“Leave the Rest to” Mike Johnson: Republicans Prepare to Elect Key Jan6 Figure as Speaker

Update: Sure enough, Johnson was elected unanimously, 220-209. All the Republicans who had raised issues about election denialism (like Ken Buck) capitulated, as did all the so-called moderates. 

On December 27, 2020, Donald Trump told Richard Donoghue to announce that the election was corrupt.

“Leave the rest to me and the R Congressmen,” Trump said.

One of those Congressmen — one who had for weeks been inventing reasons for other Republican Congressmen to defy their oaths — was Mike Johnson.

NYT described Johnson’s role this way:

[I]n early December 2020, the Texas attorney general filed a long-shot appeal citing an array of unproven claims of fraud and other irregularities and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Pennsylvania results on similar constitutional grounds.

Mr. Johnson drafted a supporting brief that focused on the constitutional argument. As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, he pushed its members to sign the brief, and he also wrote an email to all Republican lawmakers warning in bold red letters that Mr. Trump would be tracking their response. “He said he will be anxiously awaiting the final list to review,” he wrote.


The lawyer for the House Republican leadership told Mr. Johnson that his arguments were unconstitutional, according to three people involved in the conversations, and Ms. Cheney, also a lawyer, called the brief “embarrassing.” Mr. McCarthy, the Republican leader, told members that he refused to sign, the three people said.

Nonetheless, Mr. Johnson pushed ahead and filed the brief on Dec. 10 with 105 lawmakers as co-signers, and within a day he had added 20 more — including Mr. McCarthy. Later, at the caucus meeting on Jan. 5, 2021, Mr. Johnson suggested the signers, in effect, had signaled their support for declaring “constitutional infirmity” as grounds for objecting. Most of the signers did exactly that.

In the days leading up to January 6, he invented a reason beyond voter fraud not to do what the Constitution requires.

In formal statements justifying their votes, about three-quarters relied on the arguments of a low-profile Louisiana congressman, Representative Mike Johnson, the most important architect of the Electoral College objections.

On the eve of the Jan. 6 votes, he presented colleagues with what he called a “third option.” He faulted the way some states had changed voting procedures during the pandemic, saying it was unconstitutional, without supporting the outlandish claims of Mr. Trump’s most vocal supporters. His Republican critics called it a Trojan horse that allowed lawmakers to vote with the president while hiding behind a more defensible case.

On Monday night, Trump said something similar as what he said to Richard Donoghue, but he said it publicly. He told supporters in New Hampshire that they don’t have to vote, they only have to watch what sounds like vote counters.

You got to get out there and you got to watch those voters. You don’t have to vote. Don’t worry about voting. The voting, we got plenty of votes. You got to watch election night.

The next day, Matt Gaetz first shepherded Tom Emmer’s nomination to be Speaker, then let Trump destroy his candidacy by Tweet (Trump’s return to his fraud trial was delayed slightly, and this post came out while he was in the courtroom).

By the end of the evening, Johnson had been picked as the next man to try to get 217 votes.

When a reporter asked Johnson, at the gleeful presser afterwards, about his role in leading efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, everyone booed, he simply shook his head, and called for the next question.

It remains the case that no vote in these caucus meetings have generated the total votes necessary to win. Politico reported that 44 of those present didn’t vote for either candidates, and the total votes case were only 201: still less than Hakeem Jeffries will get.

Republicans went back to the drawing board, and made Johnson the latest aspirant to a position the fractured and exhausted conference can’t seem to fill. He beat out a field of four other candidates, including Byron Donalds, in the final ballot by a 128 to 29 vote. Some 44 other Republicans didn’t vote for either of the two men.

But it increasingly looks like this process of picking a Speaker is a process designed to oust those who did support their oaths on January 6 and replace them with people who could find excuses to pick Donald Trump in 2025.

Update: The first round, via secret ballot, is where Johnson only got 128 votes. He would have gotten around 198 in a later public vote.

He won only 128 votes, defeating Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), who won 29 votes. But 44 Republicans voted for other candidates — including 43 who voted for McCarthy, according to notes taken by Rep. Randy Weber (R-Tex.).

But Johnson did far better in a roll-call vote late Tuesday night in which House Republicans voted by name instead of by secret ballot. Just three lawmakers voted “present” and about 20 were absent, according to two lawmakers. The rest backed Johnson.

196 replies
  1. scroogemcduck says:

    It’s quite something that Tom Emmer wasn’t extreme enough for this version of the Republican Party. We are again left hoping that moderates will find a spine and not put a slightly more discreet version of Jim Jordan in the Speaker chair.

  2. Lisboeta says:

    It may go down to the wire (November 17), but I suspect the GOP will eventually vote in an acceptably scurrilous Speaker to continue the vital work of obstruction and not-governing.

  3. harpie says:

    Rachel Scott, ABC Senior Congressional Correspondent, asked the question:

    Oct 25, 2023 · 2:59 AM UTC

    I asked the Mike Johnson if he stands by his efforts to try to overturn the 2020 election.
    Members started boo‘ing.

    I also asked if he would support more aid to Ukraine and Irael.
    “Go away! Go away!” one member shouted.

    “We’re not doing any policy tonight,” Johnson said.

    • harpie says:

      From the VIDEO [Transcript]

      Rachel Scott, ABC: Mr. Johnson, you helped lead the effort to overturn the 2020 election results, do you…

      [0:05] SCALISE starts laughing
      STEFANICK smirks
      OTHERS react with laughter, jeers and shouts
      JOHNSON smiles
      BOEBERT: “NO”
      WOMAN [next to BOEBERT]: “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”
      [0:09] JOHNSON: “next question”
      MAN [behind BOEBERT]: “we need 24” [< THERE it is! That's their plan.]

      I missed whatever the MAN in the middle back is saying at the end, but I’m not listening to it again.

      • ButteredToast says:

        A brief moment, but a perfect encapsulation of the sheer arrogance of these people and the contempt they have for anyone who dares to hold them accountable.

        The woman yelling “shut up!” next to Boebert is Virginia Foxx (R-NC), a longtime and consistent opponent of marriage equality. Also, believe it or not, Chair of the House Education Committee. Ugh.

    • Codewalker says:

      Shame the rest of the press didn’t demand an answer to that legitimate and important question.

      Are they that weak? Or does asking a real question get you banned from the house?

  4. Ed Walker says:

    Two things.

    1. Republicans don’t believe in majority rule, even in their own caucus of loons.

    2. The next speaker will be decided by the petty grievances of an old man shaking his fist at clouds in an effort to distract himself from his indictments and civil cases.

    • ApacheTrout says:

      Spot on regarding their disdain for majority rule. Unpopular policies, unpopular platform, they know they won’t win without gerrymandering.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This process is also institutionalizing Trumpism, by allowing the ultra-hard right to come out and bask in Trump’s light and by cleaning out the holdouts in Congress who would defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. When Mr. Trump finally passes, there will be aspirants aplenty for his job and a hard, violence-prone party itching and ready to support him.

      • wetzel_rhymes_with says:

        I have a dark perspective. But you hear things like “It’s hard to imagine the GOP recovering from this.” when what seems to be to be more pressing and difficult to imagine how the country will recover. The GOP is integral to our system.

        Maybe a healthy democratic society is like healthy living cell. The description is semantically incommensurable, but both are a kind of open, steady state dynamic system. A democratic system can even propagate itself, but there can also be a process like transforming into a tumor cell which goes by a set of irreversible steps like spilling blood on the altar angers the gods in Greek tragedy and everything goes downhill. We cannot regain the moment again where the founding fathers were able to establish a democratic constitution, so I think that not only the slide to fascism for the United States would be irreversible but so are some of the steps along the way.

        Through this “purge” the GOP is coming into an understanding of itself as fully fascist. Now it has a conical organization to a great leader. The country is now turnkey fascist. What will complete the change, I imagine, will be some atrocious terrorizing spectacle which leads to a war. Then the fascist state can maintain itself through a continuous process terror and “sacrifice of the other”. For his own regime’s security, to prevent democracy from propagating there, Putin can engineer the Orwell future. Each of the three global powers will maintain homoeostasis by managing the state of terror in the other. All roads in the GOP go through Trump to Putin.

  5. Ruthie2the says:

    McCarthy, who fell in line with Trump and the election denial caucus within days of J6, certainly can’t be said to have upheld his oath in the years since. Gaetz, though, pulled the pin for unrelated reasons, and it looks like they’re just scrambling in reaction to the fallout.

