Colson: Desperation in the air as the mid-term election nears |

Colson: Desperation in the air as the mid-term election nears

John Colson
Hit & Run
John Colson
Courtesy photo

And the lies just keep rolling out of Republican mouths as the GOP reveals its desperation and nervousness about the upcoming election.

In Wisconsin, where I now live, incumbent Republican Ron Johnson is running to hang onto his U.S. Senate seat against a man I admire and have supported, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

Johnson, no stranger to lies and deceptive political practices, has now taken to distancing himself from himself, an odd thing to watch. After years of attacking abortion rights in every venue he can find, he is now trying to recast himself as a moderate whose only hope is to put the abortion question before Wisconsin’s electorate to see how the state’s voters view the matter.

Naturally, this will never happen if Johnson wins re-election, because every politician in the state knows that the only reason Republicans have controlled politics there is the use of hyper-partisan political gerrymandering, which means that Democrats are unable to win elections even when they outnumber Republicans.

Republicans apparently have no trouble with the idea that they can only win elections if they cheat, because cheating is OK if it brings them victory on election day — but cheating would not be OK if it meant victories for Democrats. There’s a certain kind of twisted, evil logic at work in that equation, no doubt about it.

Barnes, a former Wisconsin state representative, would be the first black U.S. senator to represent the state, which is a lamentable situation in a state that has a sizable population of so-called “minorities,” and a former history of progressive politics.

In fact, nearly half (47 percent) of the state’s population is made up of people of color, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and one could be forgiven for thinking that might have translated into a greater number of non-white legislators were it not for gerrymandering.

Moving right along to other topics, in Colorado, where I used to live, incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert continues to amaze and depress me with her extremist views and slavish devotion to former President Donald J. Trump, who failed in his re-election attempt.

And there is plenty more nuttiness, lying and general misbehavior going around all over the country.

One outstanding example was the recent attack on U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their home in California, in which a man broke into the Pelosi house, demanded to know “where’s Nancy?” and proceeded to assault (with a hammer) and try to tie up her 82-year-old husband, Paul.

The alleged attacker, David DePape, 42, only stopped because the police showed up, summoned by a 911 call from the victim, according to reports.

DePape was charged Monday in federal court with assault and attempted kidnapping.

No motive had been suggested as of my deadline, though we know that at least since Jan. 6, 2021, Nancy Pelosi, who serves as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has become the target of vicious online attacks by the far right end of our political spectrum, and that kind of vitriol has led to violence before this.

And there is other wackiness in evidence, such as the one-time declaration by Tudor Dixon, the Republican trying to become governor of Michigan, who said in 2020 that Democrats have been trying to topple the U.S. republic for years because they’re upset over losing the Civil War.

That’s right, the Civil War of the 1860s, back when Democrats were the more conservative party and the then-newly-minted Republican Party put Abe Lincoln in the White House.

Dixon apparently missed the news that the Dems and the GOP switched sides on the race issue in the 1960s and it is now Republicans who are behind a blizzard of legislative and policy actions aimed at keeping black, brown, and other non-white populations from gaining political power, social justice, financial equity with whites, and more.

Well, he probably knows all this, and his “pure white power rant” (as characterized by historian and political writer Heather Cox Richardson) was just another lie aimed at distracting voters from the truth.

I strongly recommend reading Richardson’s Oct. 29 entry in her ongoing commentary series, “Letters from an American,” for her take on Dixon’s claims.

With just a little over a week until election day, we can expect more of this insanity and inanity, and it’s up to us to try to parse the real from the unreal, the lies from something approximating the truth, and it’s a tough job, to be sure.

But if we don’t knuckle down and do that tough work, we are likely to wake up on Nov. 9 to the beginning of the end of the United States as we have known it.