As the Republican Party slams its internecine combat into finding somebody silly enough to take the job that John Boehner is leaving behind, among the leaders of the fringe's weapons of mass destruction is Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. We need not mention that any time you see "freedom" in a group's title, you can be sure that it is conveniently rooted in some crazy interplanetary cult that has taken over the Republican Party.
It's also an element of Jordan's political profile that he is from southwestern Ohio and had a leading hand in hounding Boehner, his Ohio neighbor, into impending retirement.
It wasn't that long ago - March 28, to be precise - that Jordan was hailed as the featured speaker in a party invitation to the Summit County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, an annual event celebrating identity theft. Signed by Party Chairman Alex Arshinkoff and his likely successor, Bryan C. Williams, Jordan was praised with breathless text.
It noted that Jordan, a former OSU wrestling coach who is said to live on a farm, is "second to none" as an outspoken watchdog and "a consistent and a straightforward critic of the Obamacare trainwreck" as well as other things. If you wanted to hear the rest of it from the party throne, it would have cost you $50 a ticket to get into the room for dinner.The letter didn't mention that Jordan was also in the upper tier of those who preferred a government shutdown as a measure to overturn Obamacare.
Superlatives have never been Arshinkoff's weakest oratorical skill but it does seem odd that he would have chosen a hard right party-dissembler to entertain his people in a night out. Even Ray Bliss would have been condemned by the Jordans now running the party.
So I'll let some counter-point slip in from David Brooks, a conservative columnist who is having none of Arshinkoff's version of what's shining so brightly in the upheaval.
Brooks writes that the "new Republican faction regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored. Countrymen with different views are refarded as aliens. Political identitity, and any compromise was regarded as a blood betrayal."
Or as Gene Lyons, National Memo columnist put it: "The 'Freedom caucus' not only can't govern, they don't appear to believe in governance. Hence the 58 futile show votes to repeal Obamacare, which accomplished absolutely nothing in real political terms."