I'm not terribly interested to get too deeply in the pathetic sickness that is Ron Johnson, but it's hard to let him pass without at least mention. Certain shameful people I at least get -- the Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Josh Hawley, Louie Gohmerts of the world. They're either mean or crazy or boot-licking lackeys or fascist, or panderers,, or idiots, or some combination of the above. But I just don't get Ron Johnson.
What I most don't get is that he knows he's up for re-election in Wisconsin in 2022. And somehow, on top of everything else he's said and done -- like traveling to Moscow over the Fourth of July -- he seems to think it's a winning gambit to suggest that the insurrection mob that tried to overthrow the U.S. government and five people died was just a sort of festive party. To be clear, I wouldn't get that at any time -- but as a foundation to a re-election campaign, it's just out of my realm of grasping. Especially in a state that is not solid red, but purple shading to blue. And voted for Joe Biden in 2020. And gives Sen. Johnson a very low favorability.
Now, in fairness to Johnson, it possible that he has decided not to run for re-election, which has been discussed, given his deep unpopularity and vulnerability in the state. And if so, that strips away one layer of the Enigma that is Ron Johnson. But since that's just the covering veneer, it still leaves the actual "I don't get Ron Johnson" ball that rolls around directionless.
Also in fairness to Ron Johnson, it's possible that when he described the mob insurrectionists as being "festive," he was just referencing the classic episode of Seinfeld that dealt with "Festivus," the holiday invented by George Costanza's father Frank for those who don't want to celebrate the traditional winter holidays. "Festivus for the rest of us" was his slogan, where you grab the Festivus pole and rant about all the things that make you angry. The more I think of it and want happen with the "festive" (tm Ron Johnson) insurrectionist mob, the more I think that could make sense, and he just misspoke. Because no other explanation works.
On MSNBC yesterday, former Senator Claire McCaskill said that she doesn't like to talk out of school about the Senate in terms of what's behind closed doors. But she said she sort of felt compelled to talk about Ron Johnson, and in as a polite a way as possible seemed to suggest that he was pretty much a clueless idiot who really didn't get it.
That seems to get to the heart of the matter pretty well. Mind you, that still only confirms what we see. But it sill doesn't explain the "Hunh, say what???" part of who he is. I mean, as I said, I get the cluelessness of Louie Gohmert and his asparagus. He's clueless. But I get the sense that he knows he's clueless and flails away because of it, trying to make a big noise since that's the only way he'll get heard. But I still don't get Ron Johnson. He's sort of the guy who sees an electric socket, knows you're not supposed to stick your finger in it, but sees an electric socket that controls the power grid for his neighborhood, licks his finger to make sure it's thoroughly wet, and then decides to stick his tongue it in the socket, giving himself a life-endangering, massive electric shock and creating a blackout for others.
So, no, I don't get Ron Johnson. I do get that there's a reasonable chance he won't be around in the Senate after 2022. God-willing.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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