Attorney General Bill Barr dropped a reality bomb on Donald Trump's coup efforts Tuesday. Barr told the Associated Press that the US Justice Department has "not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election." That's because there was no widespread vote fraud. The Kraken can take a breather.

This was a blow to Trump, who probably assumed that Barr was always up for a little fascism. Barr's statement didn't cause the dam to break, though, and Republicans, who need Trump's unreasoning supporters like electoral meth, questioned the attorney general's conclusions, which are based in objective reality.

Wisconsin's Ron Johnson, the Senate's dumbest Republican and thus the dumbest member of the Senate, demanded that Barr show his work.


This isn't how evidence works. The person alleging a crime has to provide evidence of this conspiracy to commit widespread voter fraud. It's very hard to prove that something doesn't exist. It's like when I tell small children that monsters live in their rooms but they forget about them whenever they look away. Their parents can never calm them down.

Besides, Jenna Ellis, Trump's dime store lawyer (he was overcharged), insists only common TV lawyers produce “evidence" for their wild, baseless accusations.

We know she's a lawyer because of the “esquire."Twitter

Here's the thing about Johnson, though. He might look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but he's not enough of an idiot to believe Trump actually won reelection. His constituents are the true idiots.

Mike Becker, a former chairman of the Brown County Republican Party in Wisconsin, calls out Johnson in a piece for The Bulwark. During a phone call on Nov. 14, Johnson admitted to Becker that he knew damn well that Joe Biden won the election, but he was fine with Trump, as Becker describes, “taking a sledgehammer to the very foundation of our democracy." Johnson insisted that our institutions were strong enough to take a beating. He apparently didn't care that Trump was slandering not just Joe Biden and random Democrats but Republicans and minor election officials as well. Johnson's willing to let Trump break all kinds of eggs for his fascist omelette.

BECKER: After dismissing the notion that being honest with his constituents about election integrity was important, Sen. Johnson said that although Biden had won, he was, "the worst candidate for president in the history of the country." He said that Biden won strictly because of all the hatred for Trump that was advanced by the media every single day.

If negative partisanship is the primary reason Biden won, it's also the main reason Republicans gained control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. We might not like the results, but those elections are still valid. A voter's motivation doesn't make their vote count less.

Johnson whines about “all the hatred for Trump" without acknowledging how Trump actively contributes to it. I think it's silly when people spend so much of their free time hating on movies they didn't like. Just ignore them. Other people enjoying these movies doesn't impact you in any way. Even the worst movie can't lock children in cages, tear gas citizens, and hold rallies demonizing anyone who's different.

The senator argues that a consistent theme of Trump's hate rallies is that the "people there absolutely love America." This is bullshit. The crowd at his rallies might love an antiquated, exclusive idea of America, but they hate most Americans. Remember, we outnumber them.

Johnson also claimed that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez don't love America because they want to "fundamentally change" the country, and you "can't love something you want to fundamentally change." Apparently, “Make America Great Again" isn't a call for fundamental change but restoration to a time when Jews and brown women weren't sticking their fingers into America's pie.

BECKER: [Johnson] said that Trump had so many accomplishments but that nobody wants to talk about them because everyone hates his guts.


BECKER: [Johnson] said that with him, "it's really about what's right and what's wrong," and in his mind Trump was right on so many things. I asked him that if it truly is about right versus wrong, why doesn't he call out what Trump does wrong?

His answer: In essence, that it would be political suicide.

Well, isn't that just pathetic?

As Trump sets the nation on fire in a fit of narcissistic rage, Johnson "stands back and stands by," and that has nothing to do with what's right or wrong. It's about what's politically expedient: Evil is electable in the modern Republican party. Johnson doesn't deserve the title of Senate's dumbest Republican. A fool is at least capable of noble acts. Johnson is simply a coward.

[The Bulwark]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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