Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, the newly minted Republican speaker of the House, is quite simply a dreamboat GOP leader for House Democrats to run against next year.
He's a bonafide MAGA election denier who voted against certifying the 2020 election and labored to block the peaceful transfer of power.
He's an anti-abortion extremist who has voted for a national abortion ban and celebrated the fall of Roe v. Wade as "a historic and joyful day."
He's a former anti-LGBTQ+ legal advocate who vehemently supported the criminalization of gay sex, even in the privacy of one's own home.
Just before Johnson secured the requisite votes Wednesday, Politico columnist Jonathan Martin paraphrased the musings of an unnamed Democrat.
"A sage Dem texts, basically: Repubs are gonna elevate a speaker who tried to overthrow the election and backs an abortion ban - the two issues we won on in 2022," Martin tweeted.
“What are they thinking?” the Democrat posited to Martin.
In his Message Box Substack, Dan Pfeiffer, Pod Save America podcaster and former Obama White House communications director, offered this amusing amalgam of Johnson's political profile: "Paul Ryan’s economic policies + Mike Pence’s views on abortion + Donald Trump’s dangerously wacky views on the 2020 election = Mike Johnson."
Perfect! One big trash heap of dumpy GOP politicians pushing dim anti-democratic, anti-freedom policies.
There's truly so much for Democrats to like about Johnson, it's almost hard to choose. Still, after the vote, House Democrats quickly established their attack lanes.
"Instead of choosing bipartisanship, House Republicans have elevated MAGA extremist Mike Johnson to the Speaker’s chair," they tweeted. "Their agenda is clear: attack our democracy, ban abortion, and slash Social Security and Medicare."
To top it all off, Johnson has zero fundraising experience and even less familiarity with insulating Republicans in swingy districts from his own extremist impulses, along with those of the Republican caucus. One of congressional Republicans' biggest failures leading up the 2022 red-wave-that-wasn't was their candidates' inability to keep pace with their Democratic counterparts. Without the fundraising expertise of Kevin McCarthy, the campaign committees and super PACs now under Johnson's domain will almost surely be hobbled in their ability to make up the difference.
If House Democrats didn't already have a reasonably good path to reclaiming the majority in 2024, House Republicans just handed them a golden opportunity—the cherry on top of three solid weeks of highly visible GOP incompetence and infighting.