As you already know, Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, is the new speaker of the House. Politico describes him as "a hard-right legal warrior turned little-known legislator" who has been involved in electoral politics for less than a decade. If you don't know much more about him than that, Politico has so kindly compiled a list of 55 things you should know. I perused the (depressing) list, and here are some that stuck out to me:
6. He is the least experienced speaker of the House in 140 years.
17. As a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund (the precursor of the Alliance Defending Freedom), Johnson wrote editorials for his local paper that called homosexuality "inherently unnatural." "Your race, creed, and sex are what you are, while homosexuality and cross-dressing are things you do," he wrote. "This is a free country, but we don't give special protections for every person's bizarre choices."
18. He is an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage. In the Louisiana House, he proposed the Marriage and Conscience Act, preventing adverse treatment by the state of anyone based on their views on marriage. The bill, in the view of critics, protects people who discriminate against same-sex couples.
29. A climate-science skeptic, he's raked in more campaign cash in his congressional career from the oil and gas industry than any other industry, and he's repeatedly downplayed climate change, according to E&E.
38. Johnson was part of Trump's inner circle and traveled regularly with him on Air Force One while he was president. "It's surreal," he once told a Shreveport reporter. "When I call him, he calls back within a couple of hours."
41. He was a lead organizer of the December 2020 amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court lawsuit contesting the election results.
53. He recently led a hearing on limiting gender-affirming care. "Sex isn't something you are assigned at birth. It is a prenatal development that occurs when every unborn child is in its mother's womb. You can't surgically free yourself, or someone else, from this fact of life," he said in his opening statement. "Today, nearly one in four high school students identifies as LGBTQ. Whether it's by scalpel or by social coercion from teachers, professors, administrators and left-wing media, it's an attempt to transition the young people of our country. Something has gone terribly wrong …"
Read the rest (and weep) here.