Jim Jordan’s Rise: What it Says About Today’s GOP


Ron Brownstein is one of the best political journalists in the country and this Atlantic piece is one of his best. The piece ponders what it says about the Republican Party that Jim Jordan, though he hasn’t been elected House Speaker — and is apparently now out of the running for Speaker — was overwhelmingly supported by his colleagues.

Brownstein’s money sentence: “Jordan’s rise, like Trump’s own commanding lead in the 2024 GOP presidential race, provides more evidence that for the first time since the Civil War, the dominant faction in one of America’s two major parties is no longer committed to the principles of democracy as the U.S. has known them.”

As Brownstein notes, Jordan was the House member most involved in helping Donald Trump in his attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election results, which is to say to overthrow one of the bedrocks of American democracy. And as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan has tried to “investigate”—that is, obstruct—the prosecutors trying to convict Trump of serious crimes.

House Republicans voting against Jordan have received death threats—another sign of Trump’s and the MAGA movement’s brutal, fascist tendencies. Almost all GOP candidates say that Trump indictments are unfair and politically motivated. And polls show that overwhelming majorities of rank-and-file Republicans say that Trump bears no responsibility for the violence that took place on Jan. 6, 2021.

If re-elected, Trump has a plan to fire thousands of federal officials and put personal loyalists in charge of every agency. Brownstein doesn’t say this, but I do: the only way for Americans to save our democracy  is to decisively defeat Trump and his party in the 2024 elections and force a top-to-bottom reset for the GOP. Unfortunately, at the moment, Americans don’t seem ready to do that.

Mort Kondracke
Mort Kondracke
Morton Kondracke is a retired Washington, DC, journalist (Chicago Sun-Times, The New Republic, McLaughlin Group, FoxNews Special Report, Roll Call, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal) now living on Bainbridge Island. He continues to write regularly for (besides PostAlley) RealClearpolitics.com, mainly to advance the cause of political reform.


  1. It also says something about the GOP that the House caucus roused itself to vote down Jordan’s quest for the Speaker, showing that the moderates can sometimes develop some backbone. Of course, Jordan is an extreme case — no friends, a bully, a wrecker not a builder. Maybe Jordan was a step too far, and the caucus (thinking about losing its majority) is wising up. (So far.)

  2. I looked through the list of those reported by the New York Times to be offering themselves as candidates.

    Seven of the 9 voted to overturn the 2020 election. Two aren’t on that list – Tom Emmer (MN) and Scott Austin (GA). Both of them signed on to Texas v. Pennsylvania – more or less the same idea. Students of this episode may be able to get more insight into what this means about their commitment to democracy.


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