As the nation prepares for the spectacle of Donald J. Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment trial, Republican senators are going all out to create a reality distortion field to protect the man who is ostensibly still the most popular politician in their now degraded party.
GOP members of the Senate flooded the airwaves of Sunday morning news programs to mount whatever defense they could of the man accused of instigating with his inflammatory rhetoric a violent attack on the Capitol Building that left 5 people dead and many Capitol Police officers injured.
Chief among his apologists today was Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson who improbably pinned the blame on the deadly insurrection on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an appearance on Fox News Sunday Morning Futures this morning with host Maria Bartiromo.
Ron Johnson absurdly floats that Nancy Pelosi is somehow responsible for a MAGA mob descending on the Capitol for a deadly insurrection pic.twitter.com/hUi6SydEe1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 7, 2021
Senator Johnson’s ploy of raising questions about absurd accusations that no one has raised as a credible possibility is lifted straight from the playbook of Donald Trump in the worst emulation of his “some people are saying”mode.
In case his diversionary tactic of raising suspicions that the Democratic House Speaker was somehow involved in a plot to send masses of people looking to bring her to the makeshift gallows they erected on the Capitol grounds didn’t pass the smell test — spoiler alert: the stench is overwhelming — Senator Johnson decided to resurrect a canard from earlier in the ruinous Trump administration, the impending arrival of caravans of immigrants on our nation’s borders.
"that's a caravan a day" pic.twitter.com/0eQRCTUgF2
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 7, 2021
Reaction on social media to Senator Johnson’s baseless accusations was swift and fierce.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson seriously says on Fox — against all the evidence from the FBI — that Speaker Pelosi was somehow responsible for the Capitol attack and might have impeached Trump to deflect blame.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) February 7, 2021
For the record:
1. Nancy Pelosi did not unleash a horde of angry trumpers to try to assassinate…herself. That was trump.
2. Nancy Pelosi did not incite insurrection with stolen election lies. That was trump.
3. Ron Johnson is an asshole. So is trump. https://t.co/TBtH5lVgfO
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 7, 2021
— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) February 7, 2021
Ron Johnson is a compromised Russian asset who belongs in prison right now along with Rand Paul, Devin Nunes, Dana Rohrbacher, and Lindsey Graham (for starters) #PutinsPuppets #GOPBetrayedAmerica https://t.co/GAAqwYWUHq
— Give Tara Dublin Josh Hawley’s Book Deal (@taradublinrocks) February 7, 2021
Ron Johnson is a male Marjorie Taylor Green. https://t.co/gtPIUSGeTs
— Agolf Twitler Slayer (@bblock29) February 7, 2021
Ok, go ahead and mock me, but I knew Ron Johnson, I served with him, me in the House and he in the Senate, I expected better from him these past four years. I never expected him to go full on MAGA Trumpy. Boy was I wrong. Go ahead and laugh at me. https://t.co/UWj8uTq7Qa
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) February 7, 2021
This is a coordinated campaign to shift blame to PELOSI for the January 6 attack.
Ron Johnson was on the same program saying impeachment was an effort to distract from Pelosi's culpability.
It's completely unhinged but that's where they are. https://t.co/HbdfXZSv9j
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 7, 2021
The political desperation of Republican senators may be fun to witness but the damage such gaslighting does to our democracy is incalculable.
The only just outcome of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is a conviction on the charges against him.
Any Republican lies to defend the deposed leader of their party should be just chalked up as further evidence as to why that party has lost its majorities and any legitimacy to govern whatsoever.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.