    Scalise is an election denier, and so is Jordan, but neither of them could pull it out. I agree that Emmer’s vote to certify the electoral college votes doomed his candidacy, so maybe the next logical choice was someone like Johnson. Still, the same fractures that prevented them from succeeding may well also plague him.

    J6 and election denialism is a big factor, for sure, but I think there’s more to this situation than that.

      • Ruthie2the says:

        The lunatics are running the asylum.

        It shouldn’t be shocking that a political party that doesn’t believe in government has found itself in this situation. As Ed Walker said above, they don’t believe in government by the majority.

        I fear, as per wetzel-rhymes-with‘s comment above and Marcy’s allusion to the possibility that Johnson will help Trump succeed in stealing the election in 2024, that this may not be the sound of the party hitting bottom.

        That being said, neither would I be surprised if Johnson’s bid also fails and the spectacle continues.

      • tje.esq@23 says:

        “Citing Emmer’s position on gay marriage, [Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA)] told him, ‘you don’t need to get right with me, you need to get right with Jesus,’ which sent gasps through the room. In 2022, Emmer voted . . .to codify federal protections for same-sex couples.”

        Several members of the conference, including MTG, saw support for LGBTQ+ rights as disqualifying, because “America ‘needs a Speaker of the House that reflects the values and the views of Republican voters in the country’,” she said.


  6. Harry Eagar says:

    When do the Republicans recognize, as the Whigs did around 1854-55, that there is no repairing their party, that the two (or perhaps three) parts must each go ahead on its own to try to construct a viable right party, while the other part or parts withers into irrelevance?

  7. Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

    IANAL but I did teach AP US History. IMO, the debunked “states changed laws illegally” argument is bogus.

    First, Republicans did the same in Arkansas, North Dakota, and Texas. Secondly, the courts UPHELD decisions in Michigan and Wisconsin. Thirdly, AFAIK conservatives were not making this argument before the 2020 election. Fourthly, the challenges came AFTER the Safe Harbor Deadline of Dec. 8 as well as the Dec. 15 deadline for the Electoral College vote. Finally, the GOP ploy was illegal and unconstitutional. Other than THAT, it was rock solid

    We can thank Democrat super-lawyer Marc Elias for winning a boatload of court cases

    • scroogemcduck says:

      I hear you, but on the other hand Jenna Ellis, who got fired from traffic court for being bad at traffic law, drafted some very legal and very cool memos saying that election-stealing was fully in line with what the framers intended, and also she had personally checked with Jesus and he was down with it.

      So whom should I believe?

    • 2Cats2Furious says:

      Thank you for pointing out this hypocrisy. IAAL, and also a Texas voter, so I recall very well that TX Governor Abbott extended the period for early, in-person voting in Texas by 10 days for the 2020 general election via executive order, due to the COVID pandemic. This executive order was directly contrary to the period for early voting passed by the Texas legislature.

      Anyone like Rep. Johnson (now Speaker Johnson, ugh) claiming that votes in “swing states” should have been thrown out because of measures taken to increase voting access during the pandemic, should have also been arguing that votes during the extended early voting period in Texas should have been thrown out as well. But, they never did, because Trump won in Texas. It’s hypocritical AF, but I never see this mentioned in the MSM

  8. bawiggans says:

    The Republican mob (party), as presently constituted, is configured to disrupt and destroy. Its internal structure reflects that purpose. Trump can cause internal disorder. He can flex and gleefully thwart individuals in their struggle to climb the greasy pole. What he cannot do is impose order, even if it should somehow occur to him to do so.

  9. harpie says:

    The lights are blinking red and the sirens are blaring for CapitolHunters [and s/he’s NOT the only one!]:

    Oct 25, 2023 · 12:00 AM UTC

    Want to know how dangerous Mike Johnson would be as Speaker? Many, many big accounts are getting fooled by his Dec. 2020 interview – he said Trump should concede but…. only after “the final case is resolved”. After the Constitutionally mandated transfer of power on Jan 6. [VIDEO] 1/ […]

    The House matters. @emptywheel says, Trump wants to “win..in the House in 2025”. To do what he failed to do in 2021, and steal the election. Mike Johnson delivered for Trump in 2021 as a House member. Think how much more Johnson could do as Speaker. 5/ […]

    3/4 of election deniers cited Johnson’s arguments; he gave the “moderates” the excuse they needed to do something dirty. That’s how fascism starts. /10

    • harpie says:

      According to CapitolHunters, JOHNSON is a “former” Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] lawyer. [Wikipedia is not working now, so I can’t check]

      There’s a little info about them at this comment:

      From their website:

      “… an American conservative Christian legal advocacy group that works to expand Christian practices within public schools and in government, to outlaw abortion, and to curtail rights for LGBTQ people.”

      • Peterr says:

        Yes, Johnson worked for ADF, as their chief media spokesperson. Interestingly, his campaign website chooses to speak in dog whistles, noting the kinds of work he did without naming these other organizations:

        rior to his election to Congress, for nearly 20 years, Mike successfully litigated high profile constitutional law cases in district and appellate courts nationwide. He is widely recognized as a leading defender of the right to life, religious liberty, free speech, the Second Amendment and free market principles.


        Mike has also served as a conservative talk radio host and columnist, a media spokesman for America’s largest religious liberty organizations [that’s ADF], a college professor and constitutional law seminar instructor, and a board member for national organizations and numerous community groups and ministries.

        All the right words for all the base to hear.

        And Trump knows it: “Leave the rest to me and the R Congressmen.”

  10. Just Some Guy says:

    I have a question about this piece:

    “But it increasingly looks like this process of picking a Speaker is a process designed to oust those who did support their oaths on January 6 and replace them with people who could find excuses to pick Donald Trump in 2025.”

    If Johnson is indeed elected House Speaker, wouldn’t his term end before certification on/around January 6th 2025? The new Congress has to be sworn in before the Presidential election is certified.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt that the GOP will try all kinds of tricks regardless of the Presidential election results. But if the GOP resoundingly loses the House, wouldn’t a new Speaker in place make their efforts to deny certification much more difficult? Doesn’t give me any reassurance given there’s no doubt there will be not just dubious, but potentially violent and illegal means employed, but process-wise I am not entirely sure that Johnson — as loathsome as he is — may have much more impact on 2025 than, say, Kevin McCarthy has at the moment. I am not entirely sure that Johnson would even survive the upcoming vote, much less serve out the rest of the House term as Speaker.

    • Fiendish Thingy says:

      Yes, whoever the GOP manages to select as speaker now will end their term on January 2, 2025, and a new speaker will be elected on January 3, before the electoral votes are counted on January 6.

        • Just Some Guy says:

          Certainly true. I’m just curious by what mechanism Johnson may try to foil the Presidential election in early January 2025 if he is no longer the Speaker by that point? If we are right to be wary of him, from his actions as one of the architects of January 6th, it is probably worth discussing that now.

          OTOH, he may not last as Speaker past November.

  11. Rick Ryan says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but who is being “ousted” from where, exactly, in this scenario? As far as I can tell, no one is resigning from Congress or anything, and all the failed Speaker candidates are keeping their old jobs (besides McCarthy, obviously). Is the idea that by embarrassing them so publicly, they look weak, thereby attracting primary election opponents? Is there any indication that that has happened yet, or is imminent?

    • Chirrut Imwe says:

      That’s how I read it – give them a voting record for a more MAGA primary challenger to use for the ‘outing.’ Electoral Underbussing.

    • Rayne says:

      No, making them look unattractive to donors. It’s always about the money; GOP doesn’t primary their own the same way Dems do because donors need some sort of signal of approval.

      • 2Cats2Furious says:

        “GOP doesn’t primary their own the same way Dems do…”

        Um, what? Ever since Trump was elected President, there are numerous examples of GOP politicians who decided not to run again for fear of losing the primary to someone further to the right (see, for example, Senators Jeff Flake & Mitt Romney, Rep. Kinzinger, and a host of others). Not to mention those who actually lost primary challenges to RWNJs/election deniers (Liz Cheney on line 1). Rep. Emmer will probably be the latest victim of a primary challenge, now that it’s become more widely-known that he voted to certify the 2020 election results.

        Other than AOC defeating a “moderate” DEM in the 2018 primary, in a solidly-blue district, I’m not seeing a lot of Dems being forced out due to primary challenges.

