State Senator Chris Larson, the progressive in the battle to replace Ron Johnson, spoke at the Wisconsin Democratic Party (virtual) convention earlier in the week. "It’s a question of making sure that we restore dignity to our state," he told the delegates. "It’s also a question of making sure that we unrig the system so that it works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. And frankly, it’s about stopping the festering fascism that has started to overtake America." Chris has been endorsed by Blue America in every race he's run for a decade and we endorsed him in the U.S. Senate race as well, with great enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, Johnson seems to have lost his mind. The editors of Madison's Cap Times denounced him today as a sick and twisted excuse for a human being. That's harsh... but not undeserved.
And that wasn't the only bad press Johnson got today. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Johnson has been saying some crazy, unhinged shit as he ponders retiring from the Senate or running for a third term, which he would likely lose. "Perhaps," wrote Bill Glauber, "Johnson's most unusual statement came at the beginning of an interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News. Johnson was asked about recent Biden administration moves to block the Keystone pipeline, waive sanctions on the company behind Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and drop a Trump administration order targeting Tik Tok.
Johnson replied: 'Because he's weak. And don't ask me to get inside the mind of a liberal, progressive, socialist, Marxist like President Biden... Kennan Ferguson, at UW-Milwaukee political science professor, said: 'I don't think anybody can be all those things. Certainly the last three are like nesting dolls. Almost all Marxists are socialists and many socialists are progressives. But liberalism in the United States was developed as an anti-Marxist political theory.' Ferguson said by his usage of the words, 'Johnson means them all as epithets rather than ideological descriptors. You can see that in that he doesn't know the differences between them.'"
It didn't stop there. YouTube suspended his ability to post videos for a week because he violated their terms of service by spreading misinformation about COVID. Dominick Reuter wrote that "The conflict is the latest episode of a running feud that the Wisconsin Republican is waging against the video-sharing website, accusing the company of censorship when it enforces its terms of service. 'Big Tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives' Johnson said in a statement to Insider. 'They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies.' Johnson, who promoted the 'Big Lie' that led to the assault on the US Capitol in January, has used his position as a senator to promote baseless conspiracy theories and undermine trust in public institutions."
In March, the New York Times dubbed Johnson "the Republican Party's foremost amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation now that Donald Trump himself is banned from social media."
Last week, Facebook's Oversight Board announced that its ban on the former president's account would remain for two years.
Johnson's "continuing assault on the truth, often under the guise of simply 'asking questions' about established facts, is helping to diminish confidence in American institutions at a perilous moment, when the health and economic well-being of the nation relies heavily on mass vaccinations, and when faith in democracy is shaken by right-wing falsehoods about voting," wrote Trip Gabriel and Reid Epstein in The Times.
In his latest video, viewed by the conservative website The Federalist, Johnson promoted two generic drugs for which "there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use" in treating COVID-19, and that are specifically named in the YouTube policy against treatment misinformation.
In February, Johnson penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he said he was being silenced when a pair of videos were taken off the platform: "The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn't be able to hear what senators heard."
Over 614,000 Americans have died from COVID, including more than 8,000 Wisconsinites. Johnson continues to refuse to take the pandemic seriously and was one of the many Republicans-- along with Trump-- responsible for its severity in this country.
State Senator Larson noted that Johnson is "doing more harm than good-- using the government to enrich himself, and banned from a social media site for trying to incite dangerous behavior. Ron Johnson is becoming more and more like Trump by the day. Next year, I'll be happy to beat him and he'll get to join Trump in being kicked out of office." Last year Wisconsin was one of the states that flipped blue. Biden beat Trump 1,630,866 (49.45) to 1,610,184 (48.82). Trump demanded recounts-- which gave Biden even more votes.