The denial of scientific fact, especially in terms of climate change, becomes more and more difficult to address when Republicans absolutely refuse to acknowledge it. Much as some of the GOP and evangelicals who make up a significant part of their base did by blaming Hurricane Katrina to a Gay Pride parade that took place in the days before the hurricane made landfall and killed thousands of people, an influential Republican Ohio County Republican tied the fires in California to liberals.
Take a look at David Johnson CHAIRMAN Columbiana County REPUBLICAN PARTY in Ohio
— ? Indict Individual 1 ? (@TruthJusticeRt) November 20, 2018
When confronted about the disgusting and cruel post, Columbiana County Republican Party Chairman Dave Johnson deleted it. During an interview with local news reporters, he responded by saying:
‘Look, that’s a meme. And it’s how I feel about liberals, but did I mean that God is going to punish everyone who lives in California? No. It’s a figure of speech, and I probably shouldn’t have done it. But I did, and it doesn’t change how I feel about what’s happened in California.’
There is no “figure of speech” in saying that 77 people have died due to God’s wrath against liberals. However, Johnson continued.
‘Now to the extent that that meme would have offended or hurt someone in California, yes, that’s not the intent, and I don’t think that’s what it says. But you know, it’s in the eyes of the beholder, and so if it offended anyone that had a loss of life, then I’m sorry. That was not my intent, and anybody who knows me knows better.’
David Johnson, chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Party in Ohio, doubles down on Facebook post calling wildfires ‘God’s punishment to liberal California’https://t.co/O5dYtIghTH pic.twitter.com/mRy3dBOcJE
— #WeThePeople ? ? #BDS (@WarAgainstWomen) November 19, 2018
It’s a common GOP defense once called out for their offensive statements to apologize to anyone who is offended by them, but not to acknowledge that the statements are simply offensive and wrong. Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras called for Johnson to resign on the group’s Facebook page.
‘Johnson owes the victims, their families, and the heroes who fought the fire and participated in rescue efforts an apology. In addition, I think his demented comments disqualify him from holding positions of public trust. He should, therefore, immediately resign from all the public positions he holds.’
Asked about climate change, Trump says 'lot of factors' to blame for California wildfires https://t.co/cDaosHwRd0
— Micha Tomkiewicz (@MichaTomkiewicz) November 20, 2018
Betras blamed not only the GOP for this divisive and disgusting rhetoric but Donald Trump himself for helping move the party toward behavior like Johnson’s.
‘Johnson’s post is symptomatic of the depravity that has engulfed the Republican Party in the age of Trump. An age in which truth has no value and disgusting comments about women, the disabled, minorities, and other groups and individuals too numerous to mention have polluted and perverted politics and public discourse.
‘I would say that Johnson should be ashamed of himself, but as he and the president he worships have proved time and again, they have no shame.’
Johnson, of course, blamed liberals for the outcry, saying that they were only reacting out of anger for “getting their butts kicked” in the recent midterm elections.
David Johnson a Ohio Republican politician says fires in California are God's will. This is #HateSpeech. Does anyone have his mug shot to post?#davidjohnson#CaliforniaFires #ParadiseFire #fires @GOP @TheDemCoalition https://t.co/yUhUOgd7zS
— TrumpisFinallyGone (@TrumpisGoneNow) November 19, 2018
Perhaps he hasn’t looked at the total takeover in the House before making that claim.