Since I cheered on Speaker Boehner a week ago, I feel compelled to offer some support to Congressman Jordan today – although, to paraphrase a great motivator, my support and a nickel will get you a hot cup of jack squat.
In the debt ceiling debate the GOP is fighting demagogues who live and breathe class warfare, and would sing the virtues of increased spending to the point of bankruptcy. It’s understandable that, given the circumstances, tensions have been high between conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) leader Jim Jordan and Speaker Boehner.
Was it dumb for an RSC staffer to send out a list of Republicans targeted for supporting Boehner? Probably; I’ve seen some annoyingly divisive GOP vs. GOP messaging the past couple of days. But, I doubt it would be easier for Boehner to sell a compromise if Jordan and fellow conservatives were quick to abandon Cut, Cap & Balance.
I can say confidently that feeding anonymous quotes like these to reporters is a bad call:
Two Republican sources deeply involved in configuring new Ohio congressional districts confirmed to The Dispatch today that Jordan’s disloyalty to Boehner has put him in jeopardy of being zeroed out of a district.
“Jim Jordan’s boneheadedness has kind of informed everybody’s thinking,” said one of the sources, both of whom spoke only on condition of anonymity. “The easiest option for everybody has presented itself.”
“He doesn’t know it, but he solved a problem for Republican line-drawers by (figuratively) standing up and saying, ‘I’m a jerk and I deserve to be punished,’ ” said one of the sources.
“The downside of being in an uber-safe district is you often don’t develop the strategic skills you need to survive in the arena and in this case that is going to be painfully evident to Jim Jordan.”
Are there really two GOP insiders who don’t realize this plays perfectly into the leftist narrative of principled conservatives as extremist cranks? Fortunately, Boehner and Jordan appear capable of acting like adults after the RSC email debacle:
“Jim Jordan and I may not always agree on strategy, but we are friends and allies, and the word retribution is not in my vocabulary,” Boehner said. “I look forward to continuing to serve with him in the U.S. House after the redistricting process in Ohio is complete.”
Meghan Snyder, Jordan’s spokeswoman, said, “We would hope that standing strong in favor of lowering spending and balancing the federal budget would not be a reason to eliminate the district of a sitting member of Congress.”
Yes, compromising sucks when the other side is nuts, but the Senate and the White House would be happy to keep spending until the whole contraption caves in. Let’s not rush to shoot ourselves in the foot while Harry Reid and Barack Obama have America’s military over a barrel!
[Update: Corrected a (boneheaded?) typo in paragraph two.]
Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.