        • ButteredToast says:

          Though fewer than in the GOP, there have been a number of Democratic House incumbents who’ve lost primaries to candidates running to their left. In addition to AOC defeating Joe Crowley:
          – Michael Capuano (MA-7) defeated by Ayanna Pressley (2018)
          – Dan Lipinski (IL-3) defeated by Marie Newman (2020)
          – Lacy Clay (MO-1) defeated by Cori Bush (2020)
          – Eliot Engel (NY-16) defeated by Jamaal Bowman (2020)
          – Kurt Schrader (OR-5) defeated by Jamie McLeod-Skinner (2022)
          All of the victorious primary challengers other than McLeod-Skinner won the general election. (Which isn’t surprising, as OR-5 is the only one of these districts that isn’t safely Democratic.)

          • 2Cats2Furious says:

            Thank you for the expanded list. It is difficult to keep up with all 435 House races over 3 election cycles, particularly with re-districting in play after the 2020 Census.

            That said, there is a significantly higher number of “moderate” Republican members of Congress who have decided not to run again, or lost primaries from the right, because of lack of fealty to Trump.

            The fact that Emmer only lasted 4 hours as Speaker-Designate, whereas the House GOP unanimously elected Mike Johnson, demonstrates the continued efforts to purge any reasonable Republicans from the party.

        • Konny_2022 says:

          I agree with 2Cats here, remembering that when “loyalty” became in issue in early 2017 and Bannon was still in the WH he suggested, no, promised that every R not loyal would be primaried in the next elections. And I understood the announcements by Flake and others not to seek reelection exactly based on this threat.

        • Rayne says:

          They don’t primary like Democrats do because GOP primary candidates running further to the right with the quiet imprimatur of the GOP machine generally have money supporting their run which is why an incumbent will choose to retire or not run.

  12. Zirczirc says:

    We are STILL left to wonder how long the spines of the so-called GOP moderates in the house will last. So far, they’ve stood up against Jordan. Is Johnson more palatable to them? If they do hold out against Johnson and deny him the votes he needs, then we have to seriously ask ourselves whether there are more than two parties in the House. There may be three or four: Dems (who seem to be holding together despite whatever internal differences they may have), standard right-wing crazy GOP, bomb-throwing let’s shut everything down Gaetz types, and the so-called moderates. If those last three can’t play together in the sandbox because, as Ed Walker says above, they can’t abide by majority rule even in their own caucus, then we’re in for a long haul without so much as a Continuing Resolution, and with Jeffries and co four votes shy of a shot at sanity.

    • wa_rickf says:

      There are no more moderate Rs. There are only MAGAs and scared MAGAs. Today’s Speaker vote validates this.

    • LaMissy! says:

      If the GOP has now split into 2 or 3 parties, – and I’ve seen where some of the more RW has so affirmed – then the GOP is no longer the majority party. It’d be nice if more of them would insist such is true. We might be able to save democracy.

  13. rattlemullet says:

    In all of life truth matters. The fabric of truth in the 21 century is being seriously challenged with the warp speed of social media lies disseminate across society and become ingrain very quickly. The majority of the Republican Party has been elected supporting lies, they all know they are lying and continue to do so, the rest of them are lemmings. Mike Johnson peddled lies about the election and continues to do so, being a practitioner of law his crime of lying is particularly egregious. Will the moderate lemmings within the party spine up or cave? I have no faith in their courage.

    [Moderator’s note: This comment was stuck in auto-moderation because of a typo in the email address. When the comment system is finally upgraded, the system won’t accept a mismatch at all. Please check your Name/Email fields before publishing comments. /~Rayne]

  14. RitaRita says:

    Just in time for Halloween, we have a major political party full of psychotic zombies, Renfields, and Frankensteins. Matt Gaetz gets special mention as Chuckie, the evil clown.

    TV news shows should do split screens with the tearful Jenna Ellis on one side denouncing the Big Liars and Republican bobbleheads ostracizing those who supported the Constitution and applauding those who defied it. We are at a schizophrenic moment in this country.

  15. Nutmeg Dem says:

    This is somewhat related but I have always wondered why House R’s have not investigated the 2020 election like they have Hunter Biden, etc. If they truly believe (and I’m sure most of the crazy ones do) that the election was stolen, then why are they doing something about it? Empower a committee, hold hearings, etc. The R majority Senate Intelligence Committee investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election. There’s nothing stopping them from doing so here.

  16. paulka123 says:

    An objective part of me is absolutely fascinated by what we are seeing/experiencing. The apparent destruction of our democracy and the slide into fascism is blatant and obnoxious and public. The eagerness with which elected American politicians strive for the destruction of the electoral process and the diminishing of their own power is incredible.

    Do they think that Trump will share power once he is self-designated God-King? To paraphrase JRR Tolkien “There is only one Lord of the Republican Party, only one who can bend it to his will, and he does not share power.”

  17. MsJennyMD says:

    I have just called President Trump to say this: “Stay strong and keep fighting, sir! The nation is depending upon your resolve. We must exhaust every available legal remedy to restore Americans’ trust in the fairness of our election system.”
    Rep. Mike Johnson . 2:40 PM . Nov 7, 2020 . Twitter Web App

    • MsJennyMD says:

      “I don’t think President Trump is any more responsible for what happened at the Capitol today than the Congressmen of Portland are responsible for what happened there.”
      Congressman Mike Johnson is quoted by Louisiana Iluminator on evening of January 6, 2021

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Johnson makes Tom DeLay look like an ethical, stand-up guy. I especially liked the part where he threatens his colleagues by saying, in effect, Mr. Trump will be watching.

    This process is deleting the hesitant, the weak, and the followers of the Constitution from Trump and the Fascist right’s nomenklatura. It might be the final straw in the rise and fall of the GOP. That it delays naming a Speaker is a good thing for them, because it continues to prevent the USG from functioning.

    • RitaRita says:

      I agree that Trump and his acolytes have turned the Speakership into a loyalty test and a way of deleting the non-believers. The logical step for the non-believers is to leave the Party that has left them. They won’t take that step and will make up a lot of excuses for not doing so.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        There is a very large apparatus on place, built over decades, to reward those who maintain the party line even if they don’t believe. For the rest, who also can access that largesse, the work has turned into a shoot.

  19. Rugger_9 says:

    It’s a dilemma for the House GOP that already has fissures that are being expressed personally. I therefore do not see 217 any time soon, so I would expect something like a middle of the night vote where the Ds are not present in full but a bare quorum is. The Ds will need to sleep in their offices for a while.

    Also remember that while this circus continues, the wet dreams of the MAGA caucus of shutting off aid to the Ukraine and the default (which they claim is really nothing) will be fulfilled. Ergo, they have no interest in working with anyone.

  20. NickBarnes says:

    As I understand it, the Ds can effectively pick any of these R nominees (at least, any one who makes it as far as a floor vote) simply by not turning up (or by voting “present” or some such). As the shutdown deadline draws nearer, is there any likelihood of any number of Rs breaking away from the party’s suicide pact to vote for Jeffries? Is that more or less likely than an R nominee getting enough votes? Meanwhile, the inability of the Rs to get behind *anybody*, and thereby get on with the business of government, is hopefully educational to any American who thinks of ever voting R again.

  21. harpie says:

    Here is JOHNSON at a House Judiciary Committee hearing [I’m not sure when], from House Judiciary Dems:

    Oct 25, 2023 · 2:15 PM UTC

    During a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Mike Johnson attacks Roe v. Wade, insisting that if only women were compelled to bring more “able-bodied workers” into the world, Republicans wouldn’t need to slash Social Security and Medicare. [VIDEO]

    [Transcript] JOHNSON: Roe v. Wade gave a Constitutional cover to the elective killing of unborn children in America. Period. [BREAK]

    [0:07] You think about the implications of that on the economy. We’re all struggling here to cover the bases of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and all the rest. If we had all those able-bodied workers in the economy, we wouldn’t be going upside down and toppling over like this. Listen

    [0:20] [WOMAN]: Will the gentleman yield?

    JOHNSON: I will not yield, I will not. Roe was a terrible corruption of America’s Constitutional jurisprudence.

    • Rayne says:

      Mike Johnson demands forced birth. He believes women are just brood stock not entitled to the same freedom over their bodies men possess. Fuck him.

