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Is MAGA Mike Really A Monster? Really As Bad As Trump And Jordan?

Is He As Bad As Marjorie Traitor Greene, Boebert, Gaetz?


Boebert never met a Johnson she didn't like

Very far right Tennessee aggressive malcontent, Christian nationalist and senile congressman from Knoxville (and the 8 blood red counties north and south of it) Tim Burchett, was interviewed about MAGA Mike’s election on a neo-Nazi podcast. He said “If you can’t see the hand of God in this, you’re just not lookin’… God used 8 reprobates, I guess you’d say [referring to the 8 fascist jerks who deposed McCarthy]… to have somebody like a Mike Johnson…” If you want to watch that video at the link above, you’ll see why Congress is so mistrusted and hated by most Americans with a 13% job approval. The idea of a crackpot like Burchett being in any capacity of public service is frightening. MAGA Mike may well be just as bad, perhaps worse.


Writing for the Financial Times yesterday, Ed Luce called his rise to the top job in the House the Triumph of the GOP end-of-days caucus. So… how did a basically anti-democracy religionist freak, an “avatar biblical conservatism,” of like him win? Luce identified 3 reasons. “The most important was exhaustion. Republicans spent three increasingly embarrassing weeks flailing around for a consensus figure in a party held hostage by extremists over a decision requiring near unanimity. What I call the kamikaze caucus, led by Matt Gaetz, defenestrated Kevin McCarthy with the single member ‘motion to vacate’ on October 3. They then blocked Steve Scalise, McCarthy’s number two, as insufficiently firebrand. Jim Jordan, who was the hardliners’ fantasy choice, was then duly upended in three consecutive votes by a group of so-called moderate Republicans, though that word has virtually no meaning any longer. Finally, an exhausted caucus voted without dissent to make Johnson speaker on Wednesday as the last man standing. The second reason was that Johnson had Donald Trump’s enthusiastic support. Jordan enjoyed Trump’s backing too but that was before the fatigue set in. The third, which builds on the first two, is that Johnson is liked by his colleagues. His demeanour is sunny and collegiate. From a temperamental point of view, Johnson is as far from the Gaetzs, Jordans, Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Lauren Boeberts as you get nowadays.”


Luce also notes that MAGA Mike “is the most extreme figure to become US Speaker since the civil war. It was Johnson who rallied the 147 Republican members of the House to vote against certification of the election on January 6, 2021. Rather than chant ‘fraud!’ or ‘stolen election!,’ which were the Gaetz-Trump-Jordan (and so on) battle cries, Johnson got more than 100 of his colleagues to sign on to a Texas federal court amicus brief alleging the ‘constitutional infirmity’ of the elections. Johnson had the tactical nous and temperament to dress exactly the same cause in a legal figleaf, which was that the early voting and mail-in ballot pandemic voting options provided by the swing states were unconstitutional. His goal was the same. But he made it seem respectable. The courts treated Johnson’s brief with the short shrift that it deserved. But without Johnson, Trump’s bid to overturn the electoral college would have attracted far fewer votes. No wonder Trump is a Johnson fan… If Johnson survives the next 13 months— a big conditional given the party’s kamikaze frame of mind— he will be Speaker when the next presidential certification happens in January 2025. I don’t need to spell out what Trump will want Johnson to do for him if he loses again. It is a safe bet that Johnson would do what he could to oblige.”


That is the most sobering fact about America’s new second in line to be president. But we cannot overlook Johnson’s Christian fundamentalism. He is a sincere biblical literalist. As an active legal ally of the Southern Baptist Convention, and also as a Louisiana and now Washington legislator, Johnson has a 25-year record of Christian extremism. He believes homosexuality is unnatural and should be illegal, he supports a federal outlawing of abortion in any circumstances (as co-author of the “life begins at conception” bill before this Congress), he believes the US is a Christian nation founded on biblical principles, and he is a “Christian Zionist” supporter of the politically philo-Semitic and theologically antisemitic view that the Book of Revelation will be fulfilled in modern-day Israel. Remember, that involves the second coming of Jesus in a prophesied rapture in which the righteous will ascend to heaven and the rest, including the Jews, will be slaughtered.
Some people would call Johnson a Christian nationalist. I prefer the term “end-of-days Republican.” At any rate, a triumphant Johnson on Wednesday told the house that God had ordained this moment and that his wife had spent the past two weeks “on her knees.” I confess to being puzzled by that last reference. Literally nobody anticipated Johnson would be Speaker until Tuesday of this week. Yet apparently his wife had been praying for it all along.

