Harry Enten argues that Mike Johnson is well within the mainstream of the contemporary Republican party on issues like did Joe Biden win the 2020 election (no), and should essentially all abortions be banned (yes).
This is obviously true, but Enten doesn’t state the obvious conclusion to draw from this, which is that the mainstream of the Republican party now consists of authoritarian theocratic reactionaries, which seems like a bit of a problem in a liberal democracy, given that the Constitution only allows us to have two parties, and that’s one of them.
As to why the Republican party has been taken over by authoritarian theocratic reactionaries, this Gallup poll finds that the percentage of Americans who believe in the literal truth of the Bible, as new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson very much does, has fallen by 50% in the last 40 years. White evangelical Protestantism is in massive retreat as a demographic matter, which means that the choice for these people is between America as a Christian — this means white evangelical Protestant — nation, and some form of democracy. This includes even the very weak form that democracy exists in America, given the sacred Constitution, the filibuster, gerrymandering, the severely anti-democratic consequences of judicial review wielded by life tenured judges confirmed by the Senate and nominated by presidents who don’t even win a plurality of votes, etc. But even this watered down version of democracy is bad for authoritarian theocratic nationalism, so it too has to go.
That’s what the Republican “mainstream” stands for today, which is why Mike Johnson is now Speaker of the House, and Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president.