Patterico's Pontifications


Ron Johnson Doubles Down with Transactional Fan Service

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Scott Lincicome’s term for what political parties do these days is “transactional fan service.” That’s a pretty good term for a ridiculous piece by Ron Johnson in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, with the yay me headline I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left. YOU GO RO JO!

Dana first covered this in her superb Weekend Open Thread, so go there for the background. It’s basically a tired retread of what we hear from the fanatics (or those who service them) on both sides: our protesters are basically peaceful and good, while your protesters are violent and terrible.

I’m amazed but not surprised. Those who seek political advantage by dividing the nation hurl the worst possible accusations to silence anyone who challenges their left-wing agenda.

In a recent radio interview on the Joe Pags Show, I explained why I wasn’t concerned by the Trump supporters who came to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest peacefully. . . .

I told Joe Pags the truth: I honestly never felt threatened on Jan. 6. But, I added, I might have been worried if Donald Trump had won and the violent leftists who burned Kenosha, Wis., and Minneapolis last summer had come to Washington. Here’s exactly what I said: “Now, had the tables been turned—Joe, this could get me in trouble—had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election, and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”

. . . .

There’s a reason why the boarded-up windows in the downtowns of major cities came down soon after Joe Biden won the election: Nobody was worried what Trump supporters would do if their guy lost; they were worried about what Biden supporters would do if their guy didn’t win.

Obviously those defending the Capitol were not concerned enough about what Trump supporters might do if their guy didn’t win. What amazes me is that even a brush with death is not enough to cause people to stop being deliverers of vapid fan service. Maybe you think Ron Johnson wasn’t in any real danger because he’s a kiss-ass for Trump, but I’m not sure an unreasoning mob makes fine distinctions like that. Recall that one of the yokels pawing through Ted Cruz’s desk had to be reminded that Cruz was on the side of the lawless mobsters — and Cruz was one of their most prominent allies, whereas I’d put money on the proposition that fewer than 5% of the people in that mob had any idea who Ron Johnson was.

Even if Johnson wasn’t in actual danger, my point about brushes with death being insufficient to change one’s character still stands. Steve Scalise was shot in the hip by a crazed partisan, was in critical condition, underwent several surgeries . . . and then voted to overturn election results and won’t say Biden won fair and square.

Many people who protested at the Capitol, and many who protested the killing of George Floyd, did so peacefully. Many at the Capitol, and a significant number of those who protested the killing of George Floyd, were violent — including attacking police officers and beating them. If anything, my impression is that a far higher percentage of the Capitol protesters were violent than the percentage of George Floyd protesters who were. If anyone cares to challenge me with facts, links, and hard numbers, I’ll listen. But by any measure: number of protesters divided by number of deaths; number of protesters divided by number of police injured; pick your own metric — I think you’d have a hell of a hard time making the case that the Capitol protesters were less violent and more respectful to cops.

Unless, like Ron Johnson, you’re doing stupid transactional fan service and preaching to a choir who will never question a thing you say.

31 Responses to “Ron Johnson Doubles Down with Transactional Fan Service”

  1. Exclusive: Army initially pushed to deny District’s request for National Guard before Jan. 6
    In an internal draft memo obtained by The Washington Post, the Army said the U.S. military shouldn’t be needed to help police with traffic and crowd management, as city officials had requested, unless more than 100,000 demonstrators were expected.

    The draft memo also said the request should be denied because a federal agency hadn’t been identified to run the preparations and on-the-day operations; the resources of other federal agencies hadn’t been exhausted; and law enforcement was “far better suited” for the task.

    The Army leadership made its position clear in deliberations at the Pentagon the weekend before the event, citing those reasons among others, according to four people familiar with the discussions, who like others in this report spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal Defense Department matters.

    The Army ultimately relented after facing pressure from acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, and realizing that District officials weren’t going to turn to the Justice Department for help instead, as the Army had wanted, the people said.
    Still, the Army’s initial impulse to consider refusing military involvement in the security arrangements — even though the Guard is trained to assist law enforcement during large-scale protests and has done so regularly for decades in the District — shows the extraordinary steps officials at the Pentagon were taking to stay away from what was shaping up to be a politically toxic and volatile moment for the nation.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  2. Having lived in Maxine Waters’ congressional district for a number of years, I can attest that “preaching to a choir who will never question a thing you say” is not a monopoly of the Paleo-GOP.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Sen Jonson is a living example of why the GOP can’t be trusted. This doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  4. except that’s not how the formula works

    blm protesters don’t cause any violence, those are bad apples

    and every trump supporter is responsible for what happened on one day

    so, % of bad apples causing violence is 100%, and trump supporters are rounded to zero

    JF (3efb60)

  5. except that’s not how the formula works

    blm protesters don’t cause any violence, those are bad apples

    and every trump supporter is responsible for what happened on one day

    so, % of bad apples causing violence is 100%, and trump supporters are rounded to zero

    JF (3efb60) — 3/16/2021 @ 10:44 am

    You should try the self pity in a place where people are making that type of statement.

