What the actual fuck is wrong with Ron Johnson? I never need a reason to ask this question. But it is interesting how often and how desperately RJ waves at news cameras, calling out, “come look at me, I’m saying something incredibly stupid!”
To answer this, I’m turning to Evvie Marin’s always wonderfully helpful What the Actual Fuck spread (you can find it at Interrobang Tarot) and a deck I haven’t used in a long time, the Corporate Flashcards.
And in a nutshell, this confirms my belief that he’s considering running for president. The man is an opportunist and he sees an opportunity. He thinks he’s not throwing away his shot.
The “what the” part of the spread is net-net, crossed by EOD. “Net-net, we’ve got the best headcheese in town,” the first card says. The focus of this card is on the phrase “net-net,” which really refers to the bottom line–the conclusion at the end of the day (coincidentally showing up as our crossing card, EOD). But it’s also interesting given that in Wisconsin, head cheese comes from pork, and RJ is a Senator.
What’s real came up as right-sizing: firing someone. Ron Johnson hasn’t been fired (I wish!) but Trump has.
What’s wrong with the situation: the card says, “I spend evenings working on my value proposition.” Mm-hmm. Yeah. We know you do. And RJ’s value proposition for Republicans is not nothing. A Senator from a Midwestern state who is in the news almost every day for fluffy reasons–just offering his opinion on things for the sake of hearing himself talk. He’s in the press so often you’d think he was on the campaign trail (hint: he is). What have we heard from him lately?
Asked recently, “would you ever get behind a vaccine mandate for everybody?” RJ answered, “No, not unless there’s some incredibly deadly disease.”
Almost a month ago, RJ volunteered his opinion that climate change is bullshit.
Commenting on the insurrection, a few weeks after it happened, RJ said, “I knew those were people who love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned.” Yeah, that was some respectful behavior, right there. (That was sarcasm. The people who attacked the Capitol were far from respectful.)
A week ago, RJ gave an oh mercy me, whatever shall I do, I may not be the right candidate for the job interview about his plans for 2022 (he hasn’t announced a run for reelection yet). If that’s true, a voter might reasonably respond, perhaps you could shut the fuck up and talk to us when you have something to say.
Then today the Washington Post reported that RJ was speculating that the FBI knew more than it was saying about the 1/6 assault. “I didn’t say this publicly, but are you watching what’s happening in Michigan?” the Post says he said. I guess the Post fell for this old politician’s trick on purpose because it’s news, but seriously, when a politician makes a point of saying he’s not saying a thing publicly, he’s saying it publicly. This moldy old piece of reverse pyschology reminds me of Sir Humphrey’s strategy for getting the Minister (in Yes, Minister) NOT to do something: “I know! I’ll tell him it’s the most courageous thing he’s ever done!”
He says he’s speaking off the record, he says he’ll get in trouble when his words are repeated, but the gentleman doth protest too much. It’s like some ticker tape in his brain is constantly printing the words, “All publicity is good publicity.” Wonder where he learned that. Oh, MAYBE from the guy who got elected president in 2016 by saying nothing but the most offensive things he could think of and by being behaving in the dumbest possible ways. You know, the guy who got elected president by acting like he wanted NOT to get elected president?
Do you see any similarity between RJ’s current behavior and the behavior of that guy (you know, the loser whose name I can never remember) on the campaign trail in 2016?
Yeah, he’s spending evenings working on his value proposition. His value to the Republican party, that is.
We know that, but what do we NOT know? Silo came up here, and it rather scares me in this context. The definitions section of the card cheerfully tells us this is about “operating without outside awareness,” “compartmentalizing,” having a “silo mentality,” “solipsism,” “inbreeding,” “left hand doesn’t know what right one’s doing.” You know, like what people do when they set up their own social network just to talk to each other about their plans to overthrow democracy. Do we know anyone who does stuff like that, here in the state (Wisconsin, I’m talking about Wisconsin) where white supremacists made plans openly online to attack Black Lives Matter protesters and then showed up with guns at a BLM protest in Kenosha and then one of them murdered two people and tried his best to also murder a third and police wouldn’t even arrest him when he tried to surrender himself? Is there anyone solipsistic in THIS state? Any silos in THIS farm state?
