Connect with us


Speaker Nominee Mike Johnson Is a ‘Virulent Christian Nationalist’ and Anti-LGBTQ ‘MAGA Extremist’: Critics



House Republicans on Tuesday voted to make U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, a little-known, low-profile, 51-year old far-right U.S. Congressman from Louisiana their latest nominee to become Speaker. Wednesday morning, he won Donald Trump’s support, making his ascension to become the third most-powerful elected official in the U.S. government extremely likely.

“The latest Republican Speaker nominee is MAGA extremist Mike Johnson,” warns U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL). She calls him an “architect of Trump’s plot to overturn the election,” who “Authored a bill criminalizing abortion nationwide,” and “Supports slashing Social Security and Medicare.”

“This is who they want to run the House?” asks Frankel, who serves as the chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus.

But for Trump’s far-right MAGA crowd, the answer appears to be “yes.” Johnson checks all the boxes. An evangelical Christian, he indeed not only opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, he has actively worked in both his private and public life to end those civil rights. Early in his career, Johnson worked to make divorce more difficult. Last year he voted against legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages. And he opposes U.S. support for Ukraine to defend itself against Vladimir Putin’s illegal war, earning him an “F” from Republicans for Ukraine.

READ MORE: ‘I Failed to Do My Due Diligence’: Tearful Jenna Ellis Admits Guilt as ‘a Christian’

Last year on May 14, Johnson defended his vote against aid to Ukraine by saying, ‘We should not be sending another $40 billion abroad when our own border is in chaos, American mothers are struggling to find baby formula, gas prices are at record highs, and American families are struggling to make ends meet, without sufficient oversight over where the money will go.”

Days later he voted against the Democrats’ bill to address the nationwide shortage of baby formula.

And just one month later, after voting against helping desperate families get access to baby formula, Johnson praised the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the right to abortion, calling it a “joyous day.”

“Many of us have been working for this day our entire adult lives,” he added.

Legal experts who work in the areas of constitutional and First Amendment law are voicing great concern.

“Mike Johnson is a virulent Christian Nationalist who pushed all kinds of hateful anti-LGBTQ bigotry while at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian Nationalist legal outfit that wants to drag this country back to the 5th century,” warns Andrew L. Seidel, a constitutional attorney who serves Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He is the author of “The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American.”

Recently, Congressman Johnson “opposed the continuing resolution that wound up costing [Speaker Kevin] McCarthy his job, though he voted to retain McCarthy as speaker,” his home state newspaper, The Times-Picayune reports. The Louisiana paper describes Johnson as “among the most right-wing candidates for speaker who sought the nomination,” “an evangelical Christian conservative who is close to the Louisiana Family Forum, the influential religious conservative group in Baton Rouge,” and adds that prior “to politics, Johnson represented churches, pastors and congregants whose vision of religious freedom conflicted with government regulations.”

Johnson’s close ties to the far Christian right also has many legal experts and activists extremely concerned.

Before coming to Congress, as Seidel noted, Johnson served as Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. The ADF is designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC says, “the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has contended that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia; and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop ‘religious liberty’ legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion. Since the election of President Trump, ADF has become one of the most influential groups informing the administration’s attack on LGBTQ rights.”

READ MORE: Trump Goes All in on Xenophobic Christian Nationalism in New Hampshire

The ADF is not the only anti-LGBTQ hate group Johnson has ties to.

Earlier this year Johnson stood next to one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ Christian right activists, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council – also an SPLC-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group.

And last year Johnson received an award from Ralph Reed’s far Christian right Faith and Freedom Coalition.

But most importantly to Trump and his MAGA base, on January 6, 2021, Johnson voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that Trump lost. He also signed onto an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the election in four critical states.

“Johnson was deeply involved in efforts to keep Trump in power starting immediately after 2020 election,” writes Robert Costa, CBS News’ Chief Election and Campaign Correspondent. Costa is the co-author, with Bob Woodward, of “Peril,” which focuses on the period from the second Trump campaign to the early days of the Biden White House.

“I know because I spent months reporting on that period and he was part of letters and behind-scenes efforts with key outside groups.” Costa adds, “I’ve talked with key sources from that time about how Johnson — then all but unknown — worked with allied Trump groups and conservative leaders in a coordinated way to make sure that whole orbit was working together to help Trump.”

Not only did Rep. Johnson work behind the scenes and vote against certifying the election, he hand-delivered a reason – one legal experts tore down – that Republicans could use to oppose certification of the election on January 6.

“In the days leading up to January 6, 2021, many House Republicans were groping for a way to back Trump without supporting his bogus claims of election fraud,” Washington Monthly reported last year, adding that “a low-profile Louisiana Republican, Representative Mike Johnson, provided them with a solution: insist that the expansion of vote by mail in key states had not been approved by their legislatures and was therefore unconstitutional. Legal experts, including the House GOP leadership’s own lawyer, determined that Johnson’s argument was spurious. Yet about three-quarters of the 139 House Republicans who voted against certifying the election relied on his claim.”

READ MORE: Texas Judge Fighting for ‘Right’ to Not Marry Gay Couples Cites ‘The Scriptures’

Former U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) on Wednesday issued a warning on Johnson, pointing to this video from Tuesday night, and calling Johnson’s “support to overturn the 2020 election … both disqualifying and wrong.”

