It seems like every week Sen. Ron Johnson gives us more reason to be embarrassed that this guy represents Wisconsin. This week was no exception — and it’s only Wednesday.
Yesterday it was revealed that Johnson had agreed to deliver in person to Vice President Mike Pence the bogus, but official-looking, documents of the 10 fake Republican electors from Wisconsin. His office’s explanation is that a staff member texted a Pence aide about the delivery, the aide wisely told Johnson’s staffer not to allow him to make the drop, and, well, end of story.
Except that it’s not the end of the story. The obvious question is: why did Johnson agree to do this in the first place? He knew the documents he held were not just illegitimate, but bordering on treasonous. Why did his office accept the damn things to begin with and once they had them why didn’t they turn them over to the Justice Department or the FBI for investigation and potential prosecution of the perpetrators?
Johnson’s duplicitousness on this is already on the record. He told people in private that there was nothing obviously wrong with the vote and yet he was prepared to vote against the certification of the electors in key states. (He backed down after the Insurrection.) It’s clear that Johnson understands that the election was free and fair and that Joe Biden won, and yet he continues to play an active role in undermining our elections simply to play to his base.
But only one act of treachery is never enough for RoJo. So, also this week, Johnson was one of only 34 Senators (all Republicans) to vote against mild bi-partisan legislation in response to the most recent round of mass gun murders in Buffalo and Texas.
That reasonable legislation, the Safer Communities Act, would:
- Enhance background checks, giving authorities up to 10 business days to review the juvenile and mental health records of gun purchasers younger than 21.
- Direct grants toward helping states implement red-flag laws, which allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous, as well as other intervention programs.
- Ensure that serious dating partners are included in a Federal law that bars domestic abusers from purchasing firearms, a longtime priority that has eluded gun safety advocates for years.
- Provide millions of dollars for expanding mental health resources in communities and schools in addition to funds devoted to boosting school safety.
- Toughen penalties for those evading licensing requirements or making illegal “straw” purchases, buying and then selling weapons to people barred from purchasing handguns.
The mantra of Republicans like Johnson has been that this is all a mental health issue. So why, exactly, did he vote against a bill that expands mental health treatment and helps keep guns out of the hands of those who are mentally ill?
Johnson has long held an approval rating among his constituents that lands in the 35% range. Two-thirds of Wisconsinites don’t approve of or don’t have an opinion about this guy. Even in a year that is stacking up to be awful for Democrats, they should have a good chance to knock off RoJo.
Every week he gives us more reason to hope that they will do just that.