Republicans have Speaker candidate #4, and if he has a real chance of actually becoming Speaker it’s because he’s basically “Gym Jordan but 20% less of an asshole, or at least obscure enough not to have been pissed off large numbers of people yet”:
The selection of Mr. Johnson, 51, was the latest abrupt turn in a chaotic leadership battle among House Republicans in which they have lurched from one speaker nominee to another — first a mainstream conservative, then a far-right rabble rouser, than another mainstream candidate and now another conservative hard-liner — putting their rifts on vivid display.
A social conservative, Mr. Johnson is a lawyer and the former chairman of the Republican Study Committee. He served on former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment defense team, played a leading role in recruiting House Republicans to sign a legal brief supporting a lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election results and was an architect of Mr. Trump’s bid to object to certifying them in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Pressed by reporters on Tuesday night about his efforts to overturn the election, Mr. Johnson smiled and shook his head, saying, “next question,” as Republicans beside him booed.
“Shut up! Shut up!” yelled Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, the chairwoman of the Education Committee.
That scene was…something:
“It’s true, but you shouldn’t say it.”
Last year, Mr. Johnson, an evangelical Christian, sponsored legislation that would effectively bar the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity at any institution serving children younger than 10 that receives federal funds.
He has also opposed continued funding for the war in Ukraine, which has emerged as a bitter fault line in the G.O.P. and in the spending battles that any new speaker will have to navigate in the coming days.
The three key litmus tests for the people who control the GOP: 1)thinks Congress should have installed Donald Trump as dictator, 2)fanatically anti-trans, 3)affirmatively supports Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Whee!
Anyway, we can discuss the vote and related things here.