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An Insult to America
Five reasons Jim Jordan doesn’t belong anywhere near the Speaker of the House job
Jim Jordan is the best that the Republicans have to offer for House Speaker? This is not just embarrassing—this is an insult to anyone who cares about democracy, justice and basic human decency. This is a guy—an angry bully, really—who has shown he’s more concerned with kowtowing to Donald Trump and trashing Democrats than serving the country.
Forwarding Jim Jordan, a founder of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, as the next Speaker of the House seems like a joke, a parody of legislative procedure. It would be almost funny if it weren’t so dangerous. Consider the summation of a fellow Ohioan and former Speaker of the House, John Boehner. In a Politico profile after leaving the speakership in 2017, Boehner called Jordan an “asshole” and “a legislative terrorist.” It hasn’t gotten better since then.
But here we are: A vote on the House floor is expected on Tuesday. This despite the secret-ballot vote after Rep. Steve Scalise dropped out. Reportedly, 55 House Republicans said they would oppose Jordan for the speakership. According to Politico, though, Jordan allies believe “there are about a dozen hard ‘no’ votes,” while his opponents estimate about 20 oppose him.
In an effort to put this vote in context, here are five reasons why Jim Jordan doesn’t belong anywhere near the House Speaker job.
Jim Jordan wasn’t just one of the 147 members of Congress who opposed certifying the election for Joe Biden on Jan. 6, 2021. As Just Security summarized later that year, Jordan—the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee— engaged in “a systematic disinformation campaign” to “cast doubt on the 2020 election.” He not only helped spearhead efforts to oppose the certification and promoted the Big Lie of election fraud despite warnings from the FBI that this was fueling violent extremists, he repeatedly told Trump supporters that Jan. 6 would be the “ultimate date of significance.” Like Donald Trump, who handed his fellow insurrectionist the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Jan. 11, Jordan began his warnings of a likely stolen election months before any votes were counted and continued to fuel mistrust weeks and months after the election.
Speaking of the ex-president and criminal defendant, he endorsed Jordan for the job on his Truth Social site: “He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” No wonder, given Jordan’s track record of loyalty to Trump and the MAGA crowd. This is best exemplified by his evidence-free effort to impeach President Biden and his commandeering of a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government to attack, investigate and otherwise interfere with prosecutors, including state prosecutors such as Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. (Her fierce response to his claim that her decision “to criminally prosecute federal officers” is a “threat to the federal government”: “Your letter makes clear that you lack a basic understanding of the law, its practice, and the ethical obligations of attorneys generally and prosecutors specifically.” Moreover, “Your attempt to interfere with and obstruct this office’s prosecution of state criminal cases is unconstitutional.”)
In 16 years in Congress, Jim Jordan hasn’t passed a single bill. That’s zero. Nada. Not one. And the issue is not just whether he’s passed bills: Jordan was rated fourth to last among House Republicans by the Center of Effective Lawmaking, which scores effectiveness based on “bills each congressperson sponsored, whether it received any action in committee or beyond committee, which bills were passed, and which were signed into law.” That’s the guy the Republicans want leading their legislative effort? More like that’s the guy they want to continue the chaos and prove the ultimate depth of their anti-government ethos. As minority leader Hakeem Jeffries put it Friday, Jim Jordan “hasn't passed a single bill because his focus has not been on the American people; his focus has been on peddling lies and conspiracy theories and division.”
A growing collection of Ohio State University (OSU) wrestlers have publicly asserted that Jordan is unfit for the job because of his failure to speak out and protect them when he was an assistant wrestling coach at OSU (1986-1994) and sexual abuse of male wrestlers by university-employed physician Richard Strauss was an “open secret.” Despite an independent investigation that found the abuse involved hundreds of male athletes and OSU has so far settled with 296 survivors for more than $60 million, Jordan has denied the allegations. He insists that he knew nothing about the crimes. Nonetheless, the wrestlers have not backed down, nor have they only recently decided to speak out. “Jim Jordan knew, they all knew, and they did nothing,” said one former wrestler who first went public with his accusations in 2018. Said another former wrestler that year: “For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s. Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him.” While Jordan is entitled to the legal presumption of innocence, is this really the kind of story the Republicans want hanging over their speaker?
Did I mention that Jordan is a bully? At a time when the country needs leaders who model competence and decency? The last thing the country needs is another aggressive bully increasing his power to do further damage to the body politic. Ironically, it’s not just Democrats who are now complaining about his behavior. In the last few days, in his effort to corral votes, Jordan and his right-wing supporters are threatening retribution against GOP holdouts. He and his allies, The New York Times reports, are “working to unleash the rage of the party’s base voters against any lawmaker standing in the way of his election.” They are attacking reticent Republicans online and posting their phone numbers “demanding they back Mr. Jordan—or face the wrath of conservative voters as they gear up for primary season.” Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Jordan supporter, admitted the threats are “the dumbest way to support Jordan.”
Count me among those who believe there are better ways to take power, but it’s no surprise the Republicans are scheduled to vote tomorrow on one of their leading chaos agents and bullies. Goodness knows, they’ve shown little interest in governance.
What about you? Are there other reasons that you think explain why Jordan doesn’t belong anywhere near the speakership? Please do be respectful in your comments.
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