      • John Thomas says:

        … and the horse he rode in on.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. I’ve edited your username to match that of your last 10 comments as I suspect you didn’t intend to use your real name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • chocolateislove says:

        It is amazing, isn’t it, how many people think women get pregnant all on their own? So many immaculate conceptions happening all the time. Blessed be the fruit. (eye roll emoji)

        • BirdGardener says:

          Strong agreement, chocolateislove! I sometimes try to show how misogynistic the entire current discussion is by asking why, if the GOP is so concerned about abortion, doesn’t it make it illegal to [em]impregnate a woman without her consent to that pregnancy?[/em] (I rather think if the shoe were on the other foot, and women were impregnating men, this would always have been the law.)

          Obviously that would be a terrible law, but the point is that the entire discussion has always been based on a profoundly male-centered perspective. That, and the GOP has no interest in controlling men’s sexual activity or reproductive choices, only women’s.

          Lastly, let me acknowledge what you all know: even if all unwanted pregnancies were magically avoided, some abortions would still be medically necessary.

    • BriceFNC says:

      Short sighted…who will pay for the SS and Medicare for all those children who arrived here due to Republican imposed forced birth? Might be more realistic to impose SS and Medicare deductions on every penny of income a billionaire receives!

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Your username has been edited to match your most frequently used name because you published this under your email address. This is the second time I’ve had to edit a comment for you. Let’s not go for a third. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  22. FL Resister says:

    The House Republicans’ inability to govern in a system that requires compromise to function has created an episodic doom loop of ever-increasing serious consequences in what appears to be a game to them we may call Worst Case Scenario.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The GOP has borrowed from its fundamentalist base the notion that compromise with Democrats, and now, even themselves, is working with the devil, and an existential threat. It’s a natural evolution of Newt Gingrich’s negative reforms in the 1990s. It works for them the way Newt’s reforms did: it weeds out the wet, the centrist, the non-conformist, and most of all, potential rivals who aren’t far to their right.

  23. Ed Seedhouse says:

    Here in Canada we had a Speaker of the House (Federal) resign after a scandal of sorts around the same time as the USA lost theirs. Another one was elected without fuss or muss quickly and quietly (it barely made the news) by secret ballot. Just saying…

    • canajan-eh_I says:

      No surprise. Speaker of the House of Commons in the Westminster system is meant to be “scrupulously non-partisan”. Very different role than that of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        I didn’t realize Canada still had an honor system. Seems so archaic as we drift into fascim here.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      I thoroughly disagree as to the secret ballot portion of that. Secret (aka “Australian”) ballots are for the public, not their representatives whom the public has sent to represent them. If a vote in Congress is secret, you remove accountability from those elected members for that vote.

      Here in ME, we have a fucked up way of selecting “Constitutional Officers, the AG, SoS and Treasurer. The legislature, both houses at the beginning of each session, vote on candidates who are put up by themselves, i.e., a system designed for insider promotion.

      But the worst part is that when the legislators vote on those three positions, it’s a secret ballot. If my state Rep or Senator votes for someone I distrust in those positions, I’m need to know and so do the rest of the voters in my district.

      Secret ballots for in-party selection of nominees? Sure, if the voters in your party are willing to do that, because that’s not a government function, it’s a party function. But for the final selection? No.

      If your Parliament had just selected someone on the order of Thatcher or Harper, wouldn’t you like to know how your local member voted?

    • Jack Assels says:

      The Speaker of the House in Canada is primarily a referee who decides questions regarding parliamentary procedures or privileges. He’s in no way part of the majority party’s leadership. That makes the position much less politically important than its US counterpart, so nobody really wants to go to war over the job.

  24. Mike C_25OCT2023_1113h says:

    When you look at this from the lens of “it’s all about saving Trump” then it all makes sense.

    The moderates will all be backstabbed because counting votes is for losers. They intend to TAKE power.

    Plus, Trump is in such a world of hurt in court he needs rescuing NOW. They want to shut the government down until these “show trials” are ended.

    The moderates can not save the GOP. The freedom caucus will win this battle. The moderates can only help to trash the brand for the next election cycle to help Democracy win this war.

    I don’t think they would ever do that for the love of “God and country”. But they may be so angry and spiteful they’ll go out of their way to take revenge.

    Regardless, I’m not holding out hope for a decent speaker. I’m hoping there is enough brand damage that the inevitable shutdown will be seen as a second insurrection.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too short and common it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  25. Littleoldlady71 says:

    All it would take would be all R non-deniers to vote for Hakeem. That would draw a line in the sand and if they continue to vote as a block, show what a functional house could do for a year.

    • Bill B(Not Barr) says:

      How many votes does it take to change the House vote to a secret ballot? I really wonder if some moderate Republican Congress people would vote for Jeffries if they could do it secretly.

      I guess the second question would be, if Jeffries got the speakership, what could he do? What rules carry over and what rules get reset?

      My Google fu seems to fail me on this one.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      So far the anti-Jordan faction is falling into line behind Johnson so the fix is in (it’s 216 today). We’ll see how Johnson handles the gavel, but given how close he is to Jordan if better dressed, I predict more chaos.

      Now, AFAIK the single member rule to ‘vacate the chair’ remains in force until the rules are changed (which needs 217). What will be interesting to see is whether the maniacs that put themselves in charge will make it harder to kick them out.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Johnson seems to be a Len Leo type: all accountant-conservative missionary on the outside, a guy who would walk the whole way around campus to avoid the Delta house. All snarling, get even, radical right insurrectionist, who thinks Jesus ran around with a notebook, binoculars, and barrow full of stones, spying on neighbors having fun on the inside.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Brilliant portrait of his mindset.

      The only thing he lacks is a mediagenic feral snarl — which actually makes him more dangerous than the guy who has it. Plus his ardent religiosity moves him another notch up the danger meter.

      I bet he has a set of first edition Left Behind books on his mantle.

      Will there be a laying on of hands in their House Conference Room? (That’s not a facetious question.)

  27. Time Enough says:

    “More defensible” doesn’t seem accurate, given the frailty of the argument. “Less damning” seems more appropriate.

    • harpie says:

      Oct 25, 2023 · 5:20 PM UTC

      The man about to be second in line to the Presidency violated his oath to the Constitution and tried to disenfranchise four states.

      Adding, THIS WAS ALL ORCHESTRATED BY MATT GAETZ, down to the brutal shiv of Emmer yesterday.

      Matt Gaetz largely singlehandedly installed an insurrectionist at Speaker.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A helluva lot more unanimity on the Gooper side for Johnson than any other vote this round. Standing ovations even for Johnson votes from previous holdouts. Disgusting that Johnson’s priorities are being adopted wholesale by an entire party, rather than being relegated to the periphery. We’re not in Kansas any more, Dorothy.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Standing fucking ovations and cheering sessions that the Acting Speaker is happy not to curtail, even for some of the most obvious yes votes for Johnson. I think I just heard boos for a vote for Jeffries; must have been a Repubican.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Fascist caricature Mike Johnson is now Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, by unanimous vote of the Republican Party. May the saints preserve us.

      • harpie says:


        GAETZ to BANNON [Real America’s Voice, 10/25/23 10:40 AM ET]

        It is going to be a great moment for the House. And you know what, at the very end, when some people didn’t know if they could still even bring back McCarthy, a few of ‘em just left the room, and didn’t vote.

        And the swamp is on the run, MAGA is ascendant.

        And, if, if you don’t think the movement from Kevin McCarthy to MAGA Mike Johnson shows the ascendance of this movement, and where the power in the Republican Party truly lies, ah, then, then you’re not payin’ attention. But, they are, they are crying, they are hand-wringing and bed wetting over on K Street because we have an honorable, righteous, righteous man, ah, who is about to take this position. He’s gonna’ do great things for the country.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The vote for Johnson guarantees SFA will happen in Congress until 2025, possibly not even the most mundane legislation or approvals. The budget is even in doubt, as is aid for Ukraine and Israel. Progressive legislation is dead in the water. Dems – that means everybody – better pull out all the stops in Nov. 2024, or Johnson will look weak and milquetoast, as measured by a Republican majority in 2025.

          • Stephen Calhoun says:

            I am largely ignorant on the merchandising of politicians. Still, it seems to me the Democratic Party should partly (if not primarily) run against incipient fascism and against those who look past the Constitution toward a one party authoritarian ‘MAGA’ GOP with its tyranny of the minority.

