While Criticizing Biden, Ron Johnson Wins Republican Bingo

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is, like many national elected Republicans, a Donald Trump loyalist. He consistently defended Trump throughout his bogus election challenges and during hearings about the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot. Johnson formulates virtually everything he says and does to appeal to the Trump base in hopes they’ll continue floating him. That’s a dangerous game to play, though—when you’re imitating the former president to ingratiate yourself with his most raucous fans, you’re liable say some awfully stupid things.

Johnson says awfully stupid things regularly. And he did again last night on Hannity.

Asked why Joe Biden is granting waivers to countries “hostile” to the United States, Johnson unleashed an onslaught of buzzwords. “Because he’s weak,” Johnson said. “Don’t ask me to get inside the mind of a liberal progressive socialist Marxist like President Biden.” He continues speaking after that, but everything else he said is irrelevant. With those five words, Johnson won this round of fear mongering Republican bingo. It’s almost shocking that Hannity didn’t interrupt him to celebrate the accomplishment.

You might ask yourself, how is one simultaneously a liberal and a progressive and a socialist and a Marxist? Don’t those ideologies and identifications conflict with one another in several different ways? And while those questions sound perfectly reasonable, they’re the wrong ones to be asking. The real question Johnson seems to actually want to ask is: why is Joe Biden such a pussy that hates America so much?

Contradictory phrases like this are normal coming from national Republicans. Former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler repeatedly referred to her opponent Sen. Raphael Warnock as a “radical liberal” during their runoff campaign. That term had more more of a racial charge to it, but was inherently divergent in today’s political climate. Still, Warnock at least had some progressive bonafides to chide. Republicans have been trying to paint Biden as a radical leftist American-hating lunatic for more than a year and it’s never worked. Mixing and matching terms for people on the left is fair game as long as it all sounds negative. It’s not like Johnson cares about sounding dumb. He just wanted to toss as many ingredients into this word salad as he possibly could. The more scary buzzwords you hit, the better.

Johnson’s familiarity with saying dumb shit doesn’t make this moment any less stupid, though. Unlike his harebrained (and definitely not racist, according to him) comments that he would’ve been more afraid had Black Lives Matter activists stormed the Capitol, he’s copy-pasting words to Mad Lib a new leftist idiom all his own. It’s as if Johnson’s brain tripped a wire once Hannity gave him an open to criticize Biden and he began short-circuiting banalities. These words don’t mean anything to anyone listening, or even the person saying them. They simply exist as signifiers to make it clear that Joe Biden is evil and hates you and America.

It’s no shock to see the devolution of these words in the post-Trump era. Conservative contradictions are so frequent and glaring it’s almost not worth pointing them all out. But when someone packs together a sentence like this, it shows the inanity that anyone who falls to the left of Ron Johnson and Sean Hannity are up against.

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