Mike Johnson Tells Tony Perkins the ‘Republic Is Imperiled’ If Republicans Don’t Win

Tony Perkins, leader of the anti-choice, anti-equality Family Research Council, launched a new talk show and podcast on the Salem Radio Network this weekend. His first guest on “This Week on the Hill” was Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who declared that the American republic is “imperiled” unless Donald Trump is elected president and Republicans take control of the House and Senate in this year’s elections.

Johnson’s appearance as Perkins’ first guest reflects the shared Christian nationalist leanings of the two longtime political allies, who are both from Louisiana. Earlier this year, Johnson spoke at a “National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance” hosted by Perkins and New Apostolic Reformation figure Jim Garlow at the Museum of the Bible.

The show also gave Johnson, under fire from some right-wing members of his caucus, a chance to make the case for his legislative strategy and explain to Perkins’ presumably right-wing listeners why it would be a bad idea to toss him from the speakership, as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called for.

Looking back at the way Johnson emerged as the House Republicans’ choice for Speaker after more prominent leaders had been rejected, Perkins said, “we saw God’s hand in this.”

“So let’s talk about the role of faith,” said Perkins. “And we’re talking Christian faith. We’re talking about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How does that play into policy decisions today? And how does that help you?”

Johnson said that the nation’s “Judeo-Christian heritage” is “what made us exceptional from the beginning,” and he suggested that America’s political divisions are less about partisanship than whether people share a Christian “worldview”:

Well, we have to recognize right now, we’re not really in a battle right now, between Republicans and Democrats anymore. It’s deeper than that. This is between two competing visions for who we are as a country, who we are as Americans. And if you’re a person of faith, you’re a Christian, that is a worldview, you know, and that informs how you think about issues and you believe in absolute truths and a sense of morality that is supposed to guide these decisions. If you don’t jettison that when you walk in the building, it’s supposed to be a part of the fabric of what you decide.

Johnson described the divide in terms of whether people “revere” or “disdain” America’s “founding principles”:

What I mean by that is that there are those who revere our founding principles—individual freedom, limited government, you know, the rule of law, and peace through strength, and fiscal responsibility, free markets, human dignity—and then, there’s a rising number of people—the progressives—who envision something totally different for America. They don’t revere those principles as you and I do and most Americans. They have disdain for them, right? They want to replace it with something else. They want us to be a European-style socialist utopia, that’s a fool’s errand and we know it.

Perkins said Johnson’s election as speaker is evidence that “over the last 10 years, we’ve seen more and more men and women of faith be elected to Congress.” Johnson agreed, saying it’s important for people who share their values to run for office. “If you have a government of the people, by the people, for the people, there must be a common sense of morality that undergirds that, or corruption will take hold.” Before getting into electoral politics, Johnson was an attorney with the religious-right Alliance Defending Freedom.

The thing that most concerns him, Johnson told Perkins on Saturday’s show, is “the idea that we are forgetting those founding principles as a nation overall,” adding that if the “firm foundations” are undermined, “then the entire thing is imperiled.”

“I think we’re apt to say the next election is the most important one of our lifetimes,” Johnson said. “Everyone knows this one is for all the marbles. If we don’t change leadership in the White House, grow the House Majority and win the Senate—which I’m convinced we can do and will do—then we’re imperiled. The republic is imperiled. Existential threats. That’s a word that’s thrown around Capitol Hill. We’re really facing it right now.”

Perkins mocked Vice President Kamala Harris, calling her “the administration’s abortion czar” after she traveled to Arizona to criticize the recent state supreme court ruling that reinstated a draconian Civil War-era abortion ban. That kicked off a disingenuous conversation about abortion, with Johnson saying the “very extreme” Democrats are not being honest with the public. “They’re not telling the country what they’re really for,” he claimed.

In fact, congressional Democrats have made it clear what they are for, passing the Women’s Health Protection Act through the House in 2021, while anti-abortion activists and their Republican allies have been desperately scrambling to either backpedal from their abortion-banning goals or find a politically viable position to take now that Roe v. Wade’s obliteration has made it clear just how unpopular abortion bans are with American voters.

After Johnson left, Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Georgia) joined the show, and Perkins kept the abortion conversation going. “Who’s really trying to impose their view on Americans?” Perkins asked, adding, “I mean, it appears Republicans are ready to use the legislative process, have debate about this, discuss it, reach consensus. It appears the Democrats are the ones that want to impose a one-size-fits-all abortion-till-birth on the entire nation.”

For all their talk about a “moral consensus,” it is religious-right activists who are trying to impose their beliefs on the significant majority of Americans who believe abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances, and on the even bigger majority who support equality for LGBTQ Americans.

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The post Mike Johnson Tells Tony Perkins the ‘Republic Is Imperiled’ If Republicans Don’t Win appeared first on Right Wing Watch.


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