How this Republican CDC-bashing congressman has become a joke

About eight years ago, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, had to come forward publicly about having herpes. You might think it was a Republican Party crisis, or if it was a GOP lawmaker, one of the very few scoundrels among the rest. But, in fact, it was just one of the many problems faced by those purveyors of failure.

Even by the pathetic standards of modern Republican leadership, Jordan is a full member of the party’s pack of wackos. He’s an opponent of the child vaccination program, openly has cited “zombie apocalypse” conspiracies, and, oh, can he misspell. The single most ludicrous example of a Republican choosing to mire himself in the comments of his former student, however, will go down as one of the great Republican congressional scandals of the 21st century.

The Drudge Report on Wednesday morning was graced with Jordan’s likeness, a face you had to wonder how it had not yet already been Photoshopped into grotesque clown makeup. Jordan has been a prominent opponent of the CDC’s vaccine program, opposing mandatory vaccination for most children and dismissing it as “controversial.” He’s also a devotee of the Lexington Institute’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis, which in recent years has awarded its prestigious 2014 Nicholas J. Roberts Lifetime Risk Award to an infographic artist named Pat O’Toole. O’Toole, whose work is “dedicated to promoting a more prosperous and secure America by actively exploring risk management strategies.”

But he’s also the author of a surprisingly valuable but bizarre short story that he published back in April, an “uplifting” story about one woman who helps save another woman from an aggressive black widow spider. The piece is worth reading in full — you’ll learn about American rat heroes, the treatment of female body parts by writers, a cavalcade of old fraternity initiation rituals and more.

On Facebook, O’Toole suggested the piece would go viral after Jordan’s the top-rated post on the site. “I’m sure Jim Jordan’s post about how vaccinations scare children will be read around the country,” O’Toole wrote. It was not. A more sensible and pragmatic take on the subject appeared under Jordan’s title. But the article’s page was full of bizarre, cartoonish language such as “rhodopsus spider” as opposed to “blood sucking creature that will tear her victim’s organs and shred them into bits.” (Jordan later explained that “the sister was not telling the truth.”)

What’s the takeaway here? Well, outside of all the differences, the actual takeaway here is that Jordan’s opposition to the CDC’s vaccine program is baffling to anyone that isn’t a cultist, or a political adviser. And that the public doesn’t really listen to him, which is a fact about a lot of Republicans.

But the bottom line is that Jordan is an embarrassment to any Republican. We can all agree with the goals of vaccine safety. We can understand why the CDC concerns many people. And we can all wish Republicans would stop wasting their breath on things that don’t really matter, that make no significant difference, that have little or no impact on people’s lives. The best time to rid the world of these people is when they don’t matter.

But when they are at the top of the Republican Party, they are vital — essential even — to fund-raising appeals, to controversial and often discredited pundits, and to misleading TV ads. He’s an embarrassment to anyone who’s raised a child or a business, much less any child at all. His name will live on in infamy as long as Republicans embarrass themselves every single day, and that shame is well deserved.

Leave a Comment