Jordan using ‘majority muscle’ for conspiracy theories
“Weaponization.” It’s the latest buzzword deployed by the “anti-woke” geniuses to describe what the phantom “deep state” is doing to us. I think.
It’s hard to make sense of stupidity. But on Capitol Hill, the conspiracy-under-every-rock caucus is throwing a spectacle over the term.
MAGA publicity hounds are issuing a flood of subpoenas to stop the “swamp” from “running over” freedom-loving Americans. Non-conspiratorial Americans don’t know what any of that means. And they can’t ask Jan. 6 coup plotter and Ohio embarrassment U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan to explain.
He’s spearheading a bunch of congressional probes into the federal government’s “weaponization” against a mostly conservative citizenry. Or something. Trouble is the Trump flunky can’t come up with anything.
His committee hearings/travesties have produced zero evidence of “deep state” weaponization against the conspiracy-addled red hats. But, as the leader on a mission to expose a tyrannical state with a supposed anti-conservative bias, Jordan is determined to waste as much time and tax money as possible on what even Fox “News” mocked as a “nothingburger.”
Nevertheless, the plotter willing to overthrow democracy, derail our bedrock peaceful transfer of power and steal a presidency outright is sticking to his story (and projecting his nefarious traits) on a no-good federal government. The whole apparatus “has been weaponized against we the people,” declared Jordan who weaponized against us when he conspired to toss out millions of our votes.
He’s conspiring again. Not to expose real wrongdoing by the government, but to weaponize the House committees he mans to prosecute imaginary grievances and conspiracy theories against perceived MAGA enemies from U.S. agencies to the district attorney’s office in Manhattan. That is what weaponization against lawfully functioning government entities looks like.
Jordan is using the muscle of a majority party in Congress to bully, intimidate and flout the law.
That is what abuse of power looks like. Using elected might as weaponization against political targets. That is what Jordan is doing with his silly sideshow. But it’s no joke.
Not in Ohio where a majority party is aggressively moving to weaponize state government against we the people. Jordan’s Republican counterparts in the statehouse are using the muscle of a gerrymandered supermajority to stop Ohioans from having a direct vote on abortion access, or fair districts, or commonsense gun control, or LGBTQ rights and more.
In a stark display of absolute power corrupting absolutely, GOP legislators in Columbus are conspiring to deny Ohio voters their last best hope of self-governance through citizen-initiated amendments on anything. Republicans running roughshod in the General Assembly over anyone who gets in their way, do not want you or me to enact popular policy they won’t.
So they collude (with special interests against choice) to change the rules of the game, short-circuit debate (to dodge overwhelming opposition) and even circumvent the committee process altogether. They are racing to pass their own legislative amendment in a bill designed to make it harder (impossible?) for citizens to bypass Republican extremism at the ballot box.
They scheme to raise the bar for amending the constitution from a simple majority – the standard since 1912 – to a supermajority most grassroots initiatives won’t be able to meet. That’s the point. The party that rigged redistricting in Ohio – to secure unfair advantage and outsized power relative to statewide vote totals – is now upping the ante against citizen referendums with a higher threshold of passage to stop them before they start.
Plus, lawmakers plan to sneak their underhanded measure past voters in a little notice summertime ballot. The same politicians who eliminated August elections last year (because people are on vacation, getting ready for school, or otherwise unaware of them) now want to restore them to improve their odds of winning a monumental shift in the constitution.
If the GOP succeeds with its anti-democratic plot to deter, if not outright end, the ability of ordinary Ohioans to directly petition their government for constitutional rights through a citizen-initiated amendments, it succeeds in effectively silencing your voice and mine. It pointedly succeeds in stopping statewide voters from deciding for themselves if abortion should be a constitutionally protected right in Ohio.
The only reason Republican legislators are racing for an August vote on their bill to dismantle 100 years of direct democracy in Ohio is to derail a grassroots effort to enshrine reproductive freedoms in the constitution with a vote in November. Extremists are using their absolute control of the legislature as a weapon against the people of Ohio to stop us from voting.
They fear what a majority of Ohioans favor and can’t allow what most voters support to interfere with their bans and bigotry. So they, like Conspirator Jordan, wield their all-powerful one-party dominion in government as a partisan hammer, as “weaponization” against democracy, the rule of law, women, LGBTQ youth, gun sanity, education, tolerance, decency.
Their favorite buzzword about abusive government is actually a projection of their own abuse of power to deny, suppress and silence. A better term for them would be tyranny.
Marilou Johanek is a veteran Ohio print and broadcast journalist who has covered state and national politics as a longtime newspaper editorial writer and columnist.
This commentary was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.