    The rally on 1/6 was mostly peaceful. It was marred when several hundred people attacked congress to prevent them from certifying a fair election but most of the thousands of people there didn’t have a part in that.

    It’s like Joe Biden says; Peaceful protest is an American right and violence has no part in that.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  6. The rally on 1/6 was mostly peaceful.

    Emphasis mine. One rally, with some number of hundreds of people, attacked the Congress of the United States of America while it was in session, to force a change in the lawful government of the sovereign nation…based on a complete lie.

    That’s just a basic fact, inarguable by any sane human.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  7. In RonAnon Johnson’s mind, he probably was being truthful, and the truth he revealed is that he’s a racist.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  8. I don’t even understand what Ron Johnson was trying to say.

    Could it have been an implausible lie?

    If he felt no fear it is only because he thought they had enough layers of protection. Unless he thinks only Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi was in danger. Someone did erect a gallows outside. Maybe not really expecting to capture anyone, but still…

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  9. 6. About 8,000 people, it is said, were assembled outside the Capitol – less than a thousand went all the way into the building.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  10. Johnson’s statement didn’t surprise me, although it disappointed me, and it’s not actually about race, it’s about tribal allegiance.

    The protestors who stormed the capitol were part of his tribe and therefore he wasn’t afraid of them, they were *his people*. Meanwhile, the BLM protesters come from the other tribe and are therefore untrustworthy and dangerous.

    A lot of people on the right feel this way, just as a lot of people on the left feel the opposite — their tribe is trustworthy, the other tribe isn’t.

    Welcome to mid-twentyfirst-century America.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  11. About 8,000 people, it is said, were assembled outside the Capitol – less than a thousand went all the way into the building.

    Well…this attempt was just done by a dumber and lazier group of people; Ronnie, Joshy, Matty, and the Qanon Shaman PansieBois and pals. If they weren’t actually so fundamentally morons, the US could be Myanmar. I know, we should always plan on the traitors and seditionists being incompetent morons led by an orange baboon, they could never get a clever traitor or a foreign power to put method to madness, never happened before.

    The 2021 coup occurred in the aftermath of the general election on 8 November 2020, in which the NLD won 396 out of 476 seats in parliament, an even larger margin of victory than in the 2015 election. The military’s proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won only 33 seats.

    The army disputed the results, claiming that the vote was fraudulent. The coup attempt had been rumored for several days, prompting statements of concern from Western nations such as the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and Australia.

    NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt said that Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint, Han Tha Myint, and other party leaders had been “taken” in an early morning raid. Nyunt added that he expected to be also detained shortly. Numerous communications channels stopped working – phone lines to the capital, Naypyidaw, were interrupted, state-run MRTV said it was unable to broadcast due to “technical issues”, and widespread Internet disruptions were reported beginning around 3 a.m. The military disrupted cellular services throughout the country, mirroring “kill switch” tactics previously employed in combat zones in Chin and Rakhine States. All the member banks under the Myanmar Banking Association suspended their financial services.

    Around 400 elected members of parliament (MPs) were placed under house arrest, confined to a government housing complex in Naypyidaw. Following the coup, the NLD arranged for the MPs to remain housed in the complex until 6 February. Social media users began calling on MPs to convene a parliamentary session within a government guesthouse, since the group met the Constitution’s quorum requirements. In response, the military issued another order giving MPs 24 hours to leave the guesthouse premises. On 4 February 70 NLD MPs took an oath of office, in clear defiance of the coup.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (ad6fa5)

  12. 11. In Myanmer it was a military coup, done by the top general, about to lose his power, and the armed forces were under the control of the coup plotters, so there was no counter-coup or civil war.

    Here there was no military involvement at all, and the military had many many different units, none specially loyal to Trump but all of which had sworn an an oath to support the constitution.

    This comes closer to resembling the way Mussolini took over Italy in 1922, but there were many missing factors that weren’t present here, including a government that caved.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  13. In the latest attempt of outreach to the black community tennessee republicans vote to keep slavery in their state constitution.

    asset (e3614c)

  14. This comes closer to resembling the way Mussolini took over Italy in 1922, but there were many missing factors that weren’t present here, including a government that caved.

    And competence, that is the biggest problem/saving grace of the last 4 years. A complete inability to actually be competent; coups, foreign policy, Covid, policy…

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  15. Here there was no military involvement at all…..

