Mike Johnson Has No Clothes: The Massie-Kibbe Interview

“He’s a lost ball in tall weeds.”-Congressman Thomas Massie on Speaker Mike Johnson

In a recent episode of Kibbe on Liberty, libertarian firebrand Matt Kibbe sat down with fellow liberty champion Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), focusing exclusively on the controversies surrounding current (and hopefully soon to be ousted) Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA). The interview opens with Kibbe giving a summary of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic literary folktale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a story in which a vain emperor is fooled by con men into thinking that they have woven him a new, lavish outfit that happens to be invisible. In quick summation, the Emperor flaunts his “clothes” in front of his subjects, most of whom are afraid to admit the truth concerning his appearance, until a child finally blurts out that the Emperor has no clothes. However, this does not phase the Emperor, and he continues to parade himself to his subjects unperturbed. 

After finishing his summary, Kibbe analogizes the story to the ongoing fiasco that is Mike Johnson’s tenure as Speaker of the House. Kibbe, a veteran political junkie, remarks that the situation, along with the rampant growth of the size and scope of the state under Johnson’s Speakership, is unique to any that he has witnessed in American politics: 

“I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I am a recovering Republican. I’ve expected nothing from Republicans for a long time, and they’ve sort of proven that. But this run of big government, big spending, pro-deep state spying on Americans run that you guys have had, I’ve never seen anything like it.” 

From there, Massie concurs with Kibbe’s analogy, reflecting (precisely) on Johnson’s ineptitude concerning his position: 

“I think the parable is frighteningly accurate or germane to what’s going on here. The Speaker has no situational awareness or self-awareness, and he can only get away with that because the people around him are pretending, as you might say, that he has clothes. The analogy here might be that he’s conservative, or that he’s supporting our principles.” 

Later, Kibbe elaborates further on Massie’s attempt to vacate Johnson’s chair was being inhibited by a surprising individual: House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). After a Freudian slip in which Kibbe accidentally calls Jeffries a Republican, he admits that it is hard to tell the difference between the GOP and the Democrats anymore. Massie, effectively revealing the nature of the Uniparty in Washington, remarks on the bizarre relationship between Johnson and the Democrat leadership in the House: 

“Ostensibly, [Jeffries] should be Mike Johnson’s mortal enemy. It’s the general for the Republicans, and the general for the Democrats, and their general just endorsed our general.” 

Deeper into the interview, Massie continues to detail the unholy alliance between Johnson and the Democrats while airing three specific grievances that he has regarding Johnson’s role as House Speaker: his tying vote that allowed FISA to be reauthorized without an amendment requiring a warrant for spying on US citizens, his support of a $1.2 trillion omnibus bill that included, among other things, $200 million for a new FBI headquarters to be constructed, and his push behind a $95 billion bill package that included foreign aid for Ukraine and Israel

Witnessing firsthand such egregious spending that would cause any Swamp Creature to salivate, Massie and two other members of the House Rules Committee confronted Johnson before the vote for the Ukraine funding bill, alerting him that they would not be supporting it. This would have effectively stalled the bill from getting past the Committee. However, Johnson circumvented their efforts by convincing every Democrat on the Committee to align themselves with him, vote for his rules, and send the bill to a vote on the House floor. Once there, the Speaker was able to garner support from a majority of Democrats to facilitate Ukraine funding. Massie claimed that in his 12-year congressional career, he had never witnessed anything like this blatant act of toxic bipartisanship:

“What Mike Johnson has devolved into, and what became painfully obvious last week, is that we have this sharing of power, not about policy, but about procedure. Instead of Mike Johnson relying [on] Republicans to give him the power to bring bills to the floor, he relied on Democrats. So they get to now determine what bills come to the floor, which amendments are allowed on that bill, when they will come to the floor, how much time will be given for debate…all of those things that are reserved for the majority are now being shared with the minority by Mike Johnson.” 

Circling back to Minority Leader Jeffries, Massie unveiled the most horrifying aspect of this coalition government that Mike Johnson created, which is that the Democrat leadership in the House will throw their full, unwavering support behind him against any opposition that Republicans would bring against him: 

“…Hakeem Jeffries said that if Majorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie and Paul Gosar call up the motion to vacate, we will vote to table it. We will save Speaker Johnson. Why in the world would Speaker Johnson’s foe vote to keep him in power? Why would he save him? Because he got everything he wanted.”

Unfortunately, almost a week after this interview aired, the attempt to oust Johnson failed, as the chamber tabled the motion to vacate the chair. The vote to table, called by Majority Leader Steve Scalise, had a roll call of 359-43, with a mere 11 Republicans voting against the motion. While we can still cling to hope regarding Massie and his allies in Congress eventually forcing another vote to vacate, for now, we can only watch as the weeds grow taller and the ball rolls further into the patch. 

Watch the full interview here: The Speaker Has No Clothes | Guest: Rep. Thomas Massie | Ep 277

This article was written by Eric Madden, Copywriter & Editor at Young Americans for Liberty

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