He then asked his colleague, Rana Foroohar, “whether this GOP extremism, albeit in lamb’s clothing, will destroy the Republican party or the US republic? And added “It has to be one or the other.”


She responded that she has “been wondering if we may be at one of those weird, rare moments in history where we see the total implosion of one party (à la the Whig party) and the creation of new ones. This wouldn’t happen overnight, obviously, but I can certainly imagine a universe in which the Republican party as we know it ceases to exist and the Democratic party expands and splits into the progressive and more middle of the road factions. Or maybe the libertarians rise and take on the Democrats? There aren’t too many of the former but they are very well funded.”


Josh Marshall has been fighting fascism for a long, long time. Yesterday, he brought up something most people know nothing about (including me)— MAGA Mike’s Black “son.” That son sounds a lot like Matt Gaetz’s “son” Nestor (his one-time lover). MAGA Mike is 51. His pretend son, Michael is 40. I’m not saying MAGA Mike was banging Michael; I’m just saying… “son?” None of the people of MAGA Mike’s family look like a Black son. MAGA Mike posted this family photo on Facebook last year:



Marshall wrote that right after Jonhson’s out of the blue elevation to speaker “Video surfaced of an interview Johnson did with Walter Isaacson just after the death of George Floyd in June 2020 in which he revealed that he had an adopted black son, Michael. Johnson went on to explain that there was no question that his black 14-year-old son Michael faced challenges that his white fourteen year old Will never would. Many on the leftward side of the political spectrum were struck by Johnson’s empathy and frank recognition of discrimination in contemporary America while right wingers denounced him for his wokeness.” But there was no Black son anywhere in MAGA Mike’s story. So Marshall started digging.


As I went further down this rabbit hole tonight I was a bit dumbfounded. Is Michael made up? Is he excluded from family pictures? I was so baffled that I went pretty far down that rabbit hole trying to figure out what was going on.
A bit more poking around revealed that Michael also came up a year earlier in a House hearing on reparations in June 2019. Johnson opposed reparations and noted that his black son Michael did too.
In response to jeering from spectators at the hearing Johnson departed from his prepared remarks to invoke Michael. “Let me finish… Listen, wait a minute… Many of my colleagues in this committee may not be aware, in addition to our four children at home, my wife and I have a much older son who happens to be African American. We took custody of Michael and made him part of our family 22 years ago when we were just newlyweds and Michael just 14 and out on the streets and on a dangerous path.”
A bit later in his remarks Johnson said, “I asked Michael this weekend what he thinks about the idea of reparations. In a very thoughtful way, he explained his opposition.”
…Johnson said at the hearing that he and his wife “took custody of Michael” around 1997. So the exact relationship with Michael is uncertain and it’s unclear whether the Johnsons ever adopted Michael. It sounds like the relationship may have been more of a fostering relationship and that the Johnsons consider him a son in an informal sense. But again it’s simply not clear.

"Who's In Charge?" by Nancy Ohanian

You thinking, ‘who cares?’ Brian Beutler makes the case for why everything about the election-denying, fascistic Trump stooge has to be out there— and pounded on. MAGA Mike needs to be famous. He hopes (against hope) that the Democrats “understand there’s more to typecasting an opposition leader than issuing a few press releases, fanning out some juicy opposition research, and declaring the damage done. Johnson’s record— forget his record, actually; his name, his face, his job title— will not take root in the public imagination on its own. And without a sustained effort to make him famous, he can make himself seem innocuous simply by being a bit more demure than his peers. Instilling an idea about a person in the social consciousness and making it stick is an unending and tedious process. Republicans didn’t define Al Gore as a wooden teller of Big Fish tales in one day, it required relentless scoffing; same with John Kerry as the out-of-touch cheese-eating surrender monkey, Hillary Clinton as Mrs. Emails. Nancy Pelosi as Mrs. San Francisco values, and so on.”


