As today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing set to question Attorney General William Barr began today, it opened with a remarkable diversion of perspectives, a virtual wrestling match of ideologies.
Opening the hearing was the chairman of the committee, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) who immediately used his opening statement as a slam down to establish the reasons the House felt the need to call the attorney general in for a reckoning over the abuses of his office that Barr has presided over.
And in the opposing corner on behalf of Barr’s Trump-supporting Republican contingent, was the lightweight from Ohio, Congressman Jim Jordan, the man who gave up his career as a sexual-abuse-ignoring college wrestling coach to tackle the libs in Washington DC, eschewing a suit jacket at every opportunity for a tussle.
Nadler’s opening statement immediately let the participants know that this was going to be a serious match.
He began with a searing indictment of the Barr Justice Department that took no prisoners.
“Congress established the Department of Justice to enforce the nation’s first civil rights laws after the Civil War,” Nadler began. “From that moment on, it became the department’s responsibility to ensure the right to vote and to stem the tide of systemic racism. Now, not every attorney general in the intervening 150 years has given full expression to these two goals. I am certain that every administration has fallen short of those promises in some way overtime.”
“But today, under your leadership, sir, these two objectives are more at risk than at any time in modern history,” Nadler continued. “Your tenure has been marked by a persistent war against the department’s professional core in an apparent attempt to secure favors for the president. Others have lost sight of the importance of civil rights laws, but now we see the full force of the federal government brought to bear against citizens demonstrating for the advancement of their own civil rights. There is no precedent for the Department of Justice to actively seek out conflict with American citizens under such flimsy pretext or for such petty purposes.”
“We are as a nation witnessing the federal government turn violently on its own people, and although responsibility for the government’s failure to protect the health, safety and constitutional rights of the American people belongs squarely to President Trump, he could not have done this alone,” Nadler pointedly said. “He needed help. After he finished utterly humiliating his first attorney general, he found you. In your time at the department, you have aided and abetted the worst failing of the president.”
“This administration has twisted the Department of Justice into a shadow of its former self, capable of serving most Americans only after it has first served those in power,” Nadler concluded his opening statement. “This committee has responsibility to protect Americans from that kind of corruption, Mr. Barr.”
The glove was thrown, but before Barr could respond to Nadler’s stinging assessment of his tenure, an opening statement from the ranking GOP member of the committee, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) was on the agenda.
It’s difficult to describe Jordan’s speaking style — which resembles the tone and volume of a Marine drill sergeant intimidating a new recruit for a major infraction of military rules — as anything other than deranged and angry.
Rather than focus on Nadler’s stated purpose for the Barr testimony, Jordan immediately attempted to change the focus of the hearings to one of his favorite topics as a self-appointed attack dog for the Trump administration — the same disproved conspiratorial notion that Trump was a victim of Democratic “spying” rather than an active collaborator with Russia and other foreign powers to help him with the 2016 election.
You can watch Jordan’s bravura performance as an outraged congressman railing against perceived injustices in the video clip below, but be aware that the supposed “obliteration” that the GOP Rapid Response Director who posted the clip refers to only takes place in the minds of those who have imbibed of the Trump Kool-Aid to displace the unthinkable reality of the president’s treason in their consciousnesses.
Stop what you're doing and watch this.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) July 28, 2020
The response to Jordan’s screamfest on Twitter was devastating.
People who yell all the time are not confident about what they are saying. @Jim_Jordan
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) July 28, 2020
The only time Jim Jordan didn’t yell is when wrestlers under his care complained about being sexually assaulted by his boss. He went silent. @Jim_Jordan
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) July 28, 2020
VERY long video by #jimjordan without proper notice to Committee.
— Jill Wine-Banks (@JillWineBanks) July 28, 2020
I just lost a bunch of brain cells watching that Jim Jordan presentation. What in the hell was that.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 28, 2020
Don't believe me? Here was the graphic on screen: "Police Describe Anarchists' Extensive Prep For Violence'.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) July 28, 2020
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 28, 2020
Jim Jordan is ranting like a madman, now presenting a propaganda video painting all protesters as violent, when most aren’t. But at least Jordan wasn’t talking, which was nice.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 28, 2020
Calling Jim Jordan a bottom-feeder is an insult to Carp#BarrHearing
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) July 28, 2020
Meanwhile, people are losing their eyes to rubber bullets & being indiscriminately gassed by Feds.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) July 28, 2020
Jim Jordan's video:
When do we get to the part where they set fire to the Reichstag and Bill Barr comes to the rescue?
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) July 28, 2020
Jim Jordan is strategically deployed to make it impossible for any sane person to sit through a hearing.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) July 28, 2020
Is it just me, or does Jim Jordan lie more than Trump?
— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) July 28, 2020
Today in jim jordan land: no jacket, no mask, no service for our district
— Shannon4OH (@ShannonFreshour) July 28, 2020
— Eugene (@ReesusP) July 28, 2020
— *you're (@RKJ65) July 28, 2020
Jim Jordan is going to a special place in hell that has showers and lots of demons.
— God (@thegoodgodabove) July 28, 2020
And that was just the prelude to the main event. The hearing will get even more interesting once the questioning of Attorney General Barr begins.
Check out Occupy Democrats for more coverage of the hearing as the day progresses.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.