  28. ButteredToast says:

    I think Jonathan Chait, who has had some terrible takes over the years, nonetheless is correct in his evaluation of Johnson (https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/10/house-speaker-republican-mike-johnson-january-6-mastermind-trump-election-2020.html):

    Jim Jordan, also an enthsuiastic [sic] Trumpist, was unacceptable to Establishment Republicans for similar reasons. Jordan’s ideas were not the problem so much as his testosterone-addled persona was off-putting.

    Johnson has bridged the gap by combining total commitment to Trump’s authoritarian ambitions with a soothing, low-key persona.


    …Johnson’s persona may be low-key, but if Hannah Arendt taught us nothing else, the most sinister designs can be delivered in the most banal guise. Trump’s personality remains controversial within the Republican Party. But his core belief that Democratic election victories are inherently illegitimate has triumphed completely.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I guess we’ll soon see who Louisiana nobody Mike Johnson owes for his surprise elevation to the Speakership.

  30. harpie says:

    HAARETZ, via Laura Rozen:

    Oct 25, 2023 · 6:03 PM UTC

    [Evangelical Christian] House Speaker Mike Johnson holds ties to Israel’s far right — traveling on a private visit organized by a top settler, meeting with the group behind Israel’s judicial overhaul and touring the Temple Mount with an activist against maintaining the status quo [link]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That interest in Israel by an evangelical Christian [sic] like Mike Johnson is normally to hasten the end times, the second coming of the Messiah, the resurrection of the righteous, and the end of the world. It has not much to do with promoting Israel or its people.

      • Stephen Calhoun says:

        The Jewish people do not fare well at the second coming.

        Mike Johnson is a young earth creationist.

        • Matt___B says:

          Let’s recap:

          1) Kevin McCarthy was not necessarily an election denier in his personal views, but supported others in that project. His biggest sin was working with the Ds on the debt ceiling and the budget extension.

          2) Steve Scalise was “David Duke without the baggage”

          3) Jim Jordan is Gym Jordan. He’s all-baggage, no hat

          4) Tom Emmer certified the election, but also participated in the Texas lawsuit. Trump cancelled him, so oh well.

          5) Mike Johnson is Jim Jordan without the Ohio baggage. And he tends to wear coats.

          What was it Voltaire was mocking in Candide about the “best of all possible worlds”?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          He speaks as if he majored in geology at Liberty U. But, no, he went to undergrad and law school at Louisiana State.

      • wa_rickf says:

        Exactly. Evangelicals believe that Israel needs to exist in oder for the Second Coming. The Evangelical support has nothing to do for a group of folks who do not believe the notion that Jesus is the Son of God.

    • jdmckay8 says:

      meeting with the group behind Israel’s judicial overhaul

      That has devout-religion-merges-with-authoritarian-takeover written all over it.

      It also reminds me: most of GWB’s White House crew that engineered our liberation of Iraq had very, very close ties to inner workings of Likud. They simply leveraged the power and might of the US to create themselves some… benefits.

      No problem.


      WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!! [ sorry ’bout that]

  31. Hilaryinuk says:

    Having had the dreadful experience of a “Johnson” in the UK, I wish you the best of luck with this chap.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I would take an incompetent clown, seemingly with ADHD, than a smooth, quiet Fascist. But then, I wouldn’t be trying to go to school in the UK, get health care, travel on public transport, pay exorbitant energy bills, or watch his Tories spoil the waters and landscape, while he puts up an unapproved pool in his back garden.

  32. CaptainCondorcet says:

    Jim Jordan’s mistake was his penchant for saying the quiet part out loud and among the rabble. Johnson keeps the quiet part quiet and uses the wheels of Congress to grind his opponents, as truly more civilized folks ought do in such a respectable House. And it has won him his votes.

  33. OldTulsaDude says:

    I hope Biden understands this group now in control of the House is a terrorist organization and he deals with them as such.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I admire much of what the ACLU does. But singling out this particular, limited and well-defined gag order that is likely to be upheld on appeal is not one of them.

      The defendant’s propensity for violence, his passion for eliciting violent responses from his mob, his promises to violently get even with his political enemies and anyone who dares to hold him to account – the weaker the target the better – makes him stand out, as an exception to the normal rule that the First Amendment should not normally yield to a gag order.

  34. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mike Johnson is reportedly one of the least wealthy Congresscritters. He also has little experience with traditional political fundraising.

    The latter will change with his elevation to the Speakership: lobbyists will fawn over and raise money for him. Weather he remains solidly middle class or leaps into the ranks of the wealthy while working only as a politician is something to watch. But both make him especially vulnerable to the blandishments of the same billionaires who keep Clarence Thomas comfortable.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I guess you missed the price tag hanging from the corner of his glasses like the one on Minnie Pearl’s hat. He probably has a whole bunch of new best friends in the caucus now. Nothing makes people cozy up to someone like the smell of approaching money.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        This reminds me of the dialogue in “The Distinguished Gentleman” between Kevin McCarthy (the actor, not the asshole) playing the lobbyist “O’Connor” and Eddie Murphy playing Tommy…

        O’CONNOR For instance, where are you on sugar price supports?
        TOMMY Sugar price supports. Where do you think I should be?
        O’CONNOR Shit — makes no difference to me. If you’re for ’em, I got money for you from my sugar producers in Louisiana and Hawaii. If you’re against ’em, I got money for you from the candy manufacturers.

        TOMMY You pick.
        O’CONNOR Let’s put you down as for. Now what about putting limits on malpractice awards?
        TOMMY You tell me.
        O’CONNOR Well, if you’re for ’em, I got money from the doctors and insurance companies. If you’re against ’em, I got money from the trial lawyers. Tell you what, let’s say against. Now how about pizza?

        TOMMY I’ll stick with the salad.
        O’CONNOR Not for lunch, shmuck, for PAC money. A lot of the frozen pizzas use phony cheese. There’s a law pending requiring them to disclose it on their labels. Where do you stand?

        TOMMY If I vote for the labels…then I get money from the dairy industry…
        O’CONNOR Good…
        TOMMY And if I vote against the labels, I get money from the frozen food guys
        O’CONNOR Excellent! And don’t forget the ranchers, because they get hurt if pepperoni sales go down!

        TOMMY A pepperoni lobby. I love this town
        O’CONNOR So which is it?
        TOMMY Fuck the cheese people. Thanks to them my office smelled like smelt for a week.

        O’CONNOR All right. For.
        TOMMY So tell me — with all this money on every side, how does anything get done?
        O’CONNOR It doesn’t! That’s the genius of the system!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Thomas apparently paid interest only on the loan. Then the creditor “forgave” the principal in 2008. Debt forgiveness is taxable income to the debtor in the year it is forgiven.

        If the reported characterization is true, if the creditor did not make a gift of the principal amount to the debtor, then Thomas had over a quarter million dollars of taxable income in 2008 from this one transaction. Did he declare it and pay tax on it? If so, in what year?

        • gertibird says:

          He may have actually only made one interest payment as that is all the creditor has proof of. I see that as more likely. I wonder what the creditor got for this $1/4 million dollars?

  35. rattlemullet says:

    Well, Mike Johnson is delusional, he thinks he has been ordained by god. Evangelicals are certifiable crazy. This man is a danger to the constitution.

  36. harpie says:

    On 11/7/20, JOHNSON, Mike LEE and Andy BIGGS and OTHERS forwarded this letter to TRUMP through MEADOWS:

    Dear Mr. President, We the undersigned offer our unequivocal support for you to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at your disposal to restore Americans faith in our elections. This fight is about much more than just this election. This fight is about the fundamental fairness and integrity of our election system. The nation is depending upon your continued resolve. Stay strong and keep fighting Mr. President. Sincerely, […]

    • ExRacerX says:

      Obsequious minions calling this failed, 1-term, twice impeached, multiply indicted ex-president “Mr. President” make me wanna puke, and the fact that hard-line Christo-fascists have managed to twist their own brains into supporting a person with such an absolute lack of “Christian values” makes my head spin.

    • dadidoc1 says:

      The evangelicals have gradually morphed into Christian Nationalists. Beware of those who lead with a scripture and a prayer. Some are true believers, but most are just playing to their cultish base.

