It’s official. With the election of Mike Johnson to Speaker of the House the Trump wing of the Republican Party–and especially its Christian Right faction–is now running the House of Representatives.
As I wrote yesterday:
Johnson was elected to the House in 2016. Prior to his election to the speakership he was the vice-chair of the GOP Republican Conference. Since arriving in Washington he has worked to repeal the Affordable Care Act, supported Trump’s Muslim ban, served on the legal team that defended Trump during his impeachment hearings, and voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results—that last of which was enough to win over the election-deniers in the GOP Freedom Caucus and secure his speakership.
Here is The New York Times:
The three-week battle to choose a House speaker may be over, yet the fallout for the United States and its reputation as a sound government and a beacon of democracy will be long-lasting and profound.
The Republicans in the House unanimously voted for a man who made it his mission to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election, who put the political whims and needs of former President Donald Trump ahead of the interests and will of the American people. A party that once cared deeply about America as the leader of the free world, and believed in the strength, dependability and bipartisan consensus that such a role required, has largely given way to a party now devoted to an extremism that is an active threat to liberal values and American stability.
Americans and the world are starting to get to know Mike Johnson, now the second in line to the presidency, and it’s a troubling introduction. Donald Trump may not be in the White House, but Trumpism as an institution has transcended the man and provided the operating principles for the House of Representatives and much of the Republican Party.
Those operating principles include allowing Mr. Trump to all but select the speaker, and elevating, in Mr. Johnson, one of the party’s most prominent election deniers. It has been disturbing to watch the slide from Republican speakers like Paul Ryan and John Boehner, who denounced attempts to challenge the election results, to the hemming-and-hawing of Kevin McCarthy, to the full-blown anti-democratic stands of Mr. Johnson. And it has certainly been a long slide from the party of Ronald Reagan — whose 11th Commandment was not speaking ill of other Republicans and who envisioned the party as a big tent — to the extremism, purity tests and chaos of the House Republican conference this year.
Every Republican present in the chamber voted on Wednesday for Mr. Johnson, reflecting the exhaustion of a party that has been ridiculed for incoherence since it deposed Mr. McCarthy for working with Democrats to fulfill the basic function of Congress, to fund the federal government. The choice of Mr. Johnson came after Mr. Trump helped engineer the result by torpedoing a more moderate candidate, setting the stage for the 2024 presidential election to unfold with someone in the speaker’s chair who has proved his willingness to go great lengths to overturn a free and fair vote.
It’s obvious why the former president was so supportive of the new speaker. Mr. Johnson was “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections” to Mr. Trump’s loss in 2020, as a New York Times investigation found last year. He made unfounded arguments questioning the constitutionality of state voting rules, he agreed with Mr. Trump that the election was “rigged,” cast doubt on voting machines, and supported a host of other baseless and unconstitutional theories that ultimately led to a violent insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Mr. Johnson now refuses to talk about his leading role in that shameful drama. When a reporter for ABC News tried to ask him about it on Tuesday night, he would not respond; his fellow Republicans booed the question, and one yelled at the reporter to “shut up.” Such questions cannot be dismissed when Mr. Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Though changes in the law and Democratic control of the Senate make it much harder for the House of Representatives to impede certification of the vote, the American public deserves a speaker of the House who will uphold the will of the people, not someone willing to bend the rules of an election for his own side.
Read the rest here.