Let me tell you something. First, yes, there are silos here. And second, the problem with a silo is that not just that the people on the inside don’t actually get any accurate information about the outside. The problem is also that the people on the outside may not know what the people on the inside are planning, and the people on the inside are sometimes planning the Oklahoma City bombing or the kidnapping of the governor of Michigan.
And I’m going to digress to rant here for a second.
Do you feel strongly about your own beliefs? Then why would you assume the other side is a bunch of idiots who we should just laugh at?
Consider that they’re not (or not all of them) stupid.
Consider that they’re not mentally ill (in fact, to suggest they are is really quite an insult to the mentally ill).
Consider that they are making choices you don’t like on purpose, planning on purpose, building a base on purpose, playing the long game on purpose.
And it looks like that’s what Ron Johnson is doing. He’d love you to assume he’s stupid. Just like we did with the reality tv show/real estate mogul/tax fraud/racist/misogynist/loser/whose name I don’t remember at the moment in 2016.
And I wouldn’t know; maybe RJ is stupid, but someone is playing the long game over there. Maybe he has his own Steve Bannon on his staff.
I don’t know, but I know one game he’s NOT playing is United States Senator from the State of Wisconsin. How do I know that? He doesn’t answer his phones, his staff doesn’t answer his phones, and he actually sued a constituent once for calling him too much.
The last card in this spread is “What can I do?” It came up as out of pocket. Which I thought meant you pay for stuff yourself, out of pocket, but the Corporate Flashcards definition says “unreachable or difficult to contact, even via email and telephone”–which is pretty weird considering, as noted above, that that’s what RJ actually is all of the time, if you’re a constituent. What would it take for the American people, for the people of Wisconsin, for the Republican party, perhaps, to be unreachable by Ron Johnson? It sure would be nice if reporters would misplace his phone number and not notice when he’s waving frantically saying, “I’ve got something stupid to say! The American people will want to know! Report on meeeeeeee!”
Don’t be reachable by Ron Johnson, because if Trump could win in 2016, RJ could indeed win in 2024, it’s possible, it’s doable, he KNOWS it, and his best bet is for YOU to think he’s not even sure if he’s running for reelection as a Senator in 2022. His best bet is for you to think he’s just some crank who oddly enough, Republicans really, really love. Because the most effective campaign for president is the one that you don’t even know is happening yet. Don’t let him claim one second of the limelight. Forget his name for good just like you should have forgotten Trump’s.
It’s not hard.
He’s eminently forgettable.
And this is important because RJ is a guy who is good at forgetting anything he finds inconvenient. He forgets about his constituents for a living. He forgets inconvenient facts as well. He forgot he admitted Trump lost the election (but he did, in December, it was in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Green Bay Press Gazette). He forgot Covid is dangerous. He forgot there was violence involved in the Capitol attack. He didn’t forget that Black Lives Matter; he just never thought they did. That’s not an extraneous detail, by the way. It’s the key to the silo. Use the key, open the door, look in the silo, and what will you find? A white supremacist movement operating under the radar, hard to see because you can’t see what you don’t expect to see and you don’t expect to see that because it’s unthinkable.
And they’re not stupid.
They’re not mentally ill.
They are just hateful.
I’m sorry if you’re here for a “love and light” (that’s a racist metaphor by the way, could we stop using it?) reading from me, but you’re not getting one. Face facts: some people in the world are hateful on purpose. They seem loving to you because they love some people: the ones who fit their agenda. That’s why the neighbor and the old friend and the whoever else are flying under your agenda JUST LIKE RJ and leaving you saying to yourself, “but they seem so kind and loving.”
Also, some of the people whose “vibe” seems hateful to you are actually sweet, philosophical, thoughtful, and just not willing to put up with this shit any more.
Forget about Ron Johnson. (While you’re at it, forget about Trump.)
He wants to be unreachable in his silo with his white supremacist Republican buddies?
Fine. Let him be invisible too: invisible to the haters looking for a leader, invisible to big money looking for hate to fund, and invisible to voters. May Wisconsin care as little about RJ as he cares about humanity, as little as he cares about the Earth, and as little as he cares about justice.