  37. MsJennyMD says:

    “Roe v. Wade gave constitutional cover to the elective killing of unborn children in America. Period. You think about the implications of that on the economy. We’re all struggling here to cover the bases of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid and all the rest. If we had all those able-bodied workers in the economy, we wouldn’t be going upside down and toppling over like this. Roe was a terrible corruption of America’s constitutional jurisprudence.” Mike Johnson at Judiciary Committee Meeting

  38. SamForJustice says:

    Nearly every criticism of the Republicans seems to be accurate. But only a few people have said anything negative about the Democrats who are, to me, as bad in a different way. There are not 40 moderates left in Congress. Pelosi ran roughshod over the Rs. That is aside from the mutually antagonistic positions of the parties. If there were any true moderates and things are as bad as what is portrayed then a few should have crossed over and voted for a so called moderate but we can see that didn’t happen proving the animus on both sides.

    • ButteredToast says:

      The Democrats are “as bad in a different way?” I haven’t seen anything as bad as 70% of Republicans trying to reverse the president-elect’s victory, even AFTER a violent attack on the Capitol by those believing the lies Republicans peddled. Nor anything as bad as most of the Republican caucus opposing a bipartisan investigation into said attack, attempting to shield those involved, and minimizing it. Certainly nothing as bad as all of the above, which over 2/3 of House Republicans did. But how dare Pelosi have run the House without Republican input!

      If there were any true moderates and things are as bad as what is portrayed then a few should have crossed over and voted for a so called moderate but we can see that didn’t happen proving the animus on both sides.

      Sure, several so-called moderate Republicans could have crossed over or actually worked with Democrats on some form of power-sharing agreement. Instead, they all caved and voted for Mike Johnson, who is further to the right than Hakeem Jeffries is to the left.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, what a perfect load of both siderism garbage. “Pelosi ran roughshod”. You are killing me with this junk.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      Pelosi ran roughshod over fascists, maybe. Which is not in any way even nearly as corrupt as the tea party coalition’s intentions of establishing a theocratic oligarchy

    • Peterr says:

      You are dreaming of some bipartisan era that never was.

      There have been occasions when a member of Congress switched parties and then voted for a House speaker/senate majority leader of their new party, but there has never been a situation where a moderate in one party voted for a leader in the other party and stayed in their old party.

      There have been plenty of occasions when pieces of legislation attracted moderates of both parties across the aisle, but that’s not a leadership vote. Leadership votes are by definition partisan battles.

    • Rayne says:

      Dude. Your GOP propaganda is tiresome after 12 approved comments. You have clearly not read any contemporary US political history or you wouldn’t make such ridiculous claims.

      You wouldn’t know roughshod if the horse left its shoeprint embedded in your face.

  39. MT Reedør says:

    “He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA”

    That sounds like straight up Emperor/Vader voice transmitted from the Emperor’s ship.

  40. harpie says:

    There was a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine last night. The suspected 40-year-old, military-style-rifle-toting, fire-arms instructor, white male is STILL on the loose.

    Here’s a screenshot of the Tweet sent by the NRA when Mike JOHNSON was installed as speaker of the House yesterday:

    Oct 26, 2023 · 2:05 AM UTC

    BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Mike Johnson, a Second Amendment stalwart, has been elected as the new Speaker of the House.

  41. harpie says:

    The REProbates are attempting to gerrymander STATES ALL OVER the country
    so that they NEVER have to actually win a majority of AMERICANS’ votes.

    The REProbates HAVE TO do this
    BECAUSE REProbate policies are NOT what the majority of Americans want.

    For the REPROBATES, it’s an existential matter.

    Oct 25, 2023 · 9:38 PM UTC

    New: NC Republicans just passed a new gerrymander that could flip the state from 7D-7R to as lopsided as 11R-3D. It dooms Reps. Kathy Manning (D) in #NC06, Wiley Nickel (D) in #NC13 and Jeff Jackson (D) in #NC14 and puts Rep. Don Davis (D) in a Toss Up #NC01.

    • Rayne says:

      They’ve seen what happens when a bipartisan citizens commission handles redistricting to match citizens’ political will. It looks like Michigan with a Democratic governor, state AG, SOS and a Dem-majority state legislature.

      It terrifies the hell out of them.

  42. Merry_27OCT2023_0316h says:

    I don’t understand why DOJ hasn’t charged any members of Congress for their Jan6 efforts to aid Trump in overthrowing the election.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too common (there are other Mary/Merry in this community) it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  43. harpie says:

    Just yesterday, Mike JOHNSON DELETED his entire record of podcasts with his wife.
    The podcast is called TRUTH BE TOLD.

    Thankfully, CapitolHunters are on the case, so everything has been archived.

    Oct 27, 2023 · 10:39 PM UTC

    Dear News Media discovering now that our new House Speaker Mike Johnson has – just today – deleted his podcast webpage: all the podcasts are saved and archived. Because we figured this would happen. mikeandkellyjohnson[dot]com/ 1/ [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      JOHNSON is #9 on CapitolHunters House Insurrection Score list.
      [see google doc in second tweet in the THREAD, above]

    • harpie says:

      First Episode, just to give a taste:

      3/16/22 Episode 1: Can America be Saved?
      Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson

      On the inaugural episode of “TRUTH BE TOLD,” Mike and Kelly explain the inspiration for their new podcast and why it is geared to provide thoughtful analysis and useful insights for every listener.

      They begin this first episode with an urgent issue: What is happening to America, and how do we fix it?! If our nation is to be saved from the unprecedented crises that are threatening our security, stability, and our very identity—there are some simple truths that must once again be understood and vigorously defended. What is an easy way to explain why America is so exceptional? Why exactly are we losing our essential foundations? And what can each of us do right now to help heal our nation and preserve our freedom?

    • harpie says:

      JOHNSON, 2016, on United4Christ[dot]com, Today’s Topic: God in politics https://piped.video/watch?v=696lilpnoqM

      JOHNSON: You know, we don’t live in a Democracy, cause a Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what’s for dinner, ok? It’s not just majority rule. It’s a Constitutional Republic. The Founders set that up because they followed the Biblical admonition on what a civil society is supposed to look like. […]

      JOHNSON: What, what’s happened, Alex, over the last 60, 70 years, is that our generation has been convinced that there’s a separation of church and state, right? You heard that here all the time.
      [Alex nods, “Right”]
      Most people think that that’s part of the Constitution. But it’s not. Remember, I’m a Constitutional lawyer.

    • harpie says:

      As I was working on these comments, Marcy brings the following, on Twitter:

      RT: Kyle Griffin Oct 28, 2023 · 3:15 PM UTC

      White House spokesman Andrew Bates responds to the Republican Speaker [JOHNSON]:

      “We absolutely reject the offensive accusation that gun crime is uniquely high in the United States because of Americans’ ‘hearts.’ Gun crime is uniquely high in the United States because congressional Republicans have spent decades choosing the gun industry’s lobbyists over the lives of innocent Americans.”

      Oct 28, 2023 · 3:20 PM UTC

      Exactly this: Rather than doing something about Americans being murdered in their bowling alleys, @RepMikeJohnson accused Americans of being sick in their hearts in a way Europeans are not.

      And Mike Johnson accused Americans of being sick in the heart, in a way people from other countries are not, and then claimed that horrid apology for murder made him a Christian.

      THANK YOU, Marcy!

      [blockquote fixed /~Rayne]

    • harpie says:

      I might actually HAVE to listen to this one…uggg!

      6/7/22 Episode 12: The Truth about January 6th that You’ve Never Been Told
      Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson

      As the January 6th Committee begins its prime time “hearings” this week in Washington for its purely partisan purposes, there are some critical facts about 1/6/2021 that every American should know—but too few have heard. In this episode, Mike explains for the record exactly what was happening inside the House Chamber that fateful day, and why it is so very important for the stability and future of our republic.

      Episode website: https://sites.libsyn.com/404672/episode-12-the-truth-about-january-6th-that-youve-never-been-told []

  44. harpie says:

    This morning, Marcy retweeted this:
    Oct 28, 2023 · 3:25 PM UTC

    Good piece by the very conservative and very honest @QuinHillyer noting @SpeakerJohnson’s disgraceful history of demagoguery on Trump’s behalf. [link][screenshots]

    So, I read the Opinion piece linked there:
    As speaker, Mike Johnson has chance to bring credit to Louisiana QUIN HILLYER Oct 27, 2023

    Heretofore, Johnson’s service carrying Donald Trump’s water has been ethically discreditable. It is one thing to argue that Trump’s conduct both regarding Ukraine and in trying to overturn the 2020 election were not impeachable offenses. Johnson instead did another thing, an inexcusably benighted thing, in contending repeatedly, vociferously — and dishonestly — that the complaints against Trump were essentially baseless.

