is he the “architect” of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol for Donald Trump’s attempted coup, but he continued trying to steal votes from the majority of Americans.
As I warned in The Daily on Monday, “Of these candidates, special attention should be called for Mike Johnson, who while not a front-runner, played such a large role in the 1/6 attack that the NYT called him “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections.” When the amicus brief plot didn’t succeed in overturning the election, Johnson turned his gaze to what became the insurrection. On that day, Johnson tweeted, “We MUST fight for election integrity, the Constitution, and the preservation of our republic! It will be my honor to help lead that fight in the Congress today.”
In 2022, Republicans were expected to have a “red tsunami,” but instead, their election denial and anti-abortion candidates drove even some Republican voters across the aisle.
Here’s Trump-backed Mike Johnson basically saying women are broodmares who should be forced to give birth to make “able bodied workers”:
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Mike Johnson attacks Roe v. Wade, insisting that if only women were compelled to bring more “able-bodied workers” into the world, Republicans wouldn’t need to slash Social Security and Medicare. pic.twitter.com/RGzg09TYEW
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) October 25, 2023
Abortion rights are human rights, but Johnson sees Roe as a terrible decision because he believes it harms the economy when women have autonomy. It hurts something, but it’s not the economy. Guess whose pocketbook it hurts when women don’t have access to healthcare, including abortion? “Overturning Roe v. Wade would be an economic catastrophe for millions of women,” the Economic Policy Institute wrote after the leaking of the Supreme Court draft to over turn Roe.
“Abortion is often framed as a “culture-war” issue, distinct from material “bread and butter” economic issues. In reality, abortion rights and economic progress are deeply interconnected, and the imminent loss of abortion rights means the loss of economic security, independence, and mobility for millions of women. The fall of Roe will be an additional economic blow, as women in the 26 states likely to ban abortion already face an economic landscape of lower wages, worker power, and access to health care.”
Johnson was booed over and over again when he explained why he was against reparations during opening remarks he gave for his party during a House Judiciary hearing on reparations. Johnson even cited a Harvard professor as he explained why reparations would be so harmful for black people, as he is sure that Harvard is on the right side of institutional racism — who better to understand the struggle of systemically oppressed people than the most privileged among us? The Intelligencer summed it up:
“Johnson went further than this: In his statement, he invoked the will of God, Martin Luther King Jr., and the opinion of his adopted 35-year-old black son, Michael, to argue not only that reparations are wrong, impractical, and probably illegal, but that they would harm black Americans’ dignity by depriving them of the “meaning” injected into their lives by having to achieve equality without government aid.”
It will come as no surprise that Johnson not only sees Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare as “entitlements,” but thinks they are the reason the deficit is too high. It couldn’t be the Republican tax cuts for the rich that economists actually credit with the ballooning deficit. Nope! Must be the fault of hard-working regular Americans.
FLASHBACK: GOP Speaker nominee Mike Johnson called cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security “the #1 priority”
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) October 25, 2023
Johnson also introduced a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill last October. You know, right before the Republican tsunami failed to materialize. Johnson’s bill might have been modeled on wannabe fascist Republican Governor Ron DeSantis‘ Don’t Say Gay law, but it went further:
“While the bill draws inspiration from state legislation in Florida that prohibits discussion of sexual orientation in the classroom, Johnson’s bill would have the effect of prohibiting discussion of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender dysphoria or related subjects at any federally funded institution.”
When someone doesn’t see the people he serves as human beings, it is easier to invalidate their votes and make policy that steals their basic human rights.
Mike Johnson is a great fit for Republicans as second in line to the presidency. After all, Donald Trump is the leader of the Republican Party, and he is currently facing four separate indictments totaling 91 charges. He has been impeached twice for serious offenses. He stands accused of not only stealing but also sharing top secret national security information with foreign nationals. He is threatening civil war. He was found liable for sexual assault and fraud.
Mike Johnson as speaker is what happens when a political party panders to the very extremists they invited in as a solution to the fact that they couldn’t get power running as the party that gives working people’s money to the 1%. So they gerrymandered districts to corrupt the political process to give extremists leverage the voters wouldn’t offer freely, and at every other turn, they grab power not given by the voters and then try to legalize the power grab if they can.
Mike Johnson doesn’t treat the majority of Americans as human beings. He dehumanizes them in both policy efforts and rhetoric. He is also a ringleader against democracy. This is exactly who the Republican Party is now.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.