Guest Commentary: Jim Jordan Betrayed America With His Actions Surrounding Jan. 6. Now He Wants to be House Speaker

In the before times, Jordan would be scorned as a pariah for egregious abuse of power and conspiracy to defraud the American people on behalf of a would-be Mussolini. Today? Shamelessness is a virtue.

click to enlarge Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan - Photo: Public domain, congressional photo
Photo: Public domain, congressional photo
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan

In the before-things-went-horribly-sideways times, character and commitment to the rule of law were considered baseline prerequisites for public office. A fraudulent grifter and sexual assault braggart, for example, would never ascend to the highest office in the land. Certainly, a thoroughly disgraced, twice-impeached ex-president — who tried to steal an election he lost and sat by for hours while a mob of his supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol — would never be a party frontrunner for the same job.  

In the before times, he’d be universally scorned as a pariah. His association with or endorsement of any political climber would be the kiss of death. Not so in post-shame America. Yesterday’s pariah is today’s presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2024. He is embraced as his party’s supreme leader despite being a criminally indicted defendant facing multiple felony counts in four jurisdictions — not to mention a civil trial for decades of business fraud. 

The candidate sporting a mugshot just endorsed his congressional partner in crime for a big promotion. Far from being a mortal blow to Ohio U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid to become Speaker of the House, backing from the loser who nearly destroyed the government he swore to uphold could be what puts Jordan second in line to the presidency. (God help us.) 

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Troy), one of the five Ohio Republicans in the House who voted to overturn the will of the people after the riotous Jan. 6 attack, called the ex-president’s endorsement of Jordan a “positive” and joined him in endorsing the far-right pugilist as “America’s champion for freedom.” (Except for the most fundamental American freedom — the right to vote and have our votes counted in a democratic election). 

Jordan was all in on the subversive plot to seize an unearned second term for the defeated president by invalidating millions of legitimate American votes. He was a pivotal player in the attempted coup to fraudulently retain presidential power by discarding certified ballots. The idea of conferring the speakership on someone in service to a con, instead of country, is abhorrent to former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), who served as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“Jim Jordan knew more about what Donald Trump had planned for Jan. 6 than any other member of the House of Representatives,” she declared bluntly. The once high-ranking member of the House Republican leadership wonders why Jordan never reported what he knew about the events leading up to Jan. 6 to Capitol Police but is crystal clear about his complicity in the scheme to overthrow democracy. 

“Jim Jordan was involved, was part of the conspiracy in which Donald Trump was engaged as he attempted to overturn the election,” said Cheney. If the GOP majority in the House hands the speaker’s gavel to the Urbana Republican, whose allegiance to an authoritarian trumps all, she warned, it will send a damning message of compromised fidelity to a sacred oath. “If they were to decide that, there would no longer be any possible way to argue that a group of elected Republicans could be counted on to defend the Constitution.” 

Stark foreboding by a staunch conservative about the preservation, protection, and defense of the Constitution of the United States under a Speaker Jordan. The Ohio Republican is devoted only to defending and protecting a burgeoning neofascist running a campaign of promised retribution, wholesale government purges, extrajudicial killings, targeted media investigations, and suggested execution for the nation’s (recently retired) highest-ranking military officer with over 40 years of service to his nation. 

In his ninth term in office, Jordan has never drafted and shepherded any legislation to passage on behalf of his constituents. But he has hitched his star to a moral degenerate who is a clear and present danger to the American Republic. Jordan promoted the election-was-stolen lie for Donald Trump, plotted with him in the White House about what was going to happen on Jan. 6, suggested the vice president unilaterally call the election for Trump, and tried to stop Congress from ratifying the rightful winner of the 2020 election following the assault on the Capitol.

For his loyalty to a despot over democracy, Jordan was (outrageously) awarded the Medal of Freedom from the most shameless betrayer of ours. A reciprocating Jordan led the successful opposition to Trump’s impeachment for inciting the insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power. Now the swaggering sycophant sans jacket leads (a stretch) made-for-TV committee hearings that complement Jordan’s daily guest appearances on Fox “News.”  

It’s performative stomping and screaming for an audience of one in Mar-a-Lago. Jordan weaponizes the government to attack the prosecution of the indicted ex-president and rages against the “Biden crime family” that isn’t. He pursues an impeachment inquiry into President Biden with zero evidence of wrongdoing. The committee spectacles are a joke. Pointless distraction from the people’s business. 

In the before times, Jordan would be scorned as a pariah for egregious abuse of power and conspiracy to defraud the American people on behalf of a would-be Mussolini. But today, shamelessness is a virtue in Jordan’s chaos caucus and could win him the most powerful position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This commentary was originally published in the Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission.

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