Republicans who will be laying down $50 or more for the Summit County party's annual Lincoln (!) Day dinner Saturday night will be treated to an upfront look at the guy who has dedicated himself to tearing the national party into oblivion. I refer, of course, to the local event's prized speaker, Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana, a fringe conservative who has been leading a poisonous assault on Speaker John Boehner & Co. through Jordan's House Freedom Caucus - one of those wacko far right outfits that lean more toward anarchy than to whatever might be left of Republican centrism.
Anyone attempting to digest dinner at Quaker Station won't hear any of the negatives that night because the way Chairman Alex Arshinkoff has put it in the invitation, his guest is a national recognized conservative and "second to none watchdog of President Obama's failed...(fill in the many blanks) policies."
As has been evidenced many times in the past, The Boss can get absolutely hysterical when he starts damning the people he doesn't like. But does Jordan represent the new norm for the county party's more sober days under the late Ray Bliss, who never encouraged a raised voice against any other Republican?
On the other hand, Jordan has close ties with Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who seldom lets a week go by without saying something stupid, and enjoys doing so from his outpost somewhere out in Iowa.
Jordan and King were among those maddening congressmen who condemned Boehner for not agreeing to shut down the Homeland Security Department in the fracas over Obama's immigration policies. Their scandalous motives have so enraged the Boehner side of wealthy influential Republicans that the latter staged a $300,000 advertising campaign accusing Jordan and a couple of his congressional buddies on national TV , including Fox News, of placing America's "security at risk."
That peeved King, who described the ads as party "cannibalism," or as King went on to explain:
"It looks like cannibalism by leadership to me. I mean when you go after your own people, what else would you call it?"
Well, I would say it's a lot like what the anti-Boehner crowd in the party has been doing to the Speaker. (Trust me: I do not speak as an ally of Boehner, either.)
So, isn't it fair to ask whether the Summit gang under Arshinkoff has stooped to a shameful new norm in a party that once was known for centrism and quiet reflection by Ray Bliss?
Keep that in mind, Republicans, when Alex lights the fuse after dinner to introduce Jordan with a flood of compliments. When you stop to think about what the chairman won't tell you - as I just did - you'll know what I'm talking about. And it didn't cost me fifty bucks.
P.S. Jordan sent out a release thanking Benjamin Netanyahu for speaking to Congress as a man who wants to secure Israel from its enemies. Homeland Security for Americans? Apparently he'll think about it.