What he insists is needed is “an indelible caricature,” not some toothless ads that no one watches but the choir. “Josh Hawley (R-MO) became a meme when the January 6 Committee released footage of him (daintily, fearfully) fleeing the insurrection he helped inspire. Well here’s Mike Johnson, MAGA Ayatollah, running away from questions about his involvement in the failed coup and support for a national abortion ban.



When Johnson is absent or unavailable for any reason, it must be because he’s hiding from yet more questions about his election lies. Or maybe he’s trying to arrest a gay couple, or a woman who terminated a pregnancy. With him it’s always one or the other.
I acknowledge that this isn’t the most intellectually satisfying assignment, but it’s really important.
More than at any point in the modern media era, this kind of crude branding exercise is the direct responsibility of political actors who might prefer to float above the fray and launder their negative politics through journalists. Republicans do this in concert with the political actors at Fox News all the time; Democrats have to carry more of the weight themselves and quite frequently decide the burden is too large.
The exception that proves the rule is Clarence Thomas, who has become a face of public corruption not because Democrats have battled incessantly to expose him, but because investigative journalists, particularly at ProPublica, have been tenacious in their reporting and have dropped shoe after shoe in a cadence we typically associate with a congressional investigation.
(The latest revelation, that Thomas disguised an expensive gift from a wealthy friend as a loan that he never repaid, does come from a Senate investigation, but not from the Judiciary Committee, which has largely let the Thomas matter drop.)
Without that kind of ratatat the public will pick up on the din of some other concerted messaging campaign. Mike Johnson’s extremism and corruption, along with his unwillingness to defend either, have to become social knowledge, and repetition is central to that process.
… House Republicans won’t pay much of a price for electing Johnson unless Johnson is understood, at a population level, to be a malign actor, where when you say the name “Mike Johnson,” it conjures a predictable image in the mind of whomever you’re talking to.
That would require Democrats to change their approach, or at least to change their thinking about what has driven their recent victories. Hakeem Jeffries appeared at a Center for American Progress event this week, and mostly made a good case against Republicans and for Democrats. But he closed with these thoughts:
“We over-performed in a substantial way in the 2022 election… Every single election denier who was running in a swing state for attorney general or for Secretary of State lost,” he said. “It was a decisive win for a forward-looking way of approaching politics, an affirmation, I think, of the incredible accomplishments to date of President Biden, in terms of what has been done, the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Chips and Science Act…the inflation reduction act.”
The election deniers all lost, it’s true, but what makes him think they were taken down by a wave of national pride in Biden’s accomplishments, instead of by their own toxic corruption? Republicans just lined up unanimously to hand the House over to an election denier. They did this because Donald Trump insisted on it. If they suffer politically as a result, it won’t be because of the IRA. It’ll be because people come to see Johnson no differently than they saw Kari Lake and the other defeated insurrections of the 2022 midterms. And it’s critically important that they do. If Republicans don’t lose next November, an insurrectionist will be running the House on January 6, 2025.


