Here in Oregon, Republican politicians often try to look moderate because they're in a state that leans Democratic. But don't be fooled.
These days, virtually every Republican office holder has to be a MAGA devotee of Donald Trump in order to be elected. So they buy into right-wing craziness, no matter how hard they may try to appear all centrist and reasonable.
Case in point is the newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson of Louisiana. If you've never heard of him, join the club. He isn't exactly a household name even in Washington D.C., much less the rest of the country.
Yet today he was unanimously chosen to be Speaker by the House Republican caucus. That means every single Republican in the House of Representatives was totally fine with being led by a guy who this post on X cogently describes. Christian Nationalist? If you're a Christian, as most Americans are, maybe you don't think it's a bad thing to believe that the United States is a Christian nation that should be governed in accord with Christian values.
Of course, that's exactly what Muslim Nationalists in Iran and elsewhere believe about their nation if we simply substitute "Christian" for "Muslim." Religious nationalism should be decried no matter what religion is claiming to be able to control a country's politics and policies.
Here's what Speaker Mike Johnson wrote about homosexuality in 2003.
Keep this hatred of the LGBTQ community in mind next time you're tempted to vote Republican. Republicans have elevated Mike Johnson to be the second in line to the presidency should something happen to Joe Biden.
Yes, if a sudden fatal illness struck down both Biden and Vice-President Harris, Mike Johnson would assume the presidency -- he who wants to ban abortion nationwide, opposes supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia, favors slashing Social Security and Medicare, is against parents being able to authorize gender-affirming care for their children, wants a federal "Don't Say Gay" bill, opposes every form of marijuana legislation, was a ringleader in Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election, and doesn't believe in human-caused global warming.
Democrats are looking forward to tying the 18 Republican House members who were elected in districts that Biden won to their vote to make Mike Johnson the Speaker of the House. It's going to be tough for them to claim that they're moderate when they chose one of the most extreme far-right GOP House members to lead them.
Johnson is going to have a difficult time keeping his Republican caucus happy. Before he became Speaker, he could press for policies way out there on the rightward end of the political spectrum. Now, though, he's going to have to compromise with Democrats if he wants to pass a federal budget and keep the government open.
When this happens, it will be interesting to see how forgiving his Freedom Caucus colleagues in the House are about making deals with Democrats. There's a good chance that Johnson will earn their ire if he isn't sufficiently MAGA'y. And the chief MAGA himself, Trump, could turn on Johnson if he ends up being pragmatic rather than dogmatic in his dealings with the Senate and Biden.