Ron Johnson Revealed the Secret GOP Ruthless Con to the World

All Republicans who want to survive a GOP primary must bow to the "Biden didn’t really beat His Orangeness" line, just like they were required to “take a vow against communism” back in the 1950s


Lauren Windsor is a journalist’s journalist (disclosure: I’ve supported her work, and you can, too) and she just got Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson to essentially expose for the world the real con the GOP has been running for decades.  It’s burning across the internet right now, as you can see on her Twitter feed.

Conventional wisdom is that the GOP has buried itself up to its eyeballs in Trump’s BS and spittle, desperately holding onto the belief that the 2020 election was filled with “fraud!” and Joe Biden didn’t really beat His Orangeness by over 7 million votes.

Any Republican who wants to survive a GOP primary has to bow to that line, just like they were required to “take a vow against communism” back in the 1950s. 

But the communism scam Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover and Ronald Reagan were running back in the day wasn’t really about the USSR (formidable as their nuclear weapons were), any more than the “voter fraud” scam the GOP is running today is about “election integrity.”

The 1950s communism scam was largely promoted and funded by wealthy rightwingers who simply didn’t want to pay their fair share of taxes; that’s why they called anything that might represent a transfer of wealth from them to struggling Americans “communism.”

McCarthy and his friends had their time in the sun and raised a lot of money, but the real “communism” scam was preventing higher wages, killing unionization and preventing America from having a more inclusive social safety net that would necessarily raise taxes on the morbidly rich.  

Average working people and those living on the edge got screwed, but for (mostly white) middle class Americans it didn’t much matter; they were more than happy to watch the spectacle unfold on TV knowing that it was all a largely rhetorical war being waged that didn’t much touch them. Let the Koch brothers fight it out with Ted Kennedy; it was just a circus.

The “voter fraud” scam that Ron Johnson just revealed works along similar lines.  Voter fraud isn’t really even a thing in America, and the GOP knows it. 

Johnson comes right out and says so, laying it on the line for Windsor: Trump lost Wisconsin because enough Republicans were disgusted with him that they voted for other candidates, even though they voted for other Republicans on other parts of the ticket.

Just like the “communism” scam was actually about keeping taxes low on billionaires, the “voter fraud” scam is actually about keeping Republicans in power when the majority of the voting populace don’t want them there. 

At this point, Americans are so familiar with GOP voter suppression laws and their love for voter “purges” that it doesn’t need repeating at length. Suffice it to say, the more the GOP can throw up obstacles to voting for people who are young, poor, Black, Hispanic, Native American or on Social Security the better things work out for Republicans on the ballot.

Democrats in the US Senate represent 41 million more Americans than do Republicans but only have equal power for a reason: the GOP and some of their billionaire funders decided, back in the 1970s, to focus efforts on everything from AM talk radio to local political races on low-cost, low-population states to end up with control of the Senate and, thus, the federal courts including SCOTUS.  

Leave the big, expensive states to the Democrats, they figured; after all, Wyoming and Idaho (both going for FDR, Harry Truman and LBJ back in the day) have the same number of senators as California and New York — but could be politically turned to the right with a lot less money and effort.

Similarly, gerrymandering with surgical precision has resulted in multiple states that vote pretty much 50/50 D/R sending lopsided numbers of Republicans to the US House of Representatives.

But even all this structural work hasn’t saved the GOP as it’s gotten farther and farther away from average people and the issues they care about. 

So now they have to go back to what worked before the 1965 Voting Rights Act: the 2022 version of “How many jellybeans are in that jar?” using voter ID, restricted voting places and hours, and harsh penalties for even small mistakes to threaten, discourage and prevent “undesirable” people (aka “Democrats) from voting.

America is suffering from two political poisons, both poured into our nation’s bloodstream by John Roberts and his fellow “conservative” patrons of the morbidly rich on the US Supreme Court: money in politics and legalized voter suppression. 

Until we challenge these both head-on with aggressive legislation and a confrontation with the Supreme Court, Republicans will continue to tell lies to hide the ways they’re gaming the system and America can’t truly call itself a democratic republic.