Eeek! A Mouse!!! State Journal fails to note elephant in room

We had noted earlier that the editorial board over at the Wisconsin State Journal had slept quite soundly as the US Senate slapped together sweeping changes to the tax law. Well, a little update: eventually the State Journal did regain consciousness long enough to comment, sort of.

Their main concern turns out to be that the tax bill adds to the federal debt. Now there are many ways to hate the Senate tax bill, and people do hate it, although mostly not because of the thing the State Journal hates. FiveThirtyEight reports that it’s less popular than any previously passed tax bill. But let’s just focus on what the State Journal hates.

For some reason the State Journal focuses narrowly on Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh).  Johnson had promised never to support a tax bill increasing the national debt, and now he’d voted for, well, precisely just that. So Johnson’s kind of a hypocrite and that’s the long and short of our local newspaper’s analysis.

But wait, in reality it’s not just Johnson who deserves to be featured in honest editorials throughout the land. It’s the GOP as a WHOLE — the GOP Senate and the GOP House — now racing to combine their separate GOP messes into a consolidated GOP mess for our self-dealing GOP president to consider (ha-ha-ha) and sign. All that earlier GOP fear-mongering about the debt? That was just GOP tactical theatrics while a Dem was in the White House. No one should ever have taken it seriously. See what they’re doing.

That’s the right editorial. It’s not about Ron Johnson.


Senator Ron Johnson — how dumb is he? And does it matter?

ron johnsonIt’s the season for political fundraising, and U.S. Senator, Ron Johnson, has taken the time to write to us, hoping that we’ll send him some money. We won’t.

We’re a little surprised that — in this day and age — fundraising letters can be so badly misdirected that we would be getting such a letter from Wisconsin’s wealthy, backbench, climate denialist senator. Surely it would not be hard to apply some minimal software screening to eliminate completely implausible contributors, like us, from a mailing list. It’s actually mind-boggling. There’s a mountain of commercial junk mail that vendors could be sending us, but somehow they determine we’re a very unlikely prospect for certain products, and they don’t send us those ads because they’d be wasting their money. So why does Ron Johnson send us this?

Dear  ████████:

I’ve taken the lawless Obama Administration to court over ObamaCare.

Of all the things President Obama has done wrong, the federal takeover of America’s healthcare system really takes the cake. The Washington political class is well aware of what we all know to be certain: that ObamaCare is an unmitigated disaster….

It goes on for four (4) pages, all nonsense.

Meanwhile, what Johnson calls an “unmitigated disaster” is actually succeeding for lots of ordinary Americans. Does Johnson not know this? Millions of Americans are getting health insurance, many for the first time. Others are getting it back again, and others are getting better coverage, sometimes with lower premiums.

This is Ron Johnson’s “unmitigated disaster”? That insurance companies can’t turn people down for pre-existing conditions? Or cancel a policy after a frightening diagnosis? The new law isn’t perfect (first of all, it leaves too many still uninsured), but it does allow a few more millions of people to get sick or injured (it happens!) without going bankrupt. Does Ron Johnson not know any of this?