It is amazing how quickly these “alpha male MAGAs’ turtle into delicate little flowers (or snowflakes, if you prefer) in the face of serious accusations. They play the persecuted victim almost as naturally as the cruel, unfeeling, in-your-face MAGA.
Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson laid out the character trait for all Wisconsin voters to see last night in his debate against Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. From Yahoo News:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) had a raucous audience laughing during a campaign debate Thursday when he complained he had been “set up” by the FBI. Johnson was responding to an attack by his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, that the senator was once warned by the FBI that the Kremlin was trying to turn him into a “Russian asset.”
— The Recount (@therecount) October 14, 2022
Johnson fired back at Barnes’ “wild charge.” His claim that the “FBI set me up with a corrupt briefing and then leaked that to smear me” brought laughter from the debate audience. Johnson accused the FBI of being tainted by corruption, which he said he has been “trying to uncover and expose” (a point met with more audience laughter).
The FBI has a lot of faults, as we’re learning from the January 6th hearings. But when it comes to counterintelligence and protecting the country from Russia, the FBI won’t be setting anyone up. Oddly, Johnson has certainly “looked like” a Russian asset in the last few years in the same way that Trump’s behavior has “looked like” that of someone under Russia’s thumb. Perhaps that explains the laughter. But no one has ever brought forth any direct proof, and thus, it’s just speculation and optics. One doesn’t need to speculate that Johnson has been at the forefront of whitewashing January 6th as the guy who referenced the attack as some kind of rowdy Capitol tour.
As the article notes, Johnson has quite a history of making outlandish claims that are, in a way, worthy of laughter were they not so sad:
After the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, Johnson in a radio interview defended the attackers as “peaceful,” calling them “people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, [who] would never do anything to break the law.” He said he would have been “concerned,” however, had the rioters been Black Lives Matter protesters instead of a mob incited by then-President Donald Trump.
Officer Fanone barely made it out alive in the “peaceful” demonstration. The medical examiner’s report on Officer Sicknick’s death said that the attack on the Capitol “contributed to” the strokes that were the cause of death on the night of January 6th. It isn’t funny when Johnson literally “white” washes the insurrection and even admits that he would be concerned, however, if Black Lives Matter engaged in such a protest.
All of this makes for terrible optics as Johnson’s opponent, Barnes, is a black man. Johnson is considered the most vulnerable sitting MAGA senator but has recently pulled ahead to a six-point lead. Perhaps humiliating himself on the debate stage will turn things around for Mandela Barnes.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.