    Here, Hillyer links to
    Oct 25, 2023 · 4:04 PM UTC

    Don’t think it’s quite set in how much Johnson would open door on election denier attacks going forward. This is all from a 2020 interview Mike Johnson posted to his own account at the time (still up there, just listened to it). [link]

    That link goes to NYMag, 10/25
    New Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson Was the Mastermind of the January 6 Plot How the Trump coup attempt propelled Johnson’s rise.

    • harpie says:

      Hillyer, continuing directly [my numbers]:

      1] Trump inarguably broke the law in refusing to deliver weapons to Ukraine that were legislatively mandated.
      2] Trump acted stupendously unethically in demanding that a foreign nation gin up a criminal case against his own U.S. political rival, especially when his own Justice Department told him the charges were bogus.
      3] Trump’s actions to overturn the 2020 elections were inexcusable and perhaps illegal, and
      4] his behavior during the Capitol riot, continuing to stoke mob fury against his own vice president even after knowing the vice president and family were at risk, was unspeakably grotesque. […]

      That sounds about right.

      Continuing directly:

      Yet to listen to Johnson, Trump always was the real victim. Johnson’s contention wasn’t that Trump’s abuses and violations didn’t quite merit removal from office, but that Trump was all but blameless.

      In playing a game of ethical Twister to justify Trump’s election challenges, Johnson went way beyond legalistic distinctions, well into demagoguery. […]

      Again, this wasn’t a question of being pro- or anti-Trump. It was a question of pro- or anti-truth. To serve Trump and convince tens of millions of Americans to distrust their elections, Johnson spread what was self-evidently a lie.

      The People’s House is a civically sacred institution. Now that he is the House’s constitutionally ordained chief officer, Johnson’s job is to protect it from despoilers, not give aid to those who incite them.

      • harpie says:

        In TRUMP’s MTD on Statutory Grounds, the word DISPUTE[D] is used 21 times, such as:

        “the most publicly visible, vigorously disputed, and widely reported debates of the day”

        TRUMP et al
        CREATED those DISPUTES out of whole cloth,
        IN ORDER TO [as Hillyer says]

        “convince tens of millions of Americans to distrust their elections”

        …and NOW those false, made up “DISPUTES” are being used as an EXCUSE for TRUMP’s [Hillyer’s words]

        “unethical”, “inexcusable and perhaps illegal”, and “unspeakably grotesque” behavior.

        https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.258149/gov.uscourts.dcd.258149.114.0_2.pdf []

  45. harpie says:

    I’ve done a TRANSCRIPT of the interview HILLYER was writing about.
    1/4 or 5
    11/17/20 interview of JOHNSON on Moon Griffon, linked at JOHNSON’s tweet, here: https://nitter.net/SpeakerJohnson/status/1328773794077552640
    Nov 17, 2020 · 6:55 PM UTC

    [AUDIO] [2:29] [ROBERT:] So, when you say that Cedric Richmond is moving on, you’re conceding the election is over and Joe Biden is President-elect.

    JOHNSON: I don’t concede anything. I’m just telling you what Cedric’s done. Look, here’s the thing. I’ve talked with the President in the last few days, and he is still, um, dug in on this. Look, we believe, all of us believe, I think all of us know intuitively, that there were, there was a lot amiss about this election day. That the fact that all these states with Democrat leaders, uh, changed the rules in the fourth quarter of the game, ah, you know, late, late this year, and they decided to allow for all these late mail-in ballots. And, you know, the allegations about these, these voting machines, some of them being rigged with this software by Dominion. Look, there’s a LOT of merit to that, and when the President says the election is rigged, that’s what he’s talking about, that it was, the fix was in. You know, I could give ya’ example after example in all these states, I don’t know how much time ya’ll have this morning, but there’s some, some, some of these lawsuits have a lot of merit and we need to exhaust all the legal remedies.

    [3:30] ERIN: But, but, so far Mike, none of the lawsuits have, have, he’s lost the majority of them. Is that accurate or no?

    JOHNSON: Well, ye, he, he has, but, but here’s the thing. We have a dozen lawsuits that are pending in various states around the country. Some of them have been dismissed outright. Ah, but, but some of these lawsuits, because of the way the jurisdiction is, you have to bring ‘em in state district court. What we know about most state district court judges is they’re elected, and they’re very reluctant to get involved in this. So, you have to have just an overwhelming mountain of evidence, when you go into the court, to, to sort of, compel them to do the right thing, and do their job and look at it objectively. Ah, if there’s anything missing, then they’ll just dismiss it, that’s the easy way out for the judges. I’m not, you know, disparaging the character of every judge, but, I’m telling you that, it takes a lot of, of, ah, ah, of courage to do what they’re being asked to do. And, and the problem with these cases, and the problem with every election fraud case, is that they’re notoriously difficult to prove. You can KNOW all this happened, but proving it is something different, and that’s been the challenge, and it takes a while to do it, and they haven’t had a lot of time.

    • harpie says:

      JOHNSON 11/17/20 interview 2/4

      [4:33] ROBERT: So, what’s the time frame, the time frame I guess is, the end date is what is it? December 12, December 14? When the Electors have to be certified. How, how is that working into, how are those deadlines working into the Trump, into the Trump legal team’s plans?

      JOHNSON: well, there’s no question that it’s on a very short fuse. And, um, you know, they’re working around the clock. There are hundreds of lawyers on, on the case, on the various cases, and they’re tryin’ to get everything proved up. But we know that the machinery is already in place. We know, of course, that, that the big media, and big tech, and big money, they all called this a long time ago. So, it’s an uphill climb. President knows that. Ah, that’s why you sense his frustration. Um, but I’ll just tell, you know, we’re in the middle of a recount in a couple a’ these states. In Georgia, for example. I was on the floor of the House last night, talking with my colleagues from Georgia, and they are so frustrated they wanna’ pull their hair out, because they feel helpless in, in the matter, but they know that in Georgia, it really was rigged. It was set up for, for the Biden team to win. Why do we say that? Look, just two stats. Just think about this. In 2016, Hillary Clinton received 98,417 absentee by mail votes, in Georgia, ok? In 2020, Biden supposedly received 833,962 absentee by mail votes. It was a [crosstalk] increase.

      [5:54] ROBERT: [crosstalk] Wait, from 60,000 to 800,000 mail in ballots? Pardon me, from 60,000 to 800,000 mail in ballots for the Democrat candidate.

      JOHNSON: Yeah, exactly. An eight-fold increase. And, now, here’s the, wh, now why would you say, why is it so important? Well, in Georgia, a voter ID is required on every vote, except mail-in, absentee ballots. And, so, and the system. When they say it’s rigged, my Georgia colleagues tell me last night, they set it up so that all you have to do is request an absentee ballot by signature. It doesn’t necessarily have ta’ be yours. And the only match it has to be is on the signature of the request for the ballot and the one that comes in, assuming they’re even looking at it. So, so what, my colleague Jody Hice, last night on the floor told me, he’s from Georgia, he said, Mike, you could have requested a ballot in my name, signed my name. You coulda’ done it. The ballot would come to your address, your house. You’d send it back and that counts, and I go up to vote in person and they tell me I’ve already voted. He said that happened to all sorts of people all over Georgia. And he said that when these ballots come in, they, there’s a there’s a [??] system where people are sitting at a table, and they open the ballot, they remove the ballot from the envelope, the signature’s on the envelope. As soon as that ballot is removed, the ballot’s dropped in a box. You can never match them up again. It’s impossible. The system was set up in a way that allows for these hijinks and that’s why everybody’s so frustrated.

    • harpie says:

      JOHNSON 11/17/20 interview 3/4

      [7:08] ROBERT: And, so, when Stacy Abrams talks about the Democrat, the former, the failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate, when she brags about six hundred thousand mail in ballot requests in Georgia for the Senate run-off, there’s a lotta red flags there, huh?

      JOHNSON: Yes. She, she, look, she orchestrated this thing, she engineered it. And they have a Republican Secretary of State there that’s under massive fire because he kind of went along with all of it. I don’t, nobody knows why. And so, you know, I’m not saying that everybody involved in Georgia was trying to steal the election. I’m saying that the system is set up for massive fraud and error and irregularity. And we cannot have that in our election system. And that’s why we’re saying, exhaust all the legal remedies. We have to do that. The President knows we have to do that. If we don’t, people are not gonna’ have any, any confidence in the election system itself. And that is a serious problem in a constitutional republic.

