CLEVELAND -- Of all the regions in all the states in all the country, Jim Jordan got dragged into ours. There was no good reason to punish Greater Cleveland by making the person who's now the second most contemptible human being in the entire U.S. government part of the region's delegation to Congress. Worse yet, the betrayal was bipartisan.
When Ohio's political and legislative leaders were drawing new congressional boundaries prior to the 2012 election, Democrats wanted a district that would protect U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge. Republicans wanted districts that would elect the maximum number of GOP congressmen. And some people from both parties wanted a district that would likely lead to the defeat of longtime Cleveland Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
They all got what they wanted.
But to make it work required drawing a hideously gerrymandered district for the southwest Ohio congressman, one that meanders some 200 miles from near Dayton north into Lorain County near Cleveland.
And now it's fitting that Republicans have given this seven-term sycophant a starring role in the televised House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump. The assignment comes as Jordan is being credibly accused by some of knowingly turning a blind eye to sexual abuse by a team doctor when Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University from 1987 to 1994.
At least five people – four of them former wrestlers and one of them a longtime friend – have said Jordan had to have known former OSU team doctor Richard Strauss was on a sexual rampage that would include -- according to OSU -- 1,429 sexual assaults and 47 rapes of student patients during Strauss' time at the school (1978 to 1998) prior to his suicide in 2005.
That makes Jordan an ideal candidate to lead the defense of a malignant president who has bragged about physically abusing women and who has been accused by two dozen women of sexual assault or misconduct.
Jordan was appointed to the Intelligence Committee the same day, Nov. 8, that NBC reported on a lawsuit filed early this month in which a former wrestling referee alleges Strauss masturbated in front of him in the shower following an OSU wrestling match in 1994.
When the referee told Jordan what happened, he alleges that Jordan blew him off with, "Yeah, that's Strauss."
As the allegations pile up, Jordan's denials remain unchanged. He dismissed the latest one as "ridiculous."
People have every right to believe Jordan's angry dismissals. Common sense suggests they'd probably be better off believing five men who have no reason to lie.
When Jordan slithers out from under his rock each morning, dons a shirt and tie - sans the jacket, lest he be mistaken for Joe McCarthy - his life's work is to besmirch everything America stands for in service of Donald Trump.
If it takes undermining yet another principle of democracy by condoning attacks on men and women who have devoted their lives in honorable service to this country, Jordan is always ready and willing.
If it takes changing the Trump defense strategy on an almost daily basis because facts keep getting in the way, Jordan is the ideal bootlicker. Trump's support is all that seems to matter to the man former House Speaker John Boehner regularly referred to as "a legislative terrorist" – along with a whole bunch of other descriptions unfit for print.
Why would Jordan so readily ruin what little was left of his reputation? One theory holds he hopes to inherit Trump's base for a presidential run of his own in 2024. The swamp will be a crowded place in four years, overrun with loathsome folks angling to continue the dastardly business of shredding the Constitution.
Michael Gerson's credentials to analyze Jordan are impeccable. He is an evangelical Christian, lifelong Republican and onetime chief speechwriter to former President George W. Bush.
In his Washington Post column of Nov. 14, Gerson showed his keen understanding of Jordan, describing him as "the Truly Trumpian Man – guided by bigotry, seized by conspiracy theories, dismissive of facts and truth, indifferent to ethics, contemptuous of institutional norms and ruthlessly dedicated to the success of a demagogue."
Gerson applied the identical description to Stephen Miller, the White House resident white supremacist.
Everything about Jordan reeks of a man willing to cast aside common decency and fairness in service of a corrupt and cruel president.
He may be the most unfit man to ever represent part of Greater Cleveland in Congress.
Brent Larkin was The Plain Dealer's editorial director from 1991 until his retirement in 2009.
This appeared on Cleveland.com on November 20, 2019
November 23, 2019
Voices4America Post Script. Well, this explains why #GymJordan is in the Congress at all. Can anything explain why he behaves as detestably as he does! #3rdMostHatedMan after Trump and #MoscowMitch