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"At Least He's Better Than Gym Jordan" Is A Completely Incorrect Analysis Of MAGA Mike Johnson



In his Bulwark column yesterday, Mike Johnson, Polite Extremist, Matthew Taylor wrote that despite the calm demeanor, MAGA Mike “has deep ties to proponents of the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement that helped fuel the January 6th insurrection” and that foremost observers he embodies a paradox “a mild-mannered, soft-spoken, and temperamentally courteous individual” whose ideological extremism led him to take a leading role in the attempt to overturn the U.S. government. “So which is he,” asked Taylor, “an anti-democratic politician and an insurrectionist, or a mild-mannered Christian? Part of the problem is that we have come to imagine that a person cannot be both at the same time. Mike Johnson shows that you can.”


Taylor spent nearly three years researching the Christian theologies and Christian leaders that drove the January 6th insurrection and “Christian Trumpism.”Many of then “showed up on January 6th to do spiritual (and sometimes physical) warfare against American democracy. Many of them are mild-mannered, conservative, deeply evangelical Christians, too. And it turns out that quite a few of them have connections with Mike Johnson.”


He wrote that the GOP’s intertnal dynamics today have shifted to a struggle “between conservative Christians and politically extreme conservative Christians. “There are principled, conservative Christians with heartfelt moral views on abortion, LGBTQ-rights, and a host of other cultural issues who value democracy and pluralism and recognize their preferred policies won’t always win the day. And there are politically extreme conservative Christians who… are also willing to upend democracy to see their agendas realized. Politically extreme conservative Christians were some of the foremost leaders who bought into and bolstered Trump’s 2020 election lies, who used theology to justify their own authoritarianism, and who have brought their extremist theologies into the heart of right-wing politics [the New Apostolic Reformation]. Mike Johnson can be located in this group… They believe and propagate extreme theologies that provide a mandate for Christians to take over society, and they have become increasingly influential in Republican politics in the past eight years. Several New Apostolic Reformation leaders— they usually call their leaders either apostles or prophets— were influential evangelical advisers to Donald Trump.”


Just in case you’re wondering whether Mike Johnson really believes any of this or might just be humoring these hardline apostles of Christian supremacy, as so many Republican politicians feel they must do nowadays to remain electorally viable, here it is from the horse’s mouth. On one of Garlow’s prayer calls last year, Mike Johnson summarized his view of working in Congress: “This transcends politics . . . this is a spiritual battle that we’re in now for the survival of our country.” NAR leaders used the same rationalization to whip conservative American Christians into a frenzy leading into January 6th, and here it is on the lips of our newest speaker of the House.
There is no contradiction in observing that Mike Johnson is both a mild-mannered, courteous, conservative evangelical Christian and a politically extreme ideologue. He has surrounded himself with some of the most dangerous, anti-democratic Christian leaders in the country— the same people who theologized the January 6th insurrection— and offered them his public support and praise. Is there any doubt about the flock to which he belongs?

How does that manifest itself— beyond the fact that we have an anti-democracy extremist as Speaker of the House? His first big move was to make aid to Israel a hostage to a GOP obsession— making it easier for the very wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes. Yesterday, Greg Sargent wrote about this GOP obsession with defenestrating the IRS. Keeping mind that for every dollar the IRS spends auditing rich tax cheats, they bring in as much as $12. Republican politicians know very well that defunding the IRS means increasing the deficit. Nonetheless, Republican politicians insist that the IRS “empowers a strike force of bureaucrats to prey on ordinary Americans.” Over 1,000 millionaires haven’t even filed a tax return. Have you? The IRS is after them, not you. We’re talking about close to a billion dollars with of unpaid taxesby extremely rich people who think they are entitled to not pay anything.


Sargent wrote that “new data on tax avoidance by the ultra-rich badly undermines GOP claims to being an anti-elite, pro-worker party. It shows that if Republicans get their way with regard to the IRS, a nontrivial number of very rich Americans would continue to underpay taxes they owe, effectively making out like bandits. What’s more, the 2,000 people who represent the highest-income non-filers in one or more of those years owe a total of more than $900 million in federal taxes, the data shows… The data underscores that when the IRS is underfunded, wealthy tax cheats benefit in a big way. An underfunded IRS is what Republicans are advocating for… Starving the IRS has been a longtime Republican project.”


And MAGA Mike hopes to realize that Republican goal by tying aid to Israel— which is wildly popular— to disarming the IRS. Reporting for CNN yesterday, Ron Brownstein, wrote that the arc of MAGA Mike’s “career encapsulates the shifting priorities of the religious right in the era of Donald Trump. During his first decades in political life, the newly elected House speaker was a vehement opponent of legal abortion and greater legal equality for LGBTQ people. That focus reflected the dominant public focus of religious conservatives on issues of sexuality and gender roles from the 1980s until Barack Obama’s presidency. Without abandoning those views, Johnson in recent years has embraced key priorities of Trump’s MAGA movement, describing illegal immigration as ‘the true existential’ threat to America’s future and leading congressional efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he claimed suffered from ‘credible allegations of fraud and irregularity.’ In his own journey, the Louisiana Republican embodies the merger between different generations of public priorities for the movement of conservative evangelical Christians in which he launched his career and still strongly identifies. Long identified with issues revolving around sexuality, religious conservatives have also become the bedrock supporters of a Trump movement rooted in hostility toward demographic and racial change… In the convergence of these views, Johnson represents the core of the modern GOP coalition.”


In his personal demeanor, Johnson is as mild-mannered as Trump is bombastic. But each man appears equally committed to a vision of America that elevates the moral and political preferences of conservative White Christians over any other group. In a podcast recorded immediately after Johnson’s elevation last week, Barton and two colleagues told their listeners not to let the new speaker’s soft-spoken affect confuse them.
“There’s an axiom back from cowboy days that said, ‘Hey, this guy, he’s tough but he’s nice,’” Barton said. “’He’ll make you smile before he hits you in the mouth so he won’t bloody your lips before he breaks your teeth.’”


3 Comments


Johnson is worse. He is the worst. This will not play out well. I suspect we won’t have a functional government for a year. And that is only if Dems take over the house and keep the Senate. If we are fortunate enough to last that long and survive, the filibuster must go and four more justices must be added to the Supreme Court.

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Guest
Nov 01, 2023
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Functional doesn't mean much then. yes, it will likely be open for business... but it still wouldn't be doing anything useful. And that's if your pussy democraps somehow fail to lose it.


And just who do you hallucinate will do away with the filibuster and/or add more justices? And why not first rid ourselves of 3 or 4 nazis who deserve to be impeached and THEN add 4 more? But, again, who do you hallucinate would do that?


certainly not the pussies y'all keep electing.

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Guest
Nov 01, 2023

The trajectory of the shithole has been, since 1968, to get ever worse, but at varying rates of acceleration.

"not as bad as" in this context really means getting shittier a little slower than it could have.


I think when it is all tallied up, mikey will prove to be at least as bad as gym would have been.

It kind of depends on whether there remain 4 nazis who still think that they'll need to prove to be moderate in order to get re-elected. and care. I know for a fact that there is not a single nazi in congress who is not pure evil. But 4 pragmatists will be needed or the christian caliphate will be well under…

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