Ron Johnson Suffers Widespread Public Humiliation (Again)

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) is not in touch with facts. During an interview with The New York Times last week, he suggested that Greenland — a large island that’s partly within the Arctic Circle — was once “green,” and that’s how it got its name, he posited. Thus, he suggested, climate change isn’t an existentially serious issue, because Greenland — an icy expanse — was once “green.” The problem is that Greenland was not “green” at any relevant point of human history. According to the traditional understanding, the island has its name because Norse explorer Erik the Red wanted to “lure settlers to the ice-covered island,” the Times noted.

Johnson acknowledged that he was not certain of his belief about Greenland; as he put it, “I could be wrong there, but that’s always been my assumption that, at some point in time, those early explorers saw green.” No matter his acknowledgement of his fallibility, there’s still a serious problem. Johnson is one of only 100 people in the United States Senate, and he’s so out-of-touch with basic critical thinking skills that this is the kind of nonsense that he regularly pushes.

He’s not alone among Republicans in this regard, of course — just recently, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) claimed at an in-person town hall event in Colorado that mass Democratic resignations from Congress might be on the horizon. There is no real-world indication supporting her resignations theory. Another prominent example of this kind of problem is, of course, the idea that spread among Republicans that the 2020 presidential election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden. As the Times notes, throughout the weeks after Election Day, Johnson “refused to acknowledge Mr. Biden as the winner while echoing Mr. Trump’s false statements about rampant fraud.” In December, Johnson — in his role as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee — held a hearing designed to explore baseless election fraud claims, well after many related issues were already settled.

Recently, Johnson has faced criticism for insisting that he wasn’t concerned about the rioters at the Capitol on January 6 because of their support for Trump, adding that he would have been more concerned for his safety if Black Lives Matter demonstrators were present. Johnson subsequently claimed that there wasn’t even any violence from the rioters on the Senate side of the Capitol building, which is a brazen lie. Rioters broke into the building just a short distance away from the Senate chamber and eventually entered the chamber after Senators were evacuated.