Mike Johnson adjusts his glasses in the House.

Meet the New Predictably Terrible Speaker of the House: Mike Johnson


The Republican clown show is over—at least that stage of it. Since Kevin McCarthy was railroaded out of the speakership by the likes of Matt Gaetz and other far-right MAGA Republicans, the GOP has been scrambling to get a new speaker and get things ramped up again in the House. And now they’ve finally accomplished the bare minimum and elected a new speaker, Mike Johnson from Louisiana.

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Johnson is the first Republican to win the vote unanimously since John Boehner back in 2011. This is kind of wild since most people have never heard of him. Though that may have been the calculated decision from the GOP. In any case, he will now lead the biggest bunch of goofs in the country, the Republican House Conference. Congratulations!

Who is Mike Johnson?

So who is Johnson? Perhaps the most important thing to note is that he is a lawyer by trade, and also was a HUGE election denier! Yes, those things do not go together in a rational mind, but these politicians are not rational. In regard to the 2020 election, he circulated a gross email where he urged his colleagues to sign onto an amicus brief in support of the Texas lawsuit which was, at the time, asking the Supreme Court to decertify the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. These were four key states in the electoral process. More than 100 Republicans joined Johnson in supporting the brief, but thankfully the Court rejected it.

Johnson also voted against certifying the 2020 election results officially on January 6, 2021. His big argument was against mail-in voting policies. He claimed without evidence that some of them had been implemented unconstitutionally. He also spouted baseless claims of “rigged” voting machines—the exact same false claims that got Fox News sued, forcing the network to pay out a settlement of nearly $800 million.

Johnson also served on Trump’s first impeachment defense team and like many attorneys who are in the MAGA cult, he threw away any legal reasoning to blindly follow Trump’s ridiculous claims. His election denialism is based largely on the independent state legislature theory, which is considered fringe and not a real legal theory, essentially arguing against checks and balances and giving all election power over to state legislatures. Another Turmp hack John Eastman promoted this as well but he, of course, has now been indicted in the Georgia RICO case. Doesn’t seem like a good source!

Johnson’s other terrible views

Johnson is also staunchly conservative on other issues. He is aggressively anti-abortion, having voted for a national abortion ban. He also co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban. When the Supreme Court horribly struck down Roe, he celebrated the decimation of women’s rights. He said that was “an extraordinary day in American history that took us almost a half-century to get to.”

Disliking bodily autonomy isn’t the only thing he has going for him when it comes to being a rising Republican star. He is also very anti-LGBTQ+. In 2022, he introduced a bill to ban the use of federal funds for any sex education to kids under 10 that included LGBTQ topics. Many considered it to be a version of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill popularized by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He also is against federal mandates to recognize same-sex marriage. Another cringe factoid is that he hosts a religious podcast with his wife. Be wary of right-wing podcasters!!!

While Johnson is relatively unknown and doesn’t have a lot of experience leading legislatively, a bland, invisible white guy is apparently what it took to get the party united—someone hatefully conservative but not as toxic as Jim Jordan. What a low bar!

Johnson’s election continues to provide insight into what exactly the modern-day GOP is. What are they looking for? Clearly, someone who is completely detached from Trump cannot win majority support. How long will we endure this MAGA stronghold? The party as a whole obviously has no plans to move away from the election-denying radical wing of their party. Johnson may seem like a nobody—his name and face might literally make you say “Who?”—but his election shows how extreme this party still is. 

(featured image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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