Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ron Johnson's Curious Snub of the Tea Party

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the line-up of next week's Tea Party for Scott Walker wank-a-thon is one glaring omission: Sen. Ron Johnson. The party is right in his back yard and this is the kind of pliant and doting crowd to which he usually restricts his public appearances. Not making an appearance would be stunningly dumb. He'd get statewide media attention for next to no effort and little gestures like this go a long way toward keeping in the good graces of activists and colleagues alike. I guess he's got better things to do, but it still looks like a snub.

It's another in a series of puzzling scheduling moves that really demonstrate just how adept Johnson is at alienating people he is supposed to be accommodating. Last month Johnson gave the keynote speech at the New York GOP annual convention, but the question remains: why? Usually a Senator does something like that as a favor to a colleague that can be cashed in for one of his own at a later date or to increase his national stature, but in this case there really was nothing to be gained. New York is a solidly blue state. There are no GOP Senators from the Empire State. The New York GOP is famously dysfunctional. It's one thing to make a weekend of it in Manhattan, but the convention was in Rochester. The speech won him no media exposure back here in Wisconsin. Johnson would have been better served doing just about anything else.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Johnson will find time in his schedule to make a drop-in. After all, the secretary of the  Rally in the Fox Valley PAC is also the receptionist of Johnson's Oshkosh office. If he doesn't, then it really will feel like slap in the face.

No comments: