Senators of the Lost Cause

This is what you shall do. . .stand up for the stupid and crazy…

Walt Whitman,  Preface to the first edition of Leaves of Grass 

A number of readers wondered whether, following my recent piece on The Triplets in the House of Representatives, I was being unfair to the United States Senate, a body that includes at least two people deserving recognition as much as the triplets in the House.  I can only acknowledge my oversight with a mea culpa  and make amends by directing the readers’ attention to two Senators who, with each utterance, warm the cockles of the trumpian heart and the hearts of all who love and miss the trump.

The two Senators are Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Josh Hawley of Missouri. Great minds can differ on which of the two men is the dumbest man in the Senate.  NBC’s Joe Scarborough bestowed the label on Josh, calling him the dumbest guy in the Senate, but I prefer to bestow that honor on Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson.  Ron does not have the academic credentials of Josh. Josh attended Stanford, and Yale law school.  The lack of those credentials does not, however,   deprive him of the right to being first, not second, in the  competition.

Ron has served in the Senate since 2010.  During that time ample opportunities for him to show his stupidity have presented themselves, and he has rarely failed to take advantage of them.  In 2021, however, he has taken positions that in the opinion of this writer give him an insurmountable lead over Josh Hawley.  Among his most memorable demonstrations were his comments on the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol as Ron and his colleague took refuge in a safe space in the Capitol building. Ron said of his time being sequestered in a safe space in the Capitol that:  “I never felt threatenened  I didn’t foresee this.  They made up their own standards in terms of incitement.  The first question was ‘Was this predictable? Was it foreseeable? And the answer was no, it wasn’t.  I don’t know any Trump supporters  who would do that.”  In an interview in March he said of the rioters that:  “I know those were people who love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned.” He went on to say that had the rioters been members of the Black Lives Matter crowd he would have been more concerned for his safety.  He did not explain why he joined his colleagues in being taken to a refuge where they were protected from the people showing their love for the country by storming its capitol nor has he explained why more than 400 of them have been criminally indicted for trying to prove their love of country.

Ron’s observations about the good intentions of the rioters by themselves, would perhaps not earn him the distinction I have granted him.  It is also his expertise on the Covid-19 vaccine. He has repeatedly downplayed the need for people to get vaccinated against the virus.  In an interview with Vicky McKenna on April 23 he explained that if a person had the vaccine he or she didn’t need to worry about whether anyone else got the vaccine.  As he explained: “So if you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not.  I mean, what is it to you? . . . . So why this big push to make sure everybody gets vaccinated?”  The more than 570,000 American who have died could explain why taking the vaccine is important. Anthony Fauci responded to Johnson’s comments saying they were nonsense.  He said we have very effective vaccines and it makes no sense to take the Johnson position that if he’s been vaccinated no one else needs to take the vaccine.

Johnson’s competitor is Josh Hawley. Josh is better credentialed than Ron. Josh received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from Yale Law School.  Both of his degrees have served him in poor stead proving, as a president of Harvard once said, the mere fact that you graduate from a great university does not mean you are an educated person.  On December 30, 2020, Josh  announced by means of a trump like tweet, that he would refuse to certify the vote that Joe Biden had been elected president.  “I cannot vote to certify the Electoral College results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws.” Not content to express his unwillingness to certify the electoral college results, as the rioters gathered on January 6 preparing to launch their attack on the Capitol, Josh walked by them pumping his fist in the air in a gesture of support.  What happened next is history.

Commenting on Josh’s tweets and conduct, John Danforth, a former Missouri Senator said:  “Supporting Josh Hawley. . . was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.  He has consciously appealed to the worst. He has attempted to drive us apart and he has undermined public belief in our democracy.  And that’s great damage.”  Senator Danforth got that right. Josh Hawley is a national disgrace. So is Ron Johnson.  The nut jobs in the House of Representatives have not upstaged the ones in the Senate.  The electorate has made sure there are enough to go around.

Christopher Brauchli can be e-mailed at For political commentary see his web page at