    See post #1. Non-involvement (dereliction of duty) can be just as important as active involvement. An insurrection doesn’t depend on military involvement (nor are guns required, as some have argued).

    ……. Wisconsin’s senior senator is questioning whether an armed insurrection even occurred.

    U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson toured the state’s airwaves on Monday making the claim, despite video footage and photos of the attack showing participants erecting gallows, deploying pepper spray strong enough to repel bears, carrying zip ties, hurling a fire extinguisher, using baseball bats to smash windows, and throwing flags like spears at police officers.

    “This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” the Oshkosh Republican said in an interview on WISN-AM with conservative talk radio show host Jay Weber, after condemning the events at the U.S. Capitol that day.

    “I mean ‘armed,’ when you hear ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I’m only aware of one and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot. It was a tragedy, OK? But I think there was only one.”
    ……[P]olice recovered a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition from seven people who were arrested over their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot that left five people dead, according to NBC News reporting in January.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. What I don’t understand is why Ron claims to have been “silenced”. So far as I can tell, more’s the pity, he’s still a senator and still gets to vote and to get paid. So, sure, lots of people criticized him for his statement because it was a stupid statement and easy to criticize, as he himself admitted.

    We’re at the laziest part of public discourse where it doesn’t matter whether the substance of your remarks are intelligent enough if you can simply claim that the other tribe is attacking you.

    If you don’t want to be criticized, even savagely criticized, don’t get elected to political office.

    Victor (4959fb)

  17. Politicians are ultimately a reflection of the people. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the people are evil. They may simply lack understanding or pay insufficient attention to politics.

    How can this be remedied?

    norcal (01e272)

  18. Victor: there’s a narrative out there, that a lot of the grassroots Trumpists buy into, that the deep state and other evil actors are trying to silence every conservative, as part of a plan of bullying the majority into submission.

    He’s shouting that he will not be silenced as a rhetorical device to make himself out to be a hero standing up for the regular Joe against the evil libtards.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  19. RonAnon


    Dana (fd537d)

  20. I don’t know if his impressions are right or wrong, but from the charges rendered so far, the bulk of them do not seem to be for violence or destruction. They are also seeking less than 1000 people for the Capitol riots and none of those sought is charged with burning down a block of buildings with kids living on the third floor.

    When I saw the videos of the interior of the Capitol, I saw no fires, no spray painting “Fuck 12”, no destruction of paintings of old white dudes on the walls, no statues pulled down. Most were amateurs taking selfies. How many people died of gunshots by other rioters in the riots last year vs how many died from gunshots from all sources at the capitol riot. That ratio is what? 100-1? and the one was done by a cop?

    Scott has some weird impressions and should lay off the Mezcal

    steveg (43b7a5)

  21. Anybody who knows even a little bit about Ron Johnson knows that his only accomplishment was marrying well. A rich man’s son-in-law and a shrewd businessman’s brother-in-law. Probably the stupidest person in the Senate. For now, anyway.

    nk (1d9030)

  22. OT- Breaking; mass shootings; Atlanta- Asians targeted at day spas. 8 dead, so far.

    Yep– America is getting ‘back to normal’ in Joey’s USA.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  23. Probably the stupidest person in the Senate. For now, anyway.

    Did he flee to Cancun. too? 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. Biden, taking a page out of Trump’s book, tells migrants to stay away:

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  25. @24. Powerful projection: “He’s our boy!” 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. Probably the stupidest person in the Senate.

    Tommy Tuberville has a beer he’d like you to hold.

    lurker (59504c)

  27. Heh! Yes, he has more than a little competition.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. I’ve said it before, but Johnson is the Brick Tamland of the Senate, and he was probably one of the folks close to Trump who were stooges in Putin’s disinformation campaign, especially because Johnson used Derkach—a literal Russian spy—as a source for his allegations.

    Paul Montagu (055dbd)

  29. Probably the stupidest person in the Senate. For now, anyway.

    nk (1d9030) — 3/16/2021 @ 5:12 pm

    That would be PA’s own favorite failed son Bob Casey Jr. They keep him sedated on the backest of their benches. Adrenaline shot a voting time.

    Matador (0284e8)

  30. You go Ro Jo! You go!

    Hah hah hah. I love it. If this clown thinks the future in politics is in fomenting fear of Black Lives Matter or Antifa, he doesn’t have much of a future.

    Neither does the Republican party for that matter.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  31. @13. ‘In the latest attempt of outreach to the black community tennessee republicans vote to keep slavery in their state constitution.’

    OTOH, CA governor Newsom suggested he’d appoint a black woman to replace Senator Feinstein — should she decide to quit/leave.

    That’s sure to extinguish the recall fires burning across the state. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

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