Among Donald Trump’s most vociferous defenders during the impeachment hearings currently being held in the House of Representatives are Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA), Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and, a newly prominent face in the gang of presidential boot-lickers, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
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While these three legislators have surely gained the copious brownie points that come with being unwavering and unthinking defenders of the president, their continued denial of the plain facts being presented by the multiple witnesses before them — all of whom have added to the clear evidence of Trump’s illicit scheme to corruptly use the powers of his office to bribe and extort a foreign power into assisting his reelection campaign — has cost them support in their home districts if the reaction of their hometown newspapers are any indication.
Representative Jordan, a one-time wrestling coach accused of failing to disclose his knowledge about the abuse of students by the team doctor, was elected by an oddly gerrymandered Ohio district that includes the more conservative suburbs of Cleveland. Brent Larkin of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer posted a scathing editorial on the paper’s website, Cleveland.com, in the wake of Jordan’s aggressive shirtsleeve impeachment hearing performance that will provide a vast quantity of damning pull-quotes for his opponent in his next reelection bid.
The savagery of Larkin’s attack on Jordan is obvious from the editorial’s opening sentences.
“Of all the regions in all the states in all the country, Jim Jordan got dragged into ours. There was no good reason to punish Greater Cleveland by making the person who’s now the second most contemptible human being in the entire U.S. government part of the region’s delegation to Congress,” Larkin writes.
Larkin reminds readers of the accusations that “Gym” Jordan — as he is referred to by his detractors — turned a blind eye to sexual abuse of students under his not-to-be-trusted care and labels him a “seven-term sycophant.” According to Larkin:
“That makes Jordan an ideal candidate to lead the defense of a malignant president who has bragged about physically abusing women and who has been accused by two dozen women of sexual assault or misconduct.”
Some other choice excerpts from Larkin’s editorial include these gems:
“When Jordan slithers out from under his rock each morning, dons a shirt and tie – sans the jacket, lest he be mistaken for Joe McCarthy – his life’s work is to besmirch everything America stands for in service of Donald Trump.”
“If it takes undermining yet another principle of democracy by condoning attacks on men and women who have devoted their lives in honorable service to this country, Jordan is always ready and willing.”
“If it takes changing the Trump defense strategy on an almost daily basis because facts keep getting in the way, Jordan is the ideal bootlicker. Trump’s support is all that seems to matter to the man former House Speaker John Boehner regularly referred to as “a legislative terrorist” – along with a whole bunch of other descriptions unfit for print.”
And Larkin concludes his column with a powerful indictment of the Congressman that sums up his incredibly low opinion of the House Freedom Caucus member.
“Everything about Jordan reeks of a man willing to cast aside common decency and fairness in service of a corrupt and cruel president.”
“He may be the most unfit man to ever represent part of Greater Cleveland in Congress,” Larkin ends his devastating diatribe towards Jordan.
The coverage of Congressman Devin Nunes by the local publication The Fresno Bee displays a no less damaging evaluation of their representative’s character than Jordan received from the Plain-Dealer. That’s not the least bit surprising given that Nunes has sued the publisher of The Bee for defamation after the newspaper published a story about how a winery partly owned by Nunes held a fundraiser on a yacht that turned into a cocaine-fueled sex party.
Calling their representative “more polarizing than Brussels sprouts,” The Fresno Bee published a selection of letters to the editor from out-of-town readers who were horrified by the behavior of the man elected by some of the paper’s readers, complete with their own commentary sprinkled in. Here’s one example among the many they published.
“’It is apparent Mr. Nunes has become a perfect example of someone who puts his political party’s positions over his country. More shameful, Mr. Nunes’ allegiance seems to lie with a leader who is either so inept, corrupt or both, instead of upholding our country’s Constitution and laws,’ writes Bill Adelman of Galt.”
“’While I do not belong to the Democratic party, I will support any other candidate who runs against him in next year’s election. Mr. Nunes needs to be removed from office as soon as possible. Perhaps he can better serve the American people if he returns to his “farm,”’ the letter writer concludes.
That the editorial was entitled What were you thinking when you sent Devin Nunes to Congress?’ Out-of-towners want to know should give you an idea of the tone of the rest of the letters included. The fact that Warszawski felt the need to include the following disclaimer also is quite telling.