Instead, the NY Times runs saccharine pieces like yesterday’s Is the Republican Speakership Cursed? Johnson Is About to Find Out. Carl Hulse: “From Newt Gingrich to John Boehner to Kevin McCarthy and points in between, Republican speakers and speaker candidates have encountered significant turbulence from their own colleagues. The result has been internal revolts of the sort that led to Johnson’s ascent from practically nowhere to the highest office in Congress on Wednesday. Some Republicans worry history will repeat itself with a similar result should Johnson run afoul of some element of the rank and file, an outcome they would like to avoid at all costs considering the abject chaos of recent weeks. Republicans have shown a clear tendency to dump the person at the top when it becomes expedient, much more so than Democrats, and lawmakers hope the habit has not become too ingrained… It has all contributed to a sense that the Republican speakership may be cursed. And it has led to a vicious cycle of sorts in which the party, up against a wall with seemingly no other option, has repeatedly chosen speakers who cannot last in the job… From the Democratic perspective, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and a longtime member of the party’s leadership, said Republican speakers end up being consumed by the same forces of discontent the party uses to stoke its voters. ‘We’ve seen a party that is deeply divided,’ Hoyer said. ‘They rejected three leaders in a row. They are divisive. They aim to divide America and get the most hard-line, angry and disaffected to vote for them.’”


MAGA Mike entered electoral politics after spending more than two decades pushing Christian nationalism in the courts as a litigator at the neo-fascist advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, “and throughout his career,” wrote Katelyn Fossett “he has argued in courts and drafted legislation to outlaw same-sex marriage and restrict abortion.


Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a historian who specializes in evangelical Christianity and politics, told her that as MAGA Mike “understands it, this country was founded as a Christian nation. So really, Christian supremacy and a particular type of conservative Christianity is at the heart of Johnson’s understanding of the Constitution and an understanding of our government… [H]e stands in a long tradition of conservative white evangelicals, particularly inside the Southern Baptist Convention, who have a distinct understanding of what that means. And this is where evangelical author and activist David Barton comes in. Johnson has said that Barton’s ideas and teachings have been extremely influential on him, and that is essentially rooting him in this longer tradition of Christian nationalism. Christian nationalism essentially posits the idea that America is founded on God’s laws, and that the Constitution is a reflection of God’s laws. Therefore, any interpretation of the Constitution must align with Christian nationalists’ understanding of God’s laws. Freedom for them means freedom to obey God’s law, not freedom to do what you want. So really, Christian supremacy and a particular type of conservative Christianity is at the heart of Johnson’s understanding of the Constitution and an understanding of our government… He has gone on record saying things like, for him, this biblical worldview means that all authority comes from God and that there are distinct realms of God-ordained authority, and that is the family, the church and the government… [T]he government’s job is to support this understanding of authority and to align the country with God’s laws.”


Du Mez emphasized that MAGA Mike’s “commitment is not to democracy. He’s not committed to majority rule; he seems to be saying he’s committed to minority rule, if that’s what it takes to ensure that we stay on the Christian foundation that the founders have set up. Now, he would say that there’s really no tension here— that, again, if the Constitution represents this kind of biblical worldview that he suggests the founders embraced, then there’s going to really be no conflict. But he’s on record repeatedly talking about our nation being a republic, and in one case explicitly saying this isn’t a democracy, and that also is a very common theme in Christian nationalist circles and in conservative evangelical circles generally.”


