There are still a few rational Republicans in the United States Senate. But Ron Johnson isn’t one of them.
When the votes were counted and it became clear that the United States had elected a new president, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, "I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and will be ready to work with their administration when it takes office. While we may not always agree, I will work with them to do what is right for Alaska — just as I will continue to emphasize collaboration and bipartisanship with my colleagues in a narrowly divided Senate.”
The senior Republican added that that the country is now turning “to the peaceful transition of power, which is fundamental to our system of democracy and ultimately honors the American people. Honoring their choice in who leads has always defined us and is the source of our exceptionalism. We must uphold that legacy, focus on bridging our divisions, and meet our challenges together as Americans.”
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was equally gracious after the election was called on Saturday.
“Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” 2012 Republican nominee for the president said. “We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
Romney then appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and explicitly rejected Republican President Donald Trump’s delusional claims that the election was being stolen from him.
"I do believe,” the Utah Republican said, “that it's destructive to the cause of democracy to suggest widespread fraud or corruption. There's just no evidence of that at this stage. And I think it's important for us to recognize that the world is watching.”
He also counseled that, "I think in a setting like this it's important to think about what the world is seeing, what history will see, it's important, I believe, for us to stand up and defend the institutions of democracy.”
Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s Republican senator did not get the memo. Though Johnson has never been accused of being gracious, his response to the will of the people, as it was expressed in the highest turnout election in American history, was as ugly as anything Trump had to say.
“In the face of coordinated efforts to undermine his administration from day one, and a mainstream media that shed all pretense of fairness, President Trump has tenaciously fought to make America better — and he produced remarkable results,” Johnson said. “His unbelievably energetic reelection campaign efforts earned him 200,000 more votes in Wisconsin than in 2016 and once again made pollsters look ridiculous. Regardless of the outcome, in my book he will always be a winner and patriot that truly loves America.”
Johnson’s statement didn’t mention the fact that Wisconsin had not voted for Trump, or the fact that Biden received almost 250,000 more votes from Wisconsinites than Democrat Hillary Clinton did in 2016. What he did say, in radio interviews, was a rehash of the president’s lies about the election.
Even though he acknowledged that he had no proof, he alleged that there has “always been some voter fraud that the mainstream media and unfortunately, many officials just simply ignore.”
And he amplified the divisions in the country by claiming on WTMJ-AM radio: “It’s very unfortunate that no matter who wins, the other half of America is not going to view this as a particularly legitimate election. … I’m not saying it’s legitimate or not. I’m saying this process has been set up where people are not going to view it as legitimate. And that’s a real problem.”
It’s a problem because Ron Johnson is more loyal to Donald Trump than democracy.
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