John Avlon looked at Sen. Ron Johnson's frantic antics on CNN's New Day this morning.
"A senior senator is about to hold hearings loaded with conspiracy theories and he is even entertaining trying to overturn the results of the election. We're talking about Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who has gone heavy on the bad cheese," John Berman said
" 'This is madness. Trying to get electors not to do what the people voted to do is madness.' That's what Senator Mitt Romney said yesterday," Avlon said.
"So how did so many of his fellow Republican senators become willing foot soldiers in a demagogue's attempt to overturn our election? Look no farther than Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who just announced a new hearing to debunk conspiracy theories while leaving the door open to an attempt to block Joe Biden's electorates.
He pointed out that Johnson brought an anti-vaxxer to testify before his committee, and other fringe characters.
"But then again, Johnson's credibility has already been flushed. Because the independent businessman who ran for the Senate as a non-politician who could balance budgets has been MIA these past four years. His calls for fiscal discipline disappeared as Trump ballooned the deficit and debt. His defense of inspectors generals during the Obama years evaporated when Trump started firing them. He funneled Russian disinformation into a pre-election Senate report and still found no wrongdoing by the president-elect.
"And the Senate Homeland Security committee he chairs got an "F" from the Luger Center for failing to meet historical standards and partisan bias, because partisan bias is now what Ron Johnson does best. When Trump floats a conspiracy theory, Johnson is there to chase it down the Senate hallway and get a pat on the head."
"So let's dig a little deeper into Johnson's latest attempt to suck up to the lame duck. After AG Bill Barr said that the DOJ found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Johnson said he wanted to see proof. so he's announced a hearing next week, two days after the electoral college meets.
The American people deserve to know what happened. 42,000 people that voted twice, dead people voted, out of state people voted. What about this truckload of ballots from Great Plains, New York, headed toward Philadelphia? You know, how do you explain that type of thing?
"This is absurd but serious stuff. Johnson is keeping open the possibility of derailing the electoral college vote for weeks, guaranteeing more of the uncertainty he says he's so concerned about. And here's what Joe Biden did as president of the Senate when a Congressional Democrat tried a similar stunt against Trump in 2017.
"Don't bet that Republicans will show him the same respect. But what makes it all worse is that Johnson may know better, reportedly telling a former Wisconsin GOP official that he knows Biden won the election, but admitting it, publicly, would be political suicide. Now, the Johnson team dismissed the story, but they can't dismiss the senator's own words from 2015 when he said the peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy.
"At least, it used to be. and that's your reality check."