What’s On the Table for This Fight


Johnson praised the passengers of United Flight 93 while addressing the Wisconsin Republican Party on Saturday, saying that it was “American” of them to hold a vote before confronting hijackers and taking down the plane on 9/11, The Associated Press reported.

“November 2016 we’ll be taking a vote. We’ll be encouraging our fellow citizens to take a vote,” Johnson said, as quoted by the AP. “Now, it may not be life and death, like the vote passengers on United Flight 93 took, but boy is it consequential.”

Johnson said Monday in an interview with local radio station WTMJ that he’s told the story “dozens of times” because it inspires him to “keep moving forward, to never give up on this country.”

“I used my unique contact with the finest among us and visiting them in Walter Reed and the inspiration they provide, and the inspiration provided by these heroes of 9/11 who — who — knew that their plane had been turned into a weapon, OK, but still took the vote,” he said.

Doc and I were talking this weekend about stuff that idiot political pundits do, like comparing elections to wars or declaring everything to be “a Katrina” or talking about welfare policy as if it was a hypothetical scenario being run on a computer instead of the actual way people need to feed their babies.

And there’s a lot that goes into that, the isolation and the echo chamber and the idea that if you are a moderately well off political person you mostly deal with other moderately well off political people and not with, say, poor people who are actually affected by your snide shit. But what I kept coming back to was the idea that some things are not fair game for the fight you are having.

The fight you are having, about whether you can Appear To Be Serious, is not about real things. 9/11 involved lots of real dead people and it didn’t happen primarily to give meaning to the life of Ron Johnson, the creature. 9/11 and the people who died are not yours, to pull out so as to make clear your “unique contact” (so much going to fuck yourself, pal) and impress us all with your depth of feeling.

(I remember being in an idiot newsmeeting after 9/11 where we all pitched stories about the ongoing collapse of the entire world, and this very earnest girl stood up and said that we should be writing about people going back to church because she had gone back to church, because the pile of ash in lower Manhattan had given her life so much more meaning.

Which was a lot of pressure to put on New York, just at that moment. To give meaning to this girl’s life. Like, they had enough to do just then, so get in line.)

I fully believe Ron Johnson is genuinely too dumb to understand what fight he’s having, much less parse out what you get to slap on the table during it. His moronic comments are symptomatic of a political class that has lost touch not just with “real America” or whatever we’re calling this country’s vanishing middle class, but with the idea that politics is more than social experiment theater. There is a human cost to the examples you cite, so if you’re going to say what you’re doing is like storming the beaches at Normandy you’d better be under some serious artillery fire.

If all you’re doing is running a craptastic, inept campaign for re-election, maybe don’t make out like you’re Shackleton at the Pole.


4 thoughts on “What’s On the Table for This Fight

  1. Y’know, when i was a kid, whenever I said something my father didn’t believe or didn’t understand, he’d say, “if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”

    I was born way too early, because if I were nine today, I’d have the perfect retort: “Ron Johnson.”

  2. I think Ron Johnson may be the dumbest member of the US Senate in my lifetime.Others have been more venal but none quite so dumb; even Jim Inhofe. Now that’s stupid.

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