Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Bipartisan Bashing of Ron Johnson

His latest hoax, that ‘fake Trump protesters’ led Capitol riots, called 'disgraceful.’

By - Feb 24th, 2021 12:16 pm
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It seems like an addiction for Wisconsin’s senior U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, his love for conspiracy theories and falsehoods. His latest misinformation was offered at yesterday’s Congressional hearings on the January 6 Capitol riot.

“Quoting an article published on a far-right website, Johnson claimed the ‘great majority’ of protesters had a ‘jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor’ and blamed the violence that turned deadly on ‘plainclothes militants, agent provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and disciplined uniformed column of attackers,'” as the Washington Post reported.

Johnson was also echoing a claim by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who has insisted that white supremacists were not involved in the riot and it was planned by fake Trump protestors.

All of which “flew in the face of testimony from former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who said Tuesday that the attack was ‘pre-planned,’ and insurgents were ‘well equipped, coordinated, and prepared to carry out a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol,’ as The Week reported.

“In fact, more than 200 rioters have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors, including many who have self-identified as Trump supporters and who have documented ties to far-right extremist groups. Federal officials have said there is no substantial evidence of left-wing provocation or that anti-fascist activists posed as Trump supporters during the riot,” the Post reported.

As for the idea these protestors were “jovial, friendly, earnest people,” guns, bombs and stun guns were seized from members of the mob, while other rioters used wrenches, clubs and flagpoles as weapons. An officer has said that police “had been seizing guns all day,” as an earlier Post story reported.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) derided Johnson’s claims at the hearing: “I’m not one bit surprised that Ron Johnson has again engaged in a conspiracy theory — that’s what he does,” she said.

“I want to make one thing clear: ‘provocateurs’ did not storm the Capitol. Klobuchar later tweeted. “They were not ‘fake Trump protestors.’ The mood on January 6th was not ‘festive.” That is disinformation.”

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois joined in the criticism: “It’s disgraceful for a sitting Senator to spread disinformation so blatantly,” he tweeted Tuesday. “It’s a disservice to the people he serves to continue lying to them like this. It’s dangerous and it must stop.”

“The senator’s name trended on Twitter on Tuesday evening, and a clip of the CNN broadcast that aired his comments had been viewed more than 1.7 million times on Twitter by early Wednesday morning,” the Post reported.

Johnson “said things that are entirely counter to what I know to be true from law enforcement — by the way, both in classified and unclassified settings — so I don’t think that’s helpful,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in an interview on CBS.

Wisconsin’s Democratic, 2nd District Congressman Mark Pocan offered this tweet: Johnson was “a small step away from blaming Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and Hodag’s (have to be from WI to know this reference) for the act of sedition on January 6.”

“The hodag is a fictional monster with a needled tail and sharp fangs dreamed up by a Wisconsin huckster,” the Post helpfully explained.

Speaking of Wisconsin hucksters, Johnson isn’t doing so well with the Hodag State’s voters, as a newly released poll found: just 35% of voters approve of his job performance, “with just 37% believing Sen. Johnson is interested in representing all of Wisconsin,” the poll by the 314. Action Group found. The Philadelphia-based group says it is “powered by a grassroots community of over five million people working to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals who will use science and facts to address our most pressing issues like climate change and health care.” Given Johnson’s iffy relationship with science and facts, I’m guessing the group won’t be backing him.

You might think this poll was biased, but Johnson actually did better than in past polls by the non-partisan Marquette University Law School poll. In its October poll just 35% approved of Johnson and 31% disapproved and the previous poll back in the summer just 32% approved and 36% disapproved of Johnson. Which raises a chilling thought: Is it possible Johnson’s constant peddling of conspiracy theories since October has actually raised his standing in this state?

Johnson has yet to to say whether he will run for reelection in 2022, even to Republicans. But he clearly likes the limelight and making outrageous claims. And there’s no position with lighter duties and more chances to spread disinformation than the job of U.S. Senator. How can he turn down such an opportunity?

5 thoughts on “Back in the News: Bipartisan Bashing of Ron Johnson”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    Without out Trumps idiocy in the way it’s Rojos time to shine.

  2. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Ron Johnson should shut up. He has said so many stupid things in a row that he should never be regarded as a meaningful contributor to intelligent discourse.. The citizens of WI could partially shut him up by removing him from office. The courts could silence him by prosecuting him for lies and mendacities.

  3. ringo muldano says:

    ReCon RonJon – “Hodags are for real!”

  4. gerrybroderick says:

    Headline in Governing Magazine:”Wisconsin’s Johnson exposed as inadequate to the task.”

  5. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Amen to gerrybroderick’s quote + recognize that RJ is sucking hind teat whenever he speaks these days, Ron Johnson should retire from the U.S. senate before he gets dismissed from that office.

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