Let’s be clear here. There exists evidence sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that then Ohio State coach Jim Jordan refused to protect members of his wrestling team from sexual assault by the team doctor Richard Strauss. Were it possible to put Republican Congressman Jordan on trial for that offense today he almost certainly would be convicted. While Jordan denies knowing anything about the assaults there are eight witnesses who say otherwise, and each of those witnesses are credible and have nothing to gain from lying.
These facts are fairly well-known, and they have long served as an embarrassment for Jordan. His conduct as wrestling coach will haunt him the remainder of what I hope is his moribund political life. But what’s particularly relevant today about Jordan’s disgraceful and cowardly actions back then was Jordan’s refusal to cooperate with investigations into Strauss. Back then he described his accusers as “pawns in a political plot.”
Say what you like about Jim Jordan (and that is a direct invitation for you to do so) but he’s consistent. Jordan’s deflection sounds a lot like what he’s saying today about the current investigation into the attempt by a violent mob to overthrow the government and murder members of Congress and the Vice President on January 6th. He’s calling the investigation a “political stunt.” Does that make Jordan a pawn in a political plot? Jordan is stupid and unoriginal enough to say just that. Don’t be surprised if he does.
Jordan’s latest trick is to blame Nancy Pelosi for the insurrection, because she was “unprepared for it.” Victim blaming is yet another dishonorable vestige from his coaching days. Once again this yellow-tied, yellow-spined coward is trying to lay the blame at the feet of the blameless. Just as the victims of Dr. Strauss were casualties not causes so too Nancy Pelosi played no role in the assault on the Capitol. But it might turn out that Jordan himself did.
In two stuttering and clearly uncomfortable interviews Jordan finally admitted that he talked to Trump on January 6th. He claims he’s not sure if he spoke with him before, during or after the insurrection. For my readers who are old enough to remember, that’s a little like saying you don’t know what you were doing the day you heard JFK was shot.
This revelation just might make Jordan a material witness and he could be called before the January 6th Select Committee to testify under oath. That will be the one place he knows he cannot lie, and if he does it might get him expelled from Congress. It requires a two-thirds majority to expel a Congressional member, and given the popularity of the pro-America, anti-Trump stances being struck by Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger these days, that two-thirds just might (if we are very, very lucky) become available exactly when we need it. Because Jordan is a coward it’s hard to know which way his cowardice will sway him. Will he lie to protect his shameful complicity or will he tell the truth to avoid expulsion? Then there’s the other hazard: telling the truth could also get him expelled. His complicity might be bad enough. In any case, testifying is going to be very bad for him politically. He will not come off well.
Meanwhile Jordan continues his Kellyanne Conway-like catechism of distractions and whataboutisms. Trump’s drooling base of cretins are fooled, of course. Fools are always easy to fool. But we’re not. We see him for the mealy-mouthed, whining, lying piece of crap that he is. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.