NY War Room: ICYMI – Times Union Slams New York Republicans For Voting For MAGA Mike Johnson
October 30, 2023
New York, NY – In case you missed it, the Times Union Editorial Board put out a scathing piece slamming spineless New York Republicans Nick LaLota, George Santos, Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams for continuing their extremist streaks by folding to the likes of Donald Trump and Matt Gaetz and voting for Mike Johnson.
As New York Republicans tout the “illusion of a return to doing the people’s business,” they’ve just handed over the reins to a Speaker who has “denied and actively challenged the validity of the 2020 presidential election. Denied human-driven climate change. Opposed abortion. Opposed gay marriage. Opposed aid to Ukraine.”
“By voting for election-denying MAGA Mike Johnson, spineless New York Republicans Nick LaLota, George Santos, Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams have once again turned their backs on their constituents as they look to gain political points,” HMP New York Press Secretary Alisha Heng said. “With a government shutdown looming, there is no doubt that the House GOP will hold the government hostage as everyday Americans suffer – all because NY Republicans put politics over people.”
Read the full editorial below:
Mike Johnson is not the kind of House speaker you get when reasonable people come together in compromise. He is this nation’s new House speaker because Republicans bent to the will of some of the most extreme members of their narrow majority.
The Louisiana representative’s rise to the speakership after weeks of chaos in the House may have bought the illusion of a return to doing the people’s business, but it’s quite likely to be short-lived.
Moderates in the GOP who went along with Mr. Johnson’s selection as speaker on Wednesday say they chose him based on what they believe he’ll do going forward, not on his past actions or positions. That took quite a lot of overlooking: Mr. Johnson has denied and actively challenged the validity of the 2020 presidential election. Denied human-driven climate change. Opposed abortion. Opposed gay marriage. Opposed aid to Ukraine. As the saying goes, when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them.
But Republican moderates – several of them from New York – would have Americans ignore Mr. Johnson’s record and instead buy some kinder, gentler version of him. The ostensibly middle-of-the-road No Labels political organization tries to portray him as a Reagan Republican, not a staunch follower of former President Donald Trump. This, despite the fact that Mr. Johnson worked with Mr. Trump on his seditious efforts to overturn the 2020 election, voting against certifying the results on Jan. 6, 2021, even amid an insurrection, and encouraging other Republicans to join his frivolous legal quest to challenge the results.
It’s disappointing to see such disingenuousness from No Labels, but it’s unsurprising from a group that is mulling whether to field a third-party candidate in next year’s presidential election – which many fear could lead to a Trump victory, even with his multiple criminal indictments stemming from his efforts to subvert the 2020 election and alleged mishandling of sensitive government documents since leaving office.
How could this have been different? Quite simply, Republicans could have put country above party. They could have refused to submit to the extremists in their midst, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who engineered former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster for the sin of compromising with President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats on a continuing resolution to keep government working, something Congress is expected to do. They could have worked with Democrats to come up with a bipartisan approach to get the people’s business done and marginalized Mr. Gaetz and his motley crew.
Where, we wonder, was the self-anointed Problem Solvers Caucus, an offshoot of the No Labels movement? Whatever it was doing, it wasn’t solving the historic problem of a leaderless House, or presenting an alternative to giving in to the demands of those who took the chamber hostage.
The immediate future does not look bright, not with another government shutdown looming next month. If Mr. Johnson accepts the political reality that has long made self-governance work in America – that compromise is the only way to get things done in Washington, especially at a time of razor-thin majorities in our deeply polarized society – he could well be booted out in the next revolt from his conference’s extremists. If he digs in as deeply as they demand, he and his fellow Republicans will lead us back to government gridlock.
Moderates may like to imagine that they’ve pacified the far right for now. But with Mr. Gaetz celebrating Mr. Johnson’s election as evidence that the MAGA movement’s power is “ascendant,” they may well find that in the House, taking government hostage is the new normal.