Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) Wednesday voted against closing debate on the bipartisan deal to end the federal government shutdown and avoid a federal debt default. The vote in favor was 83-16. In the following vote to approve the measure itself -- 81-18 -- Johnson again voted no.
Remember well, Wisconsin citizens: Your freshman U.S. senator was among a handful of Republicans who actively sought to let the US government shutdown continue and to force this, the wealthiest nation on the planet, to stiff its creditors and greatly harm its credit rating. Congress previously incurred those debts in budget spending approvals, more than a few of which Johnson supported. But when it came time to actually cut checks to pay the government's bills, Johnson instead acted like a deadbeat.
In effect, Johnson voted in favor of economic chaos. He proved he is well entrenched in the GOP's radical Cruz Cabal. Johnson voted to keep some 900,000 federal employeses and seven to eight million private-sector employees of federal contractors out on furlough. He voted to keep the national parks closed, to shut down Head Start completely, to deny federal aid to disaster areas, to continue shutting down vital scientific research, to deny urgent medical care to children at federal medical facilities, and much, much more.
From now on, you can righteously begin referring to him as Senator In Extremis. He claimed he was doing all this in support of "freedom," but in truth his votes sought to deny freedom to millions of hard-working Americans by taking away their livelihoods and shuttering assistance programs they helped fund through their taxes.
Johnson has demonstrated once again that he is an unyielding ideologue, and among the very most right-wing members of the United States Senate. He's against the Affordable Care Act, against paying back our debts, against rational, responsible governance.
He clearly was in favor of holding the common welfare hostage to his narrow and extreme political agenda. He was willing, as well, to impose huge risks on our economy and the entire world economy, all because he and his tea party colleagues don't get exactly what they want, to the point that other Republicans began criticizing his and their political rigidity.
Johnson and a small band of GOP cohorts created this entire crisis out of nothing more than a desire to get what they couldn't achieve through legitimate political and legislative means. The nation is very fortunate they did not succeed, but great damage was done while they tried.
Remember all of this when Johnson seeks re-election. Remember!