As publicly embarrassing as that was, it’s worth keeping in mind that the exchange happened only one day after making a total ass out of himself when trying to look like a hotshot in front of Secretary Clinton:
Senator Ron Johnson, this week’s jackass, courtesy of Wisconsin.
So who is this bozo? you might be wondering. Well, to tell that tale takes understanding the two Wisconsins, about which frankly no one has the least clue. One election cycle we vote for a handsome dipshit with zero credentials backed by the Tea Party to replace a venerated lawmaker. Two years later we elect a liberal lesbian who is the first openly gay senator in the history of the nation. We keep Scott Walker in office after a historic recall in June, but come November re-elect the president with a wide margin of the vote. In short, we’re crazy. You try living in a land of winter with only cheese and beer to keep you warm and see if you’re not a little nuts by springtime.
It still hurts, losing Russ Feingold. Now more than ever. When I moved to Wisconsin almost ten years ago I was genuinely jazzed about having him as my senator, a man known nationally as having a spine of steel and true grit, the kind of integrity which lawmakers from a more hallowed time were renowned, they who helped shape the very mantle of democracy, who were the enshrinement that going to Washington meant something positively grand and reverent. (Today, Bernie Sanders alone holds that lonely honor.) After all, this was the Russ Feingold of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, a then visionary and still laudable bipartisan attempt to keep the corruption of money out of politics. (What a hideous irony it is then that one of its authors and namesakes was ousted by a man who bankrolled his entire campaign, all $9 million of it.) And this was Russ Feingold the only vote in the senate against the PATRIOT Act after the nation shooed away the angels of our capacity for rational thought in response to 9/11. In his stead is the airhead who having earned nothing and no right sits on the Foreign Relations Committee.
So go cycles, I guess. We had a Jewish boy from Janesville who has spent his entire life studying law, who would grow up to become a brilliant, independent lawmaker and now a professor in the Law School at Marquette University. By contrast, what are Ron Johnson’s bona fides, b’gosh? He owned a plastics company in Oshkosh. Before this he made his millions by marrying into it. He never even bothered to finish his MBA. He made one speech once which somehow gave him the credentials to become one of only one hundred vested seats in the United States Senate. Before this…there is no before this. Nothing. The man hadn’t so much as run to be a selectman, a dogcatcher, or honorary chair of the PTA.
In short Russ Feingold was swept away like so much reason during the drunken Tea Party craze of 2010 by a know-nothing with no experience whose campaign appealed to people by never making himself public, a guy who is as rich and white as the mental meringue that occupies what for someone in his position should constitute critical thinking or political acumen but for him is mindless bromides about job creators and job killers, pro everything the GOP’s platform is and anti anything from his Democratic colleagues. In his two years in office he has apparently done two things on his own initiative:
(1) introduce the “Regulation Moratorium and Job Preservation Act,” a bill that would essentially stall any new federal regulations until the the national unemployment level falls to 7.7 percent (the rate when President Obama took office). Now there’s a piece of seminal legislation you’d be proud to have authored! Attaboy, Ronjon! I can already hear the cash registers’ chimes signaling all those newly created jobs!
(2) cosponsor a bill that proposes to prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and keeping a record of whenever someone purchases multiple rifles and shotguns. Cause what could be more above-board than a guy dropping a few thow on four rifles and a couple shotguns — gifts for the kids maybe, His & Her Remingtons? Why would we as a nation, particularly in our culture where each credit card purchase for the most trivial shit is tracked and filed, where every f-ing text and email is stored somewhere for the rest of time as we know it, want to keep aware of who is stocking up on a private armory and whether their names, oh I don’t know, come up on background searches pertaining to domestic abuse or derangement? Our forefathers were very deliberate about this — and Ron Johnson would know; he’s read the Constitution — keeps a copy of it in his back pocket for quick reference: Mad Max desperadoes and crackpots crazy as cuckoos personify the quintessence of a well regulated a militia and don’t let nobody tell you otherwise.
So, note to self: next time you vote for someone — anyone, really, but especially for your United States Senator — we would all do well to have a candidate who has a consummate grasp of how government actually works. It’s funny that for all of his talk about his familiarity in the private sector, I wonder if he’d ever hire someone to run a factory without any managerial know-how or background in business. Most assuredly not. No one would. Here’s the bottom line: if we wouldn’t hire someone with no experience to run a company, why in heaven would we do so to run a country?
PS — If you like this scribble and think you know of a baker’s dozen who also might, kindly consider sharing it with them, would you?