Wisconsin loves a maverick
Had forgotten how invigorating is Sen. Ron Johnson. The Wisconsin Republican spoke at today’s (06-05-21) Second District Republican Caucus at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison. Said he is still undecided about re-election. But did say:
- He never once disputed that Joe Biden was the duly elected President.
- Never excused the rioters of January 6 (didn’t call it an insurrection; said they “breached the Capitol”).
- Called them “idiots and criminals” who did not represent the 75 million who voted Trump in 2020.
- Voted to object to the Arizona electors in order to open debate on election irregularities.
- Reminded that Senate Democrats also did the same following Trump’s election four years earlier.
He also called out Critical Race Theory. If there was any common theme at the seven-county caucus — it was that. Saw no face masks — in contrast to half the customers at Home Depot on Verona Road this same morning and at Dorn Tru Value Hardware Friday on Midvale Blvd. Madistan!
This is a rough transcription of his talk, which we pick up at roughly the 4-minute mark. The video is 8 minutes.
Sen. Ron Johnson
“There’s more interesting stuff to talk about than Donald Trump. The day the electoral college met and voted, I acknowledged that Biden was President. I saw no scenario where an elector of Joe Biden was going to be disallowed. … But we’re not the ones trying to impeach Joe Biden. … The other side never recognized the legitimacy of President Trump. That may be some of the reason why have such divisive politics. ….
“When you have courts and unelected election officials usurping the constitutional responsibility of the state legislatures as to time and place and manner of an election. … Or when the Jimmy Carter /Baker Commission said absentee ballots are the #1 way of committing fraud. But we put them in hyper drive while we reduce all the controls over it. I have not dismissed those legitimate concerns. We have to investigate this. …
“Our biggest shortcoming as conservatives, we have stopped gaining control over our own communities so we don’t have to hear about teachers making white boys cry because they are white boys. [As attorney general candidate Ryan Owens said of his 15-year-old son, whom he pulled out of Middleton public schools. As did a caucus attendee from Waunakee.]
“I so value the words of Martin Luther King Jr. Anyone here not think the Tulsa Massacre was something horrible? But I would not go down there and exploit it to further divide Americans. …I would actually try to heal the nation. I held a hearing on examining the irregularities of the 2020 election — I did that to diffuse the situation, to recognize those concerns — a little bit of a pressure release valve. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls for my expulsion from the U.S. Senate. I did what [former U.S. Sen.] Barbara Boxer [D-CA] did, I supported the objection to the Arizona electors so we could have the debate … because the infamous Ninth Circuit usurped the authority of the Arizona legislature, overturned a 30-year rule on voter registration. We should have that debate.
“Which is why I was not happy with those criminals, those idiots [on January 6] who breached the Capitol. … There were some really bad people and I want them to pay the price — but the vast majority of the 75 million people who voted Donald Trump … would never even think about breaking the law. Drives them nuts when I say that. …
“President Obama, five days before he was elected, he said he would fundamentally transform this nation. Joe Biden and others have parroted that phrase. We got problems, I’d like to fix them … I don’t think the federal government is in a very good position to do that. But I have to ask, do you even like — if you do not even love something — do you want to fundamentally transform it? Would I say to Jane (his wife) “I love you, but I want to fundamentally transform you”?
The pundits — even Mitch McConnell — counted him out in 2016. (Johnson indicated the two are not best of buddies to this day but said he respected the Republican senate leader for confirming federal court judges.) One poll that election had Johnson down 15 points.
After the election losses of 2018, Johnson initiated the “trickle-up strategy” that produced Republican candidates in 92 of 99 Assembly races in 2020, in contrast to only 70 two years earlier. The theory is that candidates down-ballot push voters to the up-ballot candidates. Winning school boards and courthouses is also key to ending critical race theory, a theme also raised by other candidates who spoke to caucus goers. Ron got a couple standing ovations. He is, de facto et merito, the leader of our party in Wisconsin.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Wisconsin loves a plain-talking maverick. As we’ve said before, Ron Johnson asks the tough questions. Just maybe, voters are tired of Sick and Twisted Hit Jobs.