Lost in all the rock concert level of noise the news has been lately something took place that’s gotten little notice. You don’t have to be a political junkie to know the main parts of the three week circular firing squad the House GOP engaged in before finally choosing a new Speaker. Or that once the caucus agreed on him Mike Johnson of Louisiana was swiftly approved and given the Speaker’s gavel. Most people, with more than a few being other House Republicans said “Who?”
Johnson was a stealth candidate who suddenly emerged seemingly out of nowhere. It’s taken a while for folks to learn about the guy and for many of us what we’ve learned is more than a little troubling. (I’m trying to be polite for a change!) Johnson checks all the boxes one would expect of a Republican, especially one in a leadership post in Congress. RWNJ conservative on all the budget and culture war issues of course. An “interesting” history prior to Congress too including significant work on that boondoggle Kentucky creationist “museum” for example. Some checking has brought out just how huge a role he played in the Jan. 6 Insurrection. He was THE point guy in the House leading the effort to prevent the counting of electoral votes.
He was also one of Trump’s impeachment “Managers.” (the term for those who present the case for either side)
I’m thinking that last point is why Johnson is Speaker. Trump spoke up for him to get the job and sure enough Johnson was speedily approved once his name was put up in that closed door meeting of House GOPers. Again, with so much going on that didn’t get the attention it might have. What got even less was something I read about in this short article by Newsweek. It seems Johnson made a trip down to Florida to see Trump:
The House speaker met the former president on Monday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort, a week after he endorsed him in his 2024 bid for the White House, according to multiple reports. He has long been an ally of the Republican, serving on his impeachment team and voting to sustain the objection to electoral votes on January 6, 2021.
What was discussed? We don’t know. Johnson isn’t saying, and uncharacteristically Trump isn’t saying jack about it either. He’ll blab highly classified information without a second thought, whether for money/favors from some foreign dictator or just because he’s seized by the need to prove himself a big shot. But if he’s talked up any plans he and Johnson kicked around he’s keeping that information locked down.
If you’ve continued to wonder how the hell this former nobody Johnson suddenly jumped to the head of the line to become House Speaker it’s right there in the last part of the blocked out quote above. WE (and most of his fellow Republicans) might not have known who Mike Johnson was but Trump sure as hell did. If Trump was Putin’s puppet (and he was & will be again) Johnson is Trump’s! Trump isn’t smart or capable but he’s savvy and when Jordan, who even Trump probably knew all along would flame out sneaking a guy like Johnson who is every bit as radical past everyone made a lot of sense to Trump.
Well, Trump has as staunch a loyalist as he could ask for as Speaker which could come in handy when the House meets again in Jan. 2025 to carry out the Constitutionally prescribed task of counting the Electoral Votes and certifying the winner. Given what happened last time I find that rather frightening. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that’s part of what Johnson and Trump talked about.
It’s also interesting that this under-the-radar meeting took place during a fundraiser Trump was holding at Mar A Lago. One of the reasons so many House Republicans were pissed at dumping McCarthy was as Speaker he had tremendous ability to raise money which GOPers desperately need. Trump is soaking up so much of the small money donations and anything that goes to the RNC is effectively a donation to Trump. Who of course hasn’t in the past nor will he be in the future inclined to share. So, practically speaking House Republicans are on their own and counted on McCarthy to help them get enough money to mount effective campaigns. Johnson got into the Speaker’s job with NONE of the fundraising ability or contacts McCarthy had. So being introduced to some “money men” was no doubt part of that little get together.
Still, there are plenty more questions about what was discussed and/or agreed to. Neither Johnson or Trump is talking. The linked article says both were contacted for comment and had nothing to say. I’ll tell you what I think which is that Johnson is going to be having Trump directing whatever big decisions he makes. That Trump will be holding a form of veto power over Johnson’s Speakership.
Keep an eye on this. Just because this meeting took place with few noticing doesn’t mean something important is going on. However, the fact both Johnson and Trump won’t talk about it tells me there’s likely some big stuff they want to keep hidden.