Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) took his case to the American people Friday morning, holding an 8 AM press conference in which he urged Republicans to quickly elect a Speaker of the House so the nation’s business can continue.
🚨 BREAKING: Jim Jordan holds a press conference ahead of a third floor vote for Speaker of the House.— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 20, 2023
“The quickest way to get all this working is to get a Speaker elected. That’s what I hope we can do today” pic.twitter.com/xXjEdbGlx5
Jordan started with a story about visiting the Wright Brothers’ home in Ohio and shared that the last part of that tour was two pictures. One was of the first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903, where the airplane barely got off the ground – but it flew. The second picture was of Chuck Yeager after he broke the sound barrier in a jet 44 years later. Jordan added that 22 years later the United States put a man on the moon, the point being that the ingenuity and resolve of Americans are unmatched in the history of the world. In my mind (and related to this topic), a secondary point is that massive paradigm shifts start small and with all of the “experts” against them, but if the cause is worthy and the mechanics are correct, it just takes perseverance to eventually succeed.
In one lifetime we went from two guys flying 100 feet to putting a man on the moon. it is a great country, the greatest country, in my judgment, made up of great people. And right now those people are starting to doubt and wonder about their government and about where our nation is headed.
We’ve been doubting and wondering for a long, long time. We were heartened when the Republican majority started holding hearings to hold people like Joe Biden, Alejandro Mayorkas, Merrick Garland, and Anthony Fauci accountable. We were frustrated with the lack of anything beyond hearings, frustrated that even though Articles of Impeachment had been introduced against Biden and Mayorkas, nothing further happened. We were frustrated that committee chairs like Jim Jordan and James Comer didn’t seem to have backup from House leadership when it came to enforcing subpoenas or releasing information to the American people that proved the duplicity of those in charge. We were frustrated that instead of single-issue spending bills we were facing the same continuing resolution, omnibus spending bill bulls**t, and government shutdown battles we’d had for nearly three decades.
Jordan understands this.
[Americans] see an open border. They see crime in the streets. They know what it costs to put gas in their car. They know what it costs to put food on the table. They see a war in Israel, our strongest ally, Israel, and what’s happening there, and the help that Israel needs, and they see a government that’s weaponized against We, the People. The very government that’s supposed to serve us has been turned on the taxpayers who pay for it.
He’s exactly right. Those in Washington who blame Matt Gaetz and those who voted with him for the struggle in the Republican party right now have it all wrong. And it’s not all Kevin McCarthy’s fault either, as this week’s votes for Speaker reveal. Gaetz’s motion merely brought fractures within the Republican party from a slow boil to boiling over. Americans are sick of the people in Washington and the pundit class acting like the biggest struggles we’re facing are their internal, middle-school-level popularity contests and cliques, and want the actual problems dealt with. Enough of us have made our thoughts known to our representatives that a good number of them are standing up and saying that it’s time to vote for Jordan and really get down to work, while others continue to hold an elitist view that they know better than their constituents and have dug in their heels, refusing to vote for Jordan.
We want change. We voted for change.
I think the American people are thirsty for change. I think they are hungry for leadership. And frankly, they know that the White House can’t provide it, they know the Senate won’t lead, and they are looking for house Republicans to step up and lead and make change on these important issues.
We’ve got important work to do. We need to help Israel. We need to get the appropriations process moving so that the key elements of our government are funded and funded in the right way, particularly our military. We need to get back to our committee work, and frankly we need to continue the oversight work that I think is so darn important. In short, we need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we told them we were gonna do when they elected us and put us in office, and frankly, we can’t do that if the House isn’t open. We can’t open the House until we get a Speaker.
While it’s been frustrating to watch all of this play out, it’s a necessary process. I’m reminded of something Harmeet Dhillon said Thursday (emphasis mine):
The debacle in DC is reminiscent of other, recent leadership battles in our party. Change takes time. And it requires leaders willing to go the distance. I can’t help what goes on in Congress, other than to raise my voice, but if you want a strong Republican Party and country, elect leaders, not followers. Two-thirds of the RNC is elected early next year, national committeeman and committeewoman from 50 states and six territories. Find out who is running and whether they share your values. If they don’t, elect an upgrade. Not that hard. So far, many of the other third of the RNC, state party chairs, have turned over since the January leadership election. Part of this is natural attrition, some is grassroots revolt. That last part, is change for the better. This struggle is, at one level, political consultants and lobbyists seeking to cash in, versus engaged grassroots American conservatives who want their quality of life to improve. There is a total disconnect between these forces as a result of incumbency and the increasing power of money in the system. It doesn’t have to be this way. But spectacles like the leadership drama disgust and alienate intelligent, productive people who have better things to do. What’s left? Ranting malcontents who think rage-tweeting is activism (it isn’t). Rinse and repeat.
Here is my takeaway.
When I ran for RNC Chair, I didn’t win, but I also didn’t pick up my marbles and go away. My eyes are focused on this train wreck and I won’t look away. We have to overcome the forces of corruption and mediocrity dragging our country down. Not only our country, but the rest of the world and people seeking hope while behind a curtain of oppression, depend on America to thrive and succeed. We are failing to do so now, a weak host beset by disease. It will take all of us, unflinching, to stand up after this blow and keep fighting. We cannot give up. Get involved, and elect better leaders. If I didn’t think we could do it, I would not be here doing it. Please join me.
The House of Representatives will soon hold its third vote for Speaker. It’s time for those holdouts to embrace what the voters want – change – so Congress can get back to handling our business.