Among Republicans, there are competing explanations for what went wrong in the 2012 elections, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has reached his own conclusion: Americans just aren’t sharp enough to appreciate the far-right message.
Johnson attributed Obama’s win on the heels of those Republican gains in Wisconsin to an uninformed electorate who voted in this election but not in the [Scott] Walker recall.
“If you aren’t properly informed, if you don’t understand the problems facing this nation, you are that much more prone to falling prey to demagoguing solutions. And the problem with demagoguing solutions is they don’t work,” Johnson said.
For the record, Ron Johnson believes affordable contraception is easily distributed over the Internet, thinks “sunspot activity” is responsible for global warming, believes the Great Recession ended before President Obama took office; and sees public investment in alternative energy as roughly the same thing as “the Soviet Union.”
He may be the wrong guy to give lectures on being “properly informed.”
Also yesterday, Johnson felt comfortable taking a rather condescending attitude towards his new home-state colleague, Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin. The far-right senator said, “Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they’re simply the facts.”
It’s worth noting that Baldwin, who has a degree in mathematics, has been in public office for two decades, including having been in Congress since 1999. If anything, Johnson would probably benefit if she sat down with him and laid out her best understanding of the federal budget.
Update: Ta-Nehisi Coates goes with the headline I wish I’d used on this.