But even earlier than the 2020 attempts to overturn the election, Congressman Johnson was a strong Trump ally, not just in word but in deed. A constitutional attorney, Johnson served on both teams defending Trump against both his first and second impeachment, leading to his rise among House GOP leadership. Johnson now serves the Vice Chair of the Republican conference.

“So imagine that Mike Johnson becomes House Speaker,” Historian Michael Beschloss asks, “Trump loses the 2024 Presidential election and he claims he won, there’s an insurrection and then there are demands to certify Trump’s ‘victory’ anyway. What would Mike Johnson do?”

See the social media videos and posts above or at this link.




Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad



The imagery is dark. The words are defiant. The message is dystopian. An ad for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis‘s presidential campaign, currently “in turmoil,” features the First Lady of Florida, Casey DeSantis, issuing a warning: “They’re coming after our children.”

The ad never quite says who is coming after the kids, but the video (below) includes clips of President Joe Biden and former Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the war on COVID and the now-retired Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

While it was first released over the summer, it received little attention. Casey DeSantis on Friday reposted her “Mamas for DeSantis” ad. It comes in the wake of the alleged ménage à trois sex scandal involving an unnamed woman who has accused Christian Ziegler, the head of the Florida Republican Party of rape. His wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, who reportedly confirmed the consensual three-way sexual relationship, is Casey DeSantis’ “best friend,” according to Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch.

“In America, we’ve witnessed a lot and put up with enough,” Casey DeSantis says in a voiceover at the start of the two-and-a-half minute video.

“We’ve been forced into silence,” she charges, amid a baby crying and a COVID mask being put over a child’s face. “Into compliance.”

“Told that we must ‘trust the science,'” DeSantis continues, in a direct attack on Dr. Fauci, showing him speaking during the height of COVID in the Trump administration.

READ MORE: ‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court

And in an attack on LGBTQ children and adults, she says: “We’ve been told that we must deny truth. Back down. And look the other way.”

“Enough is enough. When you come after our kids, we fight back. Because there’s nothing we won’t do to protect our children,” she says.

Seconds later, the video shows President Joe Biden declaring, “Our nation’s children are all our children.”

“We will not allow you to exploit their innocence to advance your agenda. We are no longer silent,” Casey DeSantis declares. “We are united. We have finally found our fighter.”

Casey DeSantis praises her husband, saying he will do for America what he did for Florida: “Schools: opened. Parents’ rights: defended. School choice: universal. Critical race theory: prohibited. DEI: stopped. Child mutilation: illegal. Girls’ sports: saved. Communities: protected. Our economy: growing. And freedom: guaranteed.”

READ MORE: ‘Dystopian’: Potential Trump Cabinet Picks Send ‘5-Alarm’ Shock Waves of Terror

In the section where President Biden says, “Our nation’s children are all our children,” Casey DeSantis doesn’t explain that those words came from a White House celebration honoring Teachers of The Year from across the country. The President was praising an Oklahoma Teacher of the Year whose district includes students who speak 62 different languages, so she had to work hard to ensure everyone felt included. She had said, “There’s no such thing as someone else’s child.”

Nor did DeSantis acknowledge that Governor DeSantis’ performance for children has been poor.

The Florida Policy Institute, which says it is “an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization,” in September warned “368,728 youth aged 20 and younger” have been cut from Medicaid. “Because Florida has not expanded Medicaid, the vast majority of those losing insurance during this time have been children, parents, young adults, and new mothers.”

Florida ranks 35th in child well-being (with 1 being the best), according WUSF, citing the Kids Count Databook from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Some critics on social media blasted Casey DeSantis’ remarks.

“Republicans refused to extend child tax credits that pulled 2 million children out of poverty. They resist the idea of free school lunches. Yet they come up with bullshit about their opponents ‘coming after our children.’ Yes, we’re coming after them, to give them a sandwich,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob.

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

Watch the Casey DeSantis video below or at this link.

Continue Reading


‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court



A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court Friday afternoon largely upheld and reinstated U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s very narrow and limited gag order on Donald Trump for his trial on charges related to his alleged efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order,” reads Judge Patricia Millett unanimous three-judge panel ruling, posted by Lawfare’s Anna Bower. “The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary. For that reason, we affirm the district court’s order in part and vacate it in part.”

The judges upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

They also upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about (1) counsel in the case other than the Special Counsel, (2) members of the court’s staff and counsel’s staffs, or (3) the family members of any counsel or staff member—if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is highly likely to result.”

The judges removed from the gag order “speech beyond those specified categories.”

“We do not allow such an order lightly,” the judges added. “But Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants.”

Bower explains, “Chutkan’s order would have prohibited statements that refer to special counsel Jack Smith as a ‘thug’ or ‘deranged.’ But the appeals court order does not apply to speech about the special counsel himself.”

CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane sums up the ruling: “Much of the gag order in Donald Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy criminal case in DC is *REINSTATED*.”

READ MORE: Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business

Continue Reading


Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business



In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.

“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.

Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.

The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.

“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”

Watch Doocy below or at this link.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.