Thanks, Ron Johnson, for not making our day.
On January 7, 2021, I posted an Around the Block headlined, January 6, 2021, a date that will live in ignominy!
“December 7th will forever be remembered as ‘a date that will live in infamy.’”
“September 11th will forever be remembered as the ‘9/11 attack.’”
”January 6 will forever be remembered as ‘a date that will live in ignominy.’”
Now, February 23, 2021 will be known, at least regarding the Senate of the United States of America, as the date that will live in disgrace, shame, disrepute and odium!
Because of one man, Ron Johnson, the Republican senior senator from Wisconsin.
Johnson, has previously suggested that Trump’s impeachment was predicated on the fact that Nancy Pelosi needed to cover up her own malfeasance on that day – although he’s never actually explained what Pelosi did wrong. He also said that he didn’t believe that what happened at the Capitol was an “armed insurrection,” despite ample evidence that it was.
Now, Johnson’s conspiracy theories have been entered into the Congressional Record because of his “questions” at yesterday’s hearing on the January 6 insurrection. Johnson began his question with this:
- “…what I want to do is in terms of asking some questions, I want to start out by reading excerpts from what I thought was a very interesting eye witness account by J. Michael Waller.” *
*(Note: According to CNN, Waller works at the Center for Security Policy, a controversial right-wing think tank.)
Here are some of the excerpts Johnson read, taken directly from the transcript of the hearing:
- “The mood of the crowd was positive and festive. Of the thousands of people I passed or who passed me along Constitution Avenue, some were indignant and contemptuous of Congress, but not one appeared angry or incited to riot. Many of the marchers were families with small children. Many were elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail, traits not typically attributed to the riot prone. Many wore pro-police shirts or carried pro-police black and blue flags.”
- “…A very few didn’t share the jovial friendly earnest demeanor of the great majority. Some obviously didn’t fit in.”
- “What looked like tens or even hundreds of thousands of people surged down the avenues as far as one can see, but almost everyone seemed talkative and happy…Everyone squeezed closer and closer together, with most in high spirits.:
- “For a few seconds, I saw what looked like police in a tussle with some of the marchers up front, what appeared to be an organized group in civilian clothes. This organized group are the cell I would call the plain clothes militants. They fit right in with MAGA people.”
- One (policeman) fired a tear gas canister, not at the plain clothes militants at the front line, but into the crowd itself. Then another. Flash grenades went off in the middle of the crowd…“The tear gas changed the crowd’s demeanor. There was an air of disbelief as people realize that the police whom they supported were firing on them. ‘What are you doing? We support you,’ someone yelled. All of a sudden pro-police people felt the police were attacking them and they didn’t know why. More tear gas. A canister struck a girl in the face, drawing blood. The pro-police crowd went from disbelief and confusion to anger.”
As Chris Cilizza of CNN opined,
“In the same piece, Waller argues that the Capitol Police badly overreacted to the crowd, which turned things violent. And that, in his words, ‘apparent agents-provocateurs placed hundreds of unsuspecting supporters of the president in physical danger. They attempted to block exits for people seeking to escape tear gas. They endangered vulnerable people, including children, the frail, and the elderly.’
“None of Waller’s account jives with what we know about what happened on January 6. The FBI has said there is zero evidence that Antifa or any other group of leftist provocateurs had been part of the January 6 crowd — much less been the ones inciting violence. And the vast majority of people arrested identify with far-right groups like the Oathkeepers, not any groups on the extreme left.”
Cilizza went on,
“That Waller wrote the piece is one thing. As Waller says in it: ‘This article is a first-person, eyewitness account drafted the night of Jan. 6 and morning of Jan. 7, so it is not affected by other news coverage or information. The only research aids used in this article were photos and videos that I took from my phone.’ It’s literally one guy’s interpretation of what he saw. But for Johnson to elevate an admittedly subjective take on January 6 to the level of reading it aloud in a Senate hearing on an attack that left five people dead and scores more wounded? That’s something else entirely.”
It’s not just Cilizza’s or my disgust at Johnson’s inanity. Here’s what the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorialized about their own senior senator:
“To hear Ron Johnson tell it, nothing much happened on Jan. 6 inside the U.S. Capitol.”
“Just a few bad apples got a little rowdy.“
“’This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,'” the Oshkosh Republican told talk radio show host Jay Weber.”
“I mean ‘armed,’ when you hear ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? … How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?”
“Johnson’s grasp on reality has been tenuous for years, but even more so since he aligned himself lockstep with former President Donald Trump.“
“Since Trump left office, two kinds of Republicans have emerged: Those who want to purge Trump and his cult of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists from the party and those, like Johnson, who long for the return of their would-be king.”
The editorial concluded:
“Enough is enough, Wisconsin!”
“Johnson must go.“
Yes, enough is enough. Johnson, along with his fellow travelers in the Congressional “Sedition Caucus,” must go. Or we’ll all be compelled to go to our windows to shout, like “Network’s” Howard Bealle, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Even, Senator Johnson, us “elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail!”