Fossett: I want to make sure I understand; how do these Christian nationalists see the distinction between a democracy and a republic?
Du Mez: When you press them on it, you’ll get different answers. What they’re doing is suggesting that the authority of the people in a popular democracy is constrained by whether or not people’s views align with … they would say the Constitution, but what they mean is a particular interpretation of the Constitution — one that understands the Constitution as being written to defend a particular Christian understanding of this country.
If you want to see what this means … well, one of his core principles is human dignity. Well, does that extend to the dignity of gay citizens or trans citizens? No, absolutely not. His understanding of human dignity is rooted in his understanding of biblical law. One of his core principles is the rule of law. But clearly, he’s comfortable with election denialism. So all of these core principles — freedom, limited government, human dignity — are interpreted through a conservative Christian lens and his understanding of what the Bible says ought to happen and how people ought to behave.
One thing I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about is whether we’ve seen an anti-democratic turn among the Christian right or if it was always at the core of the movement. And certainly if you listen to the kind of rhetoric of what we call Christian nationalism today, it’s been around a long time; they always understood America to be a Christian republic.
But I think what has escalated things in the last decade or so is a growing alarm among conservative white Christians that they no longer have numbers on their side. So looking at the demographic change in this country, the quote-unquote “end of white Christian America” and there’s where you can see a growing willingness to blatantly abandon any commitment to democracy.
It’s really during the Obama presidency that you see the escalation of not just rhetoric, but a kind of desperation, urgency, ruthlessness in pursuing this agenda. Religious freedom was at the center of that. And it was, again, not a religious freedom for all Americans; it was religious freedom to ensure that conservative Christians could live according to their values. Because they could see this kind of sea change on LGBTQ rights, they could see the demographic changes, and inside their spaces, they have really played up this language of fear that liberals are out to get you, and you cannot raise your children anymore.
This kind of radicalizing rhetoric has very much taken root through conservative media echo chambers. So I really see Johnson as very much a part of this moment. But he is also somebody who is offering to rise above it and to stand in and to restore the nation to its Christian principles. When he uses the rhetoric of being anointed by God, for this moment, that’s really the context.
Fossett: If the long trend was away from democracy, it’s kind of an unusual convergence of interests that Trump— even though he is not a figure from the Christian right— is the one who actually ended up calling an election into question. He seems to represent an opportunity for the part of the movement that would like to water down democracy, even if he isn’t the preferred candidate of Christian conservatives in a lot of other ways.
Du Mez: Right. For Christian nationalists, this is God’s country, and all authority comes through God. And the only legitimate use of that authority is to further God’s plan for this country. So what that means is any of their political enemies are illegitimate in a sense, and those enemies’ power is illegitimate, and they need to be stripped of that power. And it’s really been kind of shocking for me to have observed these spaces in the last handful of years, where conservative evangelicals are much more comfortable in just making that plain and no longer feeling a need to pay lip service to democracy or voting rights or those sorts of things.
The disturbing thing to me is that I’m a Christian myself, and I understand how this language of God’s authority really does resonate with conservative Christians across the board.
When push comes to shove, is your allegiance to God or to democracy? I see people talking about democracy as an idol. Democracy is not biblical, you’re not going to find democracy in the Bible. At the end of the day, if you are a Christian, do you want to honor God first? Or some secular system? And the answer is kind of clear.


7 Comments


Guest
Oct 28, 2023

The most ominous point made herein is about jesus mike as $peaker (because your pussy democraps will almost surely lose 5 -10 more seats, minimum) if trump loses and the hou$e is called upon to certify that loss.

Show of hands: who knows for sure that god will call upon jesus mike to coronate trump anyway?


so... there are several paths to trump being fuhrer of the reich; any combination of:

1) he wins

2) he loses and your pussy democraps lose the hou$e... again.

3) he inspires another insurrection and it works this time.


there is one path to delaying the reich another 2 years:

1) the biden anvil somehow wins and your pussy democraps somehow retake the hou$e


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JEWSUS ? ? ? . . . Fight your own wars, you kikesucking Zionist ass-whore . . .



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Guest
Oct 28, 2023

You leftists really can't meme. Laughably pathetic.😣


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FUCK YOU AND YOUR JEWISH GOD . . .


“You shall put all of the males to the sword. You may, however, take as your booty the women, the children and the livestock, and everything in the town – all of its spoil – and enjoy the use of the spoil of your enemy which the Lord gives unto you.” — Deuteronomy 20:13

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Guest
Oct 28, 2023

And part of the epiphany starts to take shape:

1) christian nationalism is anathema to democracy. just axe y'self... is heaven a kingdom or a democratic republic?

2) christian zealots like this motherfucker believe in women's rights and privileges even less than the bible does.

3) christian zealots like this motherfucker believe that all non-binaries are devils and should be killed. they won't say it, but that's what they believe. god wants them dead.

4) WHITE christian zealots like this motherfucker like nonwhites about as much as they like jews. And they only support keeping jews around because they believe that their baby god will return among the jews to kill them all. These white christian zealots would as so…


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FUCK YOU AND YOUR JEWISH GOD . . . FIGHT YOUR OWN WARS, YOU KIKESUCKING ZIONIST ASS-WHORE . . .



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