“What happened to Mike Johnson?” is a question I’ve heard a lot over the past 24 hours since the House speaker agreed to push, legislatively and rhetorically, for aid to Ukraine—as well as Israel and Taiwan—despite threats from two Republicans that doing so will cost him his speakership. The answer is simple: Johnson has finally realized that nothing matters.

Not nothing at all, to be clear. Rather, nothing Mike Johnson does will matter to his Republican critics seeking to derail his speakership. Nothing he says will change their minds.

He has discovered that he was the only party in a negotiation.

There’s a fantastic scene in Peaky Blinders, the series about rival criminal gangs in post-WWI England. An Italian gangster, Luca Changretta, comes to Alfie Solomons, a bootlegger, to enlist his help in killing the series protagonist, Thomas Shelby. Alfie (Tom Hardy) piles conditions upon conditions to see how badly Luca (Adrien Brody) wants the deal. Luca agrees to it all. Alfie winces: “You just made a deal without a negotiation, didn’t you?” Luca shrugs as if to say, so what. Alfie concludes: “You plan to kill us all.”

Mike Johnson has finally admitted to himself what has been obvious for a while: Marjorie Taylor Greene and the rest of the GOP’s Looney-Tunes faction plan to oust them all, speaker after speaker.

In fact, the message at times has been delivered in explicit terms. “Whether it happens two weeks from now, two months from now, or in the next majority, he will not be speaker,” Greene said about Johnson this week. When Republicans ousted Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, the Luca caucus made clear the rules of the game. “We’re going to force him into a monogamous relationship with one or the other,” Matt Gaetz said of McCarthy’s apparently unforgivable willingness to work with Democrats. “What we’re not going to do is hang out with him for five months and then watch him go jump in the back seat with [Democratic House leader] Hakeem Jeffries and sell the nation out.”

So Johnson knows what Alfie Solomons knew: what he might be able to do for his supposed negotiating partners here is irrelevant. They’re going to try and kill him anyway. Johnson has been freed to be his best self: “To put it bluntly, I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys. My son is going to begin at the Naval Academy this fall. This is not a game, it’s not a joke. We can’t play politics with this. We have to do the right thing. And I’m going to allow an opportunity for every single member of the House to vote their conscience and their will on this, and I think that’s the way this institution is supposed to work. And I’m willing to take personal risk for that because we have to do the right thing.”

That attitude was enough to get the clear backing from President Biden, which means Ukraine aid will likely will have enough support from Democrats to make up for any Republicans it loses, and that there will be too few Democratic dissenters on the Israel aid bill to sink it. (Everyone except Thomas Massie seems to be fine with aiding Taiwan.)

This gives Democrats leverage over the legislation, which is good for two reasons. First, they are also doing the right thing—they could let Johnson wither on the vine, as they did to McCarthy, rather than prolong his career by working with him. Second, it’s good because someone has to lose here—and that someone is going to be Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“Democrats also made it clear that they would not support a rule that allowed Republicans a chance to attach amendments to the legislation that they consider ‘poison pills,’ including their hard-line immigration and border security bill that would revive some of the most severe policies of the Trump administration,” reports the New York Times.

Good. Don’t provide any kind of procedural off-ramp. Let Congress vote. Not every bill has to be an omnibus pot of succotash—sometimes you just have to eat your beans, with no onions or peppers or butter to help it go down. Instead of passing one large bill every blue moon, Congress could just vote on different bills at different times, like a normal legislature. What a concept.

This depiction of legislative procedure is really just a congressional job description. That it sounds more like a threat to Majorie Taylor Greene is, of course, absurd. But that is just one more argument in its favor.

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