These California Republicans voted for Jim Jordan and against the good of the country. Remember their names

Members applaud Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, seated center, after voting for himself as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 8.  August 17, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(J Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

These California Republicans voted for Jim Jordan and against the good of the country. Remember their names

California Politics, 2024 Elections

Mark Z. Barabak

Oct. 17, 2023

Remember their names.

On Tuesday, 11 of the 12 members of California’s Republican House put tribal loyalty above the interests of the country and carelessly cast their votes to make Jim Jordan an election denier, January 6 instigator and political pyromaniac.


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House speaker.

Remember their names, especially the ones running in some of the most competitive re-election contests in the country next year: John Duarte. Mike Garcia. Young Kim. Michelle Steel. David Valadao.

Everyone had the opportunity to stand up for what is fair and right. Everyone failed.

Jordan lost the first round of voting on Tuesday, sparing the nation, in this time of war abroad and conflict at home, the disaster that could ensue if the gavel fell into his weak grip.

For now anyway. A new vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

Memories of January 6, 2021, the most serious attack on our democracy since the Civil War, may have faded in recent months. With the passage of time and the fog of partisan conflict, it is easy to lose moral clarity. So here’s a refresher: Jordan not only approved of President Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election and reject its legitimate outcome, but also actively conspired with the pouting president to do so.

The result was the deadly attack on Congress and the first attempted coup in the country’s history.

And the reward for Jordan’s betrayal is to make him speaker?

Duarte, Garcia and the rest must think so, perversely enough.

There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Jordan’s bid.

He faces credible allegations that he ignored the sexual abuse of college athletes while working as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. (When New York Rep. Elise Stefanik referred to Jordan’s “strategic, sloppy” leadership “on the wrestling mat” in her nomination speech, there were audible gasps in the House chamber.)

Not only is his legislative record barren in his sixteen years in Congress, he has never had a bill signed into law, it is full of acts of political sabotage.

That’s not a partisan attack.



Boehner, a former Republican House Speaker, called his fellow Ohioan a “legislative terrorist” and said he had never seen “a man who spent more time taking things apart, never built anything, never put anything in put together’.

But beyond these glaring flaws, what is particularly and unequivocally disqualifying are Jordan’s attempts, at Trump’s behest, to undermine an election that even Trump officials called the most secure in American history. All the talk about voter fraud, election fraud and other alleged subterfuges that Jordan has widely promoted is pure nonsense.

Anyone arrogant enough to substitute their preferences for the expressed will of the voters and reckless enough to promote such blatant lies should not come anywhere close to the power of the speakership.

Imagine that if Jordan were to prevail and hold this position long enough, a dubious proposition given Republicans’ penchant for political cannibalism, he would preside over the certification of the 2024 election. That would allow for all kinds of tampering and mischief.

Rather than a one-off event, January 6 could be a foretaste of things to come, with the peaceful transfer of power becoming the foundation of our electoral system and an example to the world becoming merely an artifact of a political era that has passed.

Republicans can do the right thing Wednesday by rejecting Jordan’s bid for chairman, with help from the California Republican delegation. But that seems highly unlikely.

In addition to Kim, Steel and others mentioned above, California GOP lawmakers supporting Jordan included representatives. Ken Calvert, Darrell Issa, Kevin Kiley, Tom McClintock, Jay Obernolte and former chairman Kevin McCarthy. Doug LaMalfa, who voted for McCarthy two weeks ago to protest his removal, said he will support Jordan in Wednesday’s runoff vote.

McCarthy is unlikely to seek re-election in 2024. Issa, LaMalfa, McClintock or Obernolte will be defeated. Each represents a reliably Republican district.

Calvert and Kiley face matches that are at least somewhat competitive. The five districts representing the Central Valley and Southern California, in which Biden carried Duarte, Garcia, Kim, Steel and Valadao, are particularly vulnerable.

In recent days, there has been a lot of talk among Jordan supporters about being “team players,” as if partisan loyalty is more important than (pardon the pun) what’s best for the country.

And there has been all kinds of false urgency about the need to elect a speaker so that the House can get back to business without a leader since McCarthy’s defenestration.

But that just speaks to the seemingly limitless ability of Republicans in the House of Representatives to take something bad and make it worse. When you drive a car into a ditch, do you call a car crusher to pull it out?

In 2024, consider the names and misplaced loyalties of those California lawmakers who voted to install an insurrection-supporting, integrity-less Trump toady as head of the body that calls itself the People’s House.

Hold them accountable.

Stand up for first principles.

Stop the madness.


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