    • harpie says:

      JOHNSON 11/17/20 interview 4/4

      [8:00] ERIN: Mike, I haven’t talked to you about this, but my son goes to vote, and when he shows up someone has signed his name, in a real beautiful signature, like a, like a lady had done, and ah, they told him he’d already voted. It wasn’t his father, who had the same name, cause his father had already signed below him. What happens, and they let him vote, um, as well, but, so, is that like two people voted in my son’s name? And, and, you know, it happened in Louisiana, of course, I told Kyle, and what happens now with that, I mean, does anybody ever go check out to see what really happened?

      [8:35] JOHNSON: Well, they’re supposed to. I mean, in Louisiana we have, that’s a provisional ballot, and they would, they’re supposed to flag it and set it aside to review later. I’m not, I’m not sure it was.

      ERIN: They let him go in the machine and vote! So, two people went in the machine and voted as that same name.

      JOHNSON: Oh, my word. [] Goodness gracious. Well, that, that’s the problem. Well, I mean, look, you know in every election in American history, there’s some small element of fraud, irregularity, error, we just know that you just accept that that’s the case. But when you have it on a broad scale, when you have, you know, a software system that is used all around the country that is suspect, because it came from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. [snickering] When ya’ have, ah, you know, testimonials of people, like this, but in large numbers, it, it begs to be litigated and investigated, and the problem is, it’s exceedingly difficult to do that in a forty-five day time window. Um, you know, and, and, and that’s the problem that’ we’re up against, and that’s why the President’s so frustrated, and that’s why so many, so many, 71, 73 million Americans around the country feel like that the election was stolen from them. You know, me may, we may never know. We may never know the truth of it, because, we may never get the chance to have it out in court. And that’s the sad thing.

      ERIN: Congressman Mike Johnson, thanks for your time.
      ROBERT: Appreciate it as always, sir. Thanks for takin’ time for us.
      JOHNSON: You got it, guys. [9:54]

  46. harpie says:

    Here’s a TL [work in progress] of

    Mike [game of ethical Twister] JOHNSON, Preacher of the House

    and how he was involved in TRUMP’s attempt to steal BIDEN’s victory in 2020. [1/4]

    11/7/20 JOHNSON calls TRUMP

    Tweets: SpeakerJohnson/status/1325176210666770434 Nov 7, 2020 · 8:40 PM UTC
    I have just called President Trump to say this: “Stay strong and keep fighting, sir! The nation is depending upon your resolve. We must exhaust every available legal remedy to restore Americans’ trust in the fairness of our election system.”

    11/8/20 [night] TRUMP calls JOHNSON

    11/9/20 JOHNSON tweets re: TRUMP’s 11/8/20 phone call to JOHNSON

    SpeakerJohnson/status/1325816212404776960 Nov 9, 2020 · 3:03 PM UTC
    President Trump called me last night and I was encouraged to hear his continued resolve to ensure that every LEGAL vote gets properly counted and that all instances of fraud and illegality are investigated and prosecuted. // Fair elections are worth fighting for!

    11/9/20 JOHNSON is interviewed on The Moon Griffon Show

    JOHNSON expands on his conversation with TRUMP’s 11/8/20 phone call
    JOHNSON, re: ALITO’s order for PA to segregate late-arriving absentee ballots: “That’s a good sign” [] “I think there’s at least five justices on the court that will do the right thing.”
    JOHNSON re: TRUMP camp’s plans to file at least 10 lawsuits in the coming days and that JOHNSON’s hopes for a “rocket docket” to SCOTUS
    JOHNSON, as a law student, worked on the 1996 Mary Landrieu [D] – Woody Jenkins [R] Senate race election litigation, where he says that there was evidence of fraud, but Senate Democrats “buried it all.”

    • harpie says:

      [Ugg!!! RAYNE…I need help with tags again! SO sorry!]

      [2/4] TL [work in progress] of

      Mike [game of ethical Twister] JOHNSON, Preacher of the House

      and how he was involved in TRUMP’s attempt to steal BIDEN’s victory in 2020.

      11/17/20 GOP House Republicans elect JOHNSON as vice-chair of the House Republican Organizing Conference [He ran unopposed]

      11/17/20 JOHNSON interviewed on Moon Griffon show:

      JOHNSON: ”Look, we believe, all of us believe, I think all of us know intuitively, that there were, there was a lot amiss about this election day.”
      JOHNSON has spoken to TRUMP “in the last few days, and he is still dug in on this.”
      JOHNSON pushes hear-say allegations from Jody HICE and his GA colleagues, who just know that in Georgia, it really was rigged” and JOHNSON says that Stacy Abrams “orchestrated this thing, she engineered it.” [MORE]

      [Fixed – LOL funny what a single missing slash or a single begin or end tag does. /~Rayne]

      • harpie says:

        Thanks so much Rayne! But There must have been TWO bad tags…[and that was even after my normal two cups of strong coffee, lol]

        This should also be a separate entry:
        11/9/20 JOHNSON is interviewed on The Moon Griffon Show

        I really appreciate your patience! THANKS!

        [I think I fixed that 11/9 entry, moved the tag one line. Let me know if I need to do something else with that one. /~Rayne]

    • harpie says:

      [3/4] TL [work in progress] of

      Mike [game of ethical Twister] JOHNSON, Preacher of the House

      and how he was involved in TRUMP’s attempt to steal BIDEN’s victory in 2020.

      12/7/20 Texas files lawsuit against 4 states. JOHNSON says that he [will] “be helming an effort to support it with a brief signed by members of Congress.” [NYT] JOHNSON et al brief is filed on 12/10/20

      12/9/20 TRUMP tweets

      realDonaldTrump/status/1336668083822473221 8:44 AM · Dec 9, 2020
      We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!

      12/9/20 [morning] TRUMP calls JOHNSON

      12/9/20 JOHNSON tweets re: TRUMP’s AM call and retweets TRUMP’s 8:44 AM tweet

      SpeakerJohnson/status/1336679860861886467 9:31 AM · Dec 9, 2020
      President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress. Indeed, “this is the big one!”

      12/10/20 JOHNSON and GOP House members file AMICUS on PAXTON TX suit

      Motion for Leave to File Brief Amicus Curiae and Brief Amicus Curiae of U.S. Representative Mike Johnson and 125 Other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File a Bill of Complaint and Motion for a Preliminary Injunction []
      ATTORNEYS: William J. OLSON and Counsel of Record, Phillip L. JAUREGUI [of Judicial Action Group]

      12/14/20 JOHNSON interviewed on Moon Griffon show: “No one knows yet how this will play out” [] JOHNSON notes that Congress still has the last word on whether to accept Biden’s electors on 1/6/21

      12/14/20 JOHNSON tweets re: 12/14/20 interview

      SpeakerJohnson/status/1338511893628145671 Dec 14, 2020 · 3:51 PM UTC
      I joined Robert and Erin this morning on KEEL to discuss the latest developments from Washington. You can listen to my full interview below. [embedded link]

    • harpie says:

      [4/4] TL [work in progress] of

      Mike [game of ethical Twister] JOHNSON, Preacher of the House

      and how he was involved in TRUMP’s attempt to steal BIDEN’s victory in 2020.

      1/5/21 JOHNSON leads closed door GOP meeting about 1/6/21 strategy

      JOHNSON is the leading voice supporting the position that they should support TRUMP by objecting to the electoral votes submitted by some states which BIDEN won
      “This is a very weighty decision. All of us have prayed for God’s discernment. I know I’ve prayed for each of you individually”

      ROY [TX] and Bacon [NE] are vocal critics of JOHNSON’s plan, and warn that it “would lead to a constitutional and political catastrophe.” [Politico]
      ROY: “Let us not turn the last firewall for liberty we have remaining on its head in a bit of populist rage for political expediency”

      1/6/21 JOHNSON leads STATEMENT with 36 colleagues

      “Our extraordinary republic has endured for nearly two and a half centuries based on the consent of the governed” [] “That consent is grounded in the confidence of our people in the legitimacy of our institutions of government. Among our most fundamental institutions is the system of free and fair elections we rely upon, and any erosion in that foundation jeopardizes the stability of our republic.”

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