Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s exchange at a Feb. 8 Senate confirmation hearing with Biden nominee Deborah Lipstadt was pure gold.
Lipstadt, a historian who has authored several books about the Holocaust, has been tapped to lead the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. The Washington Post describes her as an “authority on antisemitism.”
If confirmed, Lipstadt, 75, will serve in a diplomatic role, which is slightly ironic given the ease with which she insulted the senator from Wisconsin in a March 2021 tweet.
Speaking with radio host Joe Pagliarulo the previous day, Johnson said he had not been worried during the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, but he would have been had the rioters been members of Black Lives Matter or antifa, according to Haaretz.
He told Pagliarulo: “I knew those were people who love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned.”
“Now, had the tables been turned, and Joe — this is going to get me in trouble — had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa, I might have been a little concerned,” the senator added.
Johnson came under vicious attack by the left following those remarks.
Attaching the Haaretz article, Lipstadt took to Twitter and wrote the following:
This is white supremacy/nationalism. Pure and simple. GOP Senator Johnson slammed as ‘white nationalist sympathizer’ after race remarks https://t.co/9vaBQsqK7J
— Deborah E. Lipstadt (@deborahlipstadt) March 14, 2021
Johnson began his exchange with Lipstadt by citing Biden’s inaugural promise to “heal” the divisions in America and asked her if she thought he had been successful. She replied, “I think not. I think there are deep divisions.”
He agreed. Next he told her about a hands-on program he had initiated with a Wisconsin pastor that has already transformed the lives of hundreds of people, the majority of them black.
So far, so good.
“A way not to heal, I think, is what’s happening on social media,” Johnson said calmly. “It was interesting to hear [Senate Majority Leader] Sen. [Chuck] Schumer talk about the malicious poison … And it comes from across the political spectrum. We need to all condemn it.
“Let me ask you a question. If somebody came up to you privately, quietly and said, ‘You’re a racist. You’re a white supremacist. You’re a white nationalist.’ By the way, I do not believe you are. I would never assume that because certainly growing up, when I was being taught the Commandment that says, ‘Do not bear false witness,’ my Lutheran catechism says, ‘always put the best construction on things.’ In other words, always assume the best about people.”
“How would you feel if somebody just privately called you a racist?” he asked.
“First of all, I would say they’re wrong. Second of all, I would disagree with them,” Lipstadt responded. “And, as I said earlier, but I want to reiterate, that even in my critiques of people, I’m very careful never to ascribe to the person — .”
Johnson abruptly cuts her off and says, “I heard that. I thought that was interesting.”
Then he goes for the jugular: “So you never criticize the person, but that’s not true. What you just testified there is false. Because not only did you go on … First of all, you don’t know me. You don’t know a lot of the people that you have accused online in front of millions of people. You have engaged in the malicious poison. You’ve accused people you don’t know of very vile things. Wouldn’t you agree that probably calling somebody racist is just under murderer and rapist, calling somebody a racist? Isn’t that about as serious and vile an accusation as you can hurl against somebody. Somebody you don’t even know. You’ve never talked to me. You’ve never met me. You don’t know what’s in my heart, do you?”
She tells him she has no idea what’s in his heart.
“So why would you go on social media and make those charges?” Johnson asks. “This position is supposed to be for a non-partisan. It seems like how you engage in malicious poison is purely partisan. You’re hurling these charges against people that are generally of one political persuasion.”
“Why did you go on social media and level these vile and horrible charges against people, including me, that you don’t even know?
Lipstadt was clearly rattled and tried to deny it, but Johnson held up a copy of the tweet which shows precisely what she’d said.
He asked her if she felt bad about that.
“As I said earlier, it was not nuanced. I would not do diplomacy by tweet … I certainly did not mean it, and I’m sorry if it was taken — and I’m sorry if I made it in a way that it could be assumed to be a political — at the person personally.”
“Listen, I appreciate your apology, and I’ll accept your apology,” the senator said. “But I think somebody that has had a 30-year professional career ought to know better, and when you’re being nominated and considered for confirmation to a position of diplomacy representing these United States, I certainly cannot support your nomination. I hope my other colleagues won’t either.”
Johnson concluded, “You’re just simply not qualified for it. I wish you the best in life, and I do accept your apology.”
Talk about a TKO!
What a superb takedown of a liberal.
The left claims to be so enlightened, while they declare the right to be so vile and contemptible.
Democrats have played the race card so casually in today’s world that it’s begun to lose its power.
Americans, in large numbers, have begun to understand what’s behind the liberals’ incessant use of the race card. At its very essence, it’s simply a tactic used for political gain. Denigrating Republicans as racists has increased their power.
But the tactic is becoming worn from overuse.
Leftists like Lipstadt put out their woke nonsense from behind the safety of their keyboards. The separation provided by social media has made the left very brazen. It’s easy to cavalierly toss out labels on Twitter, but when pressed, face to face, and asked to explain their baseless accusations, liberals lose their boldness and begin stumbling and bumbling — as Lipstadt did when Johnson confronted her.
It’s rare that someone gets the chance to respond in person to an individual who has baselessly attacked them online.
Sen. Johnson was lucky. When offered the opportunity to face his accuser, he pounced.
He proved that this woman didn’t have the gall to say the same thing to him directly; he also proved she wasn’t willing to stand behind her comments.
It’s a shame more Twitter trolls aren’t held to account like this.
At least this time, Johnson was the one who got the last word.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.