Without missing a beat, Morning Joe transitioned today from having for weeks blasted Republican "dysfunction and disarray" in electing a Speaker, to trashing Mike Johnson, the man elected Speaker yesterday by a unanimous Republican vote.
Willie Geist, citing an unnamed source, described Johnson as "Jim Jordan with a jacket and a better haircut."
Charlie Sykes one-upped Willie in the Johnson-trashing stakes, approvingly quoting Never Trumper and ex-GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger kin-zinging Johnson as "Jim Jordan in drag."
But wait a second! Kinzinger and Sykes, in describing Johnson as "Jim Jordan in drag," presumably meant that as an insult. We thought that enlightened folks like Adam and Charlie celebrate the drag vogue. Shall we anticipate liberals calling for Johnson to be invited to elementary schools to recite nursery stories?
Note that Sykes also quoted John McCain and John Boehner describing Johnson's supporters as, respectively, "wacko birds" and "legislative terrorists." And former Washington Post editorial writer Ben Wittes calls them "the Crazed Slavering Jackal Caucus." That's maybe half-Wittes at best.
Today's trashing of Johnson surely represents only the opening salvo of the liberal media's attack on the new Speaker.
Morning Joe trashing newly-elected Speaker Mike Johnson as "Jim Jordan with a jacket and a better haircut," and "Jim Jordan in drag," was sponsored in part by AT&T, Walmart, and Abbvie, maker of Skyrizi.
Here's the transcript.
6:18 am EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: After more than three weeks of dysfunction and chaos on Capitol Hill, the House, finally, has a new Speaker this morning. House lawmakers elected Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana as the 56th Speaker of the House. He's a conservative ally of former president Donald Trump, and a low-ranking member of the GOP leadership team.
After 22 days of disarray, Republican House members demonstrated remarkable unity, with all 220 voting for Johnson. Shortly after the vote, the new Speaker made this pledge.
MIKE JOHNSON: And I want to make this commitment to you, to my colleagues here and on the other side of the aisle, as well. My office is going to be known for trust and transparency and accountability. For good stewardship of the people's treasure. For the honesty, integrity that is incumbent upon us, all of us, here in the people's House.
. . .
MIKA: As for Speaker Johnson himself, he is arguably the most ideological conservative person to serve as Speaker since Newt Gingrich in the 1990s. Johnson is an outspoken opponent of abortion and LGBTQ rights.
The 51-year-old also played an instrumental role in the GOP's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He led the amicus brief, signed by 100 Republicans, backing a Texas lawsuit, seeking to invalidate the 2020 election results in four swing states won by President Biden.
. . .
Willie, this is going to be interesting, this election denier as Speaker of the House.
WILLIE GEIST: Yeah, I mean, Charlie Sykes, look at who just celebrated the loudest yesterday. It was Donald Trump. It was Donald Trump. It was Matt Gaetz. Somehow, they got moderates, the New York moderates who've been holding some of the power here, Mike Lawler, for example, they all got on board with Mike Johnson.
And the truth is, as someone put it to me yesterday, he is Jim Jordan with a jacket and a better haircut. Which is to say, he has full-throatedly supported the effort to overturn the 2020 election. Obviously very conservative on issues like abortion, LGBTQ rights. What's your assessment of where the party landed here?
CHARLIE SYKES: No question who the biggest winners are here. Matt Gaetz may be loathed by his, his colleagues, but he got his way, right? He blew it up. He managed to torpedo, to torpedo Kevin McCarthy, to, to block Steve Scalise, to shiv Tom Emmer, and eventually did get his own candidate.
Adam Kinzinger describes him, Mike Johnson, as Jim Jordan in drag.
So there's no question about it. I mean, this is a full MAGA, this is a full MAGA Speaker. You know, to describe him as one of the chief architects of the Electoral College objections actually understates Mike Johnson's role. Mike Johnson is a full-throated believer in kraken-level conspiracy theories about Dominion, about Hugo Chavez.
If he had gotten his way, tens of millions of votes would have been thrown out. He is a -- he may be a, a personable individual, but he is a pure ideologue. But I think it is extraordinary, as we look back on all of this chaos, that Matt Gaetz, and, you know, a handful of other members of the caucus, of the people that John McCain called the "wacko birds." John Boehner called them "legislative terrorists." Ben Wittes calls them "the Crazed Slavering Jackal Caucus."
Ulimately, they got their way. All of the "normies" caved in. I mean, for a brief five minutes, it looked like the moderates were going to hold the line. But ultimately, the squishes did what squishes always do.
And the fact that it was unanimous is also extraordinary.