Turnabout Is Ugly: The Unraveling Of Trump Proxy Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan

As the House heads into another day without a speaker, multiple GOP sources are indicating that Rep. Jim Jordan’s failures on Tuesday and Wednesday may be as close as he comes to the chair. As the endorsed candidate of Donald Trump, Jordan would be by far the most MAGA speaker to date, and he’s running the most MAGA campaign imaginable. That’s both his biggest asset and the biggest reason he’s losing.

Jordan is about nothing except showing how Trump’s faction controls Republicans in the House. On the face of it, that shouldn’t be a complete roadblock. After all, Trump still dominates the Republican Party, and even representatives in districts won by President Joe Biden might be expected to simply hand over their vote and stay quiet. But Jordan is Jordan. He was actively involved in Trump’s post-election schemes right up through January 6, has a 16-year law-free record of using his seat in the House to spread conspiracy theories, and has not a single shred of evidence that he is in any way capable of being speaker.

But what might be weighing down Jordan’s bid most, beyond his own execrable nature, are the tactics he has utilized in an effort to gain votes. Republicans are finding that, nice as it may be to have Trump’s attack machine savaging Democrats, it’s a lot less fun when the weapon is pointed at their own faces.

According to CNN correspondent Manu Raju, Jordan is “bleeding” votes. If he makes another run at the office on Thursday, he may find the number of Republicans voting against him has grown to 30 or more. That widening dissatisfaction has raised doubts about whether Jordan will actually make another attempt at this time.

Much of the Trump apparatus of right-wing television, talk radio, and social media has been pushing hard for Jordan, and the resulting flood of screaming, cussing, and threatening phone calls and emails has sometimes had the desired effect. For example, Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, who two days earlier declared she would “absolutely not” vote for Jordan, folded like a cheap suit.

However, as NBC News reports, Jordan’s “aggressive campaign” is also generating a backlash, which is stiffening the spines of some of those under attack. That includes Nebraska holdout Rep. Don Bacon, whose wife has reportedly been subjected to a flood of personal threats. It also includes Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who released a statement saying she had been subjected to “credible death threats” after voting against Jordan on Wednesday.

"One thing I cannot stomach, or support is a bully," Miller-Meeks wrote, "Someone who threatens another with bodily harm or tries to suppress differing opinions undermines opportunity for unity and regard for freedom of speech."

As with other Republicans, there doesn’t seem to be any statements from Miller-Meeks expressing her concern for Trump’s many instances of exactly this kind of bullying, which makes it seem like Republicans don’t really mind a bully. They just don’t enjoy being bullied. Statements like that from Trump adviser Stephen Miller trying to pass off the flood of threats as “organic” calls from constituents have only increased the distaste for the whole scheme.

Jordan’s bid may not be completely dead. CBS correspondent Robert Costa reports that “key” Republicans were seeking assurances from Jordan that he would walk back some of his past positions, including blocking funding for Ukraine. If Jordan were willing to accept a “weaker speakership,” he might be able to gain a few votes.

But if Jordan’s bid is not completely dead, it’s certainly moribund. Reviving it will take something more than a few vague assurances that he will not block a specific bill.

Since Republicans gained a narrow edge in the House, Jordan has devoted 100% of his time to repeating long-debunked conspiracy theories about Biden. That’s all Trump wants from him. Jordan’s 16-year record of authoring not a single law isn’t an accident, that’s his whole platform. He’s just there for the destruction.

There remain a small number of Republicans who have an agenda slightly bigger than repeating lies for Trump. An even larger number don’t appreciate being threatened into supporting a guy who comes with zero accomplishments and a still-looming scandal with a lot of unanswered questions.

Jordan’s run at the speakership has always been a test of whether Republicans in the House are more concerned about pleasing Trump than they are about having an effective speaker. Someone who is less of a blunt object might have carried that across the line easily enough. But that someone wouldn’t be Jim Jordan.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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