The old saying is that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Unfortunately for Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, the first impression he gave years ago was that of a loud, crass, arrogant, bullying dick. Which is probably why he’s such a kindred soul with our Toddler in Chief.
Due to recent events, this is a barren and inhospitable land for Jim Jordan to be stuck in.The simple fact of the matter is that, innocent or guilty, the current national climate has placed him in an untenable position. Because Jim Jordan is a public figure, and for the last several years now, public figures have amassed a piss poor track record when it comes to these kinds of scandals.
Jordan did himself no particular favors with his appearance on FOX News over the weekend to defend himself, for a couple of reasons. First, the guy couldn’t get an on screen job on “Blues Clues,” he’s a terrible actor. The Mount Rushmore face, the quiet, measured, unemotional voice, the unblinking cat stare, none would play well anywhere other than the FOX bubblesphere. But worse for Jordan, the performance was so damn similiar to that of every other accused miscreant we’ve had paraded across our television screens in the last couple of years.
But there were two parts of his “Nope, not me” kibuki that were particularly ill advised. While he didn’t actually come out and call the wrestlers “liars,” actually he did. He said something like”What hurts me the most is that I know these guys, and I know that they know the truth.” Jordan used political doublespeak to accuse them of lying, although, the unintended interpretation to his statement would be that they actually do know the truth, and that it just happens to be a very uncomfortable truth for Jordan personally. The second bomb was when he claimed that the whole story was politically motivated, to get back at him for his grilling of Rod Rosenstein. Right. At least 5 former wrestlers saw Jordan throw a temper tantrum on TV, said to themselves “What an asshole!”, and all ran to the University with the same wild lies, to which the university responded by immediately calling in a law firm to investigate.That line is thinner than Oliver Twist’s gruel.
While Larry Nasser’s outrages at Michigan State are the most recent in memory, I prefer to liken this to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, for two reasons. First, it involves coaches allegedly being advised of the abuse and doing nothing about it. Second, it involved male-male abuse. And as a dire warning to Jordan, this one does nicely, as the former President, Vice President, and Athletic Director of Penn State all went to prison for their roles in the scandal.If there are enough athletes, and they are specific enough in their allegations to force some current or former staffers to crack under questioning, the truth will come out.
And, I for one am getting sick and tired of this “locker room talk” shit all of the time. I don’t know what sport y’all played, but I spent most of my misbegotten youth in hockey locker rooms. Coaches were in and out of the locker room all of the time, and as coarse as locker room humor can be, I can’t remember a single joke about a team physician shaking hands with “Big Jim and the twins.” And no, I didn’t go to Catholic schools either.
But there was one thing that I learned over the weekend that may explain why it is so imperative for Jordan to dispute this. A guest on Kasie DC on MSNBC yesterday said that the Jordan family had produced more high school and college wrestling stars than any other family in Ohio. One can only assume that Jim Jordan was one of them. Not only would Jordan naturally want to protect the legacy of wrestling greatness in his family now, but more importantly, if/when he was made aware of the abuses when he was coaching, I think it would have made him much more likely to want to keep that issue as far under the basket as possible, to protect the reputation of the program, and by extension, that of him and his family.,
Whether or not Jim Jordan knew about the abuses, and did nothing about it is yet to be determined. But what is already determined is that the optics of this look terrible for both Jordan and the GOP writ large. And with as many scandals as the GOP has already endured during the reign of King Dumnuts the First, how long can they afford to stay with Jordan before they make a tactical decision to cut him loose Maybe I’m wrong, but as this scandal heats up, I don’t see how he survives it.