“(You’ll undoubtedly notice the absence of pro-Nunes sentiment, which was not intentional on my part. Angry people tend to send letters, not those who are pleased.),” he says to explain the absense of letters in support of litigious congressman.
It wasn’t just Nunes’ hometown paper that was condemning the Trump defending congressman. Columnist David Atkins of The Washington Monthly called for Congress to expel Nunes from his position as the ranking minority member of the Intelligence Committee after it was disclosed that he may be a fact witness in the proceedings on account of his taxpayer-funded European jaunt to seek damaging information on Joe Biden on behalf of the president from ousted former Ukrainian officials,
“What we didn’t know is that Ranking Member Nunes — who was supposedly acting simply as Trump’s main defender in Congress during the inquiry — was allegedly an active participant in the scheme, and, while he was still Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, tried to work with the very same corrupt prosecutor opposed by the Obama Administration in order to secure a politically motivated attack on Joe Biden. In short, Nunes used his official position as the Chairman of a Congressional Committee on Intelligence to pressure a foreign government into peddling a false conspiracy theory backed by Russia to obfuscate its crimes against the American people, their government, and the norms of democracy itself,” Atkins writes in a scathing indictment of Nunes.
“The first and most obvious step is to insist that Devin Nunes ought not to be Ranking Member of HPSCI, and should be subject to whatever ethics inquiries are appropriate for this situation. The second would be to put the brakes on the desire to wrap up the impeachment inquiry as soon as possible and figure out just how deep into the Republican establishment the Ukraine conspiracy narrative goes.”
“It is embarrassing to watch the New York District 21 representative to congress at the impeachment hearings.
Her disrespect for the chair of her committee and for the rule of order testifies to her ubiquitous solicitation to influences of her party abetting the corruption in Washington. Her questions to the witnesses seem to be little more than asking them to affirm her statements. She is not seeking new information.
In addition, she is jeopardizing herself and our government by demanding to out the whistleblower, seeming to choose to ignore the rules of protection enacted for those who speak the truth to power.
It appalls me that my representative in congress, Elise Stefanik, would stubbornly refuse to look at the obvious corruption in Washington being spun by the occupant of the White House. Surrounded by so many jailed former employees and embroiled in scandalous behavior both foreign and domestic, we should all be supportive of the impeachment inquiry.
As a member of the Intelligence Committee, she should be aware of the rampant violations going on within the confidential circles of intelligence. Making her claims that Trump should not be held accountable allows her to be counted with those who believe some people can be above the law.
If she wants to be a princess in the emperor’s court what will she do when she learns the emperor has no clothes (defense)?
It is reassuring to know there is someone else to vote for: Tedra Cobb. Thank goodness there is someone who wants to look after the people of the North Country and not a self-serving, would-be dictator.”
In the Glen Falls Post-Star, Alexandrea Nuwer of Warrensburg, NY wrote:
I’ve lived in NY-21 almost my whole life, and it’s disappointing to me that our representative is now nationally famous for being ignorant, and nothing more than a yes-man for Trump. Our very democracy is on the edge of a dangerous precipice, and Elise Stefanik toys around with half-truths and outright lies to enrage uneducated people about the impeachment proceedings. NY-21 deserves more than a fear mongering war hawk representing our interests in Washington. The only good thing about her behavior is that it has finally caught the eye of the public outside of our district, who are rightfully appalled at her rhetoric. As a woman, I wish I could find her inspiring and something to work towards, but her inability to put country and constituents before party makes that impossible. Her attempts to blame criticism on her gender are weak and cowardly. Women have fought for eons for the right to participate in political affairs, and she does us all a disservice by pretending that lying to the public is an honorable representation of our wishes.
With the Republican members of the impeachment inquiry facing such intense local opposition to their defense of Donald Trump’s criminal enterprises, one is forced to wonder how much longer the political calculus behind their unwavering support of the president can possibly hold without the collapse of their own hopes for reelection.
Republican strategist Rick Wilson has famously said that “everything that Trump touches dies.” If you accept Wilson’s premise, at this point, Jordan, Nunes, and Stefanik are virtual zombies, the living dead haunting the hallways of Congress until their zombie master releases them from their cursed fate by exiting the White House. Other GOP supporters of Trump should heed their fates and take note when the time for the final impeachment trial arrives.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.