Only a week ago, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan was central to the Republican takeover of the U.S. House. As the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he was expected to launch an onslaught of investigation
s into everything from Ukrainian mooching
to the woke Pentagon
, all while saying the name “Hunter Biden” a lot.
By staging a barrage of theatrics, the logic went, no one would notice the GOP has no real plan for governing the country. “We can’t just be the party that says weird shit,” says one prominent Republican. “We have to pretend to investigate that weird shit.”
Yet Jordan now faces exile to the bleacher seats. At issue: a 1,050-page homework assignment he copied and pasted from other students.
In the days before the election, Republican leaders tasked Jordan with delivering a broadside against the Justice Department and the FBI. His report was supposed to feature thin evidence of the agencies’ bias against conservatives, which could then be passed off as blockbuster revelations.
“It didn’t have to be a real report,” says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “We would have been happy with 10 pages of batshit accusations — as long as they couldn’t be immediately disproven.”
Jordan did manage to summon 50 pages of anonymous finger-pointing. But it was largely reheated material from previous finger-pointing. To cloak his shortcomings, he resorted to a time-honored high school move: “The big-stack-of-paper strategy,”
as the Washington Post put it. By copying 1,000 pages of letters from fellow students whining about the FBI, he hoped sheer heft would obscure the absence of proof.
“I get it,” says McCarthy. “He’s thinking, ‘Nobody’s ever going to read 1,000 pages written by Jim Jordan.’”
Initially, no one did.
Fox & Friends
called the pile of old letters a “preview of what the GOP majority may uncover after the midterms.”
Newsmax host Greg Kelly was so moved he used all-caps to simulate shouting. “AMERICAN HERO,” Kelly tweeted
. “Congressman Jim Jordan is taking on the FBI—which has Disgraced itself. He just dropped a 1000 page report detailing its CORRUPTION. MUST BE OVERHAULED and possibly DISBANDED!”
Yet as part of its plot to ruin America, the lamestream media still reads stuff. The Post was quick to note that Jordan padded his report with 93 versions of the same letter
. A full 290 pages contained nothing but signatures. The paper even produced a graph featuring a page-by-page breakdown of the ruse.
MSNBC piled on, mocking Jordan’s amateurism
: “’Well, Judiciary Committee Republicans must’ve found a ton of incriminating information,’ Americans are apparently expected to say. ‘After all, just look at all of those pages!’”
The matter would soon land on the desk of Mrs. Ellsworth. She’s a retired kindergarten teacher hired by McCarthy to tutor the “special kids” in the Freedom Caucus, a collection of the GOP’s most challenged students.
Jordan was among her star pupils. Rather than screaming at tourists visiting the Lincoln Memorial, Ellsworth taught him to channel his rage into “angertainment.” It’s a form of performance art in which the spectacle of blubbering fury diverts attention from matters of substance.
With a Republican takeover of the House, Jordan was expected to use his artistry to show how the FBI was exaggerating right-wing terrorism
and monitoring parents whose only crime was to threaten school officials.
But instead of taking his star turn, Ellsworth placed him in detention. She’s also had the copy-and-paste feature stripped from his laptop.
Still, the teacher stands by her student. “Like so many of his classmates, Jimmy’s deeply insecure,” she says. “This causes him to act out in inappropriate ways, whether he’s biting Matt Gaetz or pasting thousands of Wikipedia pages into his spelling homework.”
Yet she believes that if Jordan can learn “a modicum of impulse control,” he can still take his place among the leading figures of the U.S. legal system.
“Beneath that repelling exterior, there’s a sweet, 58-year-old boy who just wants to be loved. Somewhere. I think. Teaching’s not really an exact science.”
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