The Daily Beast

How Sen. Ron Johnson Went from RonJon to RonAnon

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

A few years ago, I interviewed Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson in front of a crowd at one of those infamous conservative conclaves you sometimes hear about. He refused to make eye contact with me or even position his body in my general direction. I would ask him a question, and (instead of answering) he would give an angry speech directly to the audience. I would ask another question, and he would repeat the process. He didn’t even try to hide his contempt for me, and he wasn’t exactly fond of the audience, either.

He had just won a stunning surprise re-election, but rather than showing magnanimity, he oozed anger and bitterness. He had a mountain-sized chip on his shoulder for all the doubters who’d predicted he would lose.

And that’s why it didn’t surprise me to hear about his latest stunt: delaying the COVID relief bill this week by forcing Senate clerks to read all 628 pages aloud. According to NBC News, it took the clerks 10 hours, 43 minutes, and 9 seconds. What a dick.

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