Monday, September 19, 2011

For the Summit GOP: Look who's coming to dinner

SUMMIT COUNTY REPUBLICAN Chief Alex Arshinkoff has never been known for moderation, whether in political hype or personal habit. He can now add to that dubious reputation his latest jewel for his crown: He will have as the main speaker for the party's annual finance dinner on October 19, which will be studded with dollar signs, the guy known as the most conservative congressman on Capitol Hill: Rep. Jim Jordan, who lives on a farm near Urbana, Oh.

Thus Arshinkoff, straining to become a national player, will push the once-moderate Republican County Party entirely over the cliff into the dark soul-less fringe that has taken over the GOP today.

Let me tell you about Jordan. He is a Tea Party evangelical whose rise to prominence, among others, was boosted by FreedomWorks, Dick Armey's right-wing cash machine. Jordan is now chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, and don't let that group's modest title mislead you into thinking it is a group of intellectuals sitting around and parsing Shakespearean verses. No way. He told the Plain Dealer last May that his job as the HRSC chairman will be to "help Republicans act like Republicans." - which, we all can see today, they aren't doing by the late Ray Bliss' standards.

In the same interview with the PD, Jordan, 47, listed as one of his hobbies "cutting weeds and firewood". And another: watching sports on television. He was, after all, a national wrestling champion. He tried the weed- cutting stuff with his sharp opposition to House Speaker John Boehner 's moves on possibly raising the debt ceiling, and angered the Republican forces around Boehner. Some peeved Ohio Republicans told the Columbus Dispatch that Jordan's behavior in the matter was "boneheaded." Fitting the profile, Jordan also is vibrantly against same-sex marriage and abortion.

Come to think of it: Why am I telling you all of this stuff? The people sitting at the $2.500 tables for 10 will hear it in the most glowing terms from Arshinkoff, who once wanted you to believe that he was a moderate Republican himself.

P.S. If the lights in your home dim briefly on the big night, it will tell you that Alex has just begun his rapturous introduction of his weed-cutting pal.

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