Mike Johnson: 1.21 Gigawatts Of Power

Mike Johnson: 1.21 Gigawatts Of Power

Leonard Zwelling

When Republican Louisiana congressman Mike Johnson was miraculously elevated to the position of Speaker of the House after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster, I thought that we had seen the last piece of constructive legislation until the next election, and certainly not a new era of bipartisanship.


The George McFly look alike has morphed from the George McFly of the beginning of Back to the Future to the prom hero at the end with 1.21 gigawatts of political power.

Finally, after much gnashing of teeth and threats from the far-right of his party, Johnson brought the requisite foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan to the House floor breaking through an impasse, sending it to the Senate where it was approved, and seeing President Biden sign it. That took guts and the beginning of what could become a bipartisan norm.

Then he marches up to Columbia University in New York, faces the demonstrators for Hamas, and tells them that he will not stand for any antisemitism and he brings a House delegation with him.

Finally, he stares down Marjorie Taylor Green’s attempt to oust him as well by having the Democrats come to his rescue.

Who is this guy?

Can a man who has been in the Congress only seven years actually move the ball down the field in a meaningful way? It seems so.

I think the lesson here is that while some leaders shirk their moment in the spotlight, others grab it by the throat and do good. Mike Johnson just may be in the latter category. He may wind up being a true profile in courage. Who knew?

The only remaining barrier to true bi-partisanship is Donald Trump. There is no question that the Senate had worked out a bipartisan southern border immigration deal and had the votes for it until Trump stepped in to kill it for fear of losing his primary election issue.

No matter which presidential candidate wins now, the challenge will be to see if support for a bipartisan agenda for the good of the country can trump partisan politics for at least a brief period. It may rest with Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries to initiate that bipartisanship in the least likely place of all, the House of Representatives. This will entail the marginalization of the MTGs and her cohort who would just as soon blow up the place as to work with Democrats.

It is likely that the presidential election will be close. Ditto the distribution of seats in the upper and lower chambers. If we are to make any progress at all, the moves of Mike Johnson must be emulated around the Capitol.

You surely could have fooled me, but so far, I like Mike.

2 thoughts on “Mike Johnson: 1.21 Gigawatts Of Power”

  1. Len,
    I can’t agree with you more ! When he first was nominated and accepted as the new Speaker of the House I said to myself “ self here comes another Trump supporter withe ties to the far right wing conservatives”. He was like Kevin McCarthy with policies on anti-abortion, closer knit union of Church and State, a policy on much tighter border patrol , thinking that the 2020 election was stolen and an opponent to countries in need like Ukraine !
    Boy was I wrong!. His fortitude, courage and willingness to give up Speakership as well as distancing himself from the far right Republicans and many other Republicans makes him honorable and the kind of Politician who gives the chance for bi-partisan politics so we can move forward as a unified country (whatever that means). I hope he will soon distance himself from Trump as well !
    _od Bless America, Democracy and the Constitution !👍

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