Jim Jordan Is Trying To Bully His Way To The Speakership

INSIDE: Tanya Chutkan ... Rudy G ... Bob Menendez
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 13: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is seen outside a House Republican Conference speaker election meeting before he was voted to be the party's nominee for speaker of the House in Longworth Building... UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 13: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is seen outside a House Republican Conference speaker election meeting before he was voted to be the party's nominee for speaker of the House in Longworth Building on Friday, October 13, 2023. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., withdrew himself as the party's nominee on Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

No More Mister Nice Guy?

The House GOP left DC last week without electing a speaker. They return this evening with just as much chaos and turmoil, and no clear path to electing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as the next speaker.

But rather than acknowledging the perils of his position or his failure to accumulate enough Republican votes for the speakership, Jordan is coming out swinging hard with the hopes of winning by sheer force. So much for consensus or negotiation. Jordan is going to try to bully his way to the top spot.

As the NYT reported over the weekend, Jordan is trying to activate the pro-Trump base to scare holdouts and opponents alike into voting for him. Punchbowl reported that Jordan is aiming for a floor vote Tuesday in which he’ll put all of his chips on the table with the aim of buffaloing waffling members into supporting him.

The dynamics of the House GOP have become so unhinged and unwieldy that there seems at least a faint prospect of some Republican members joining with Democrats to elect a new speaker in some sort of power-sharing arrangement. But let me put a heavy emphasis on “faint.” This still seems like a highly unlikely outcome, though it can’t be ruled out.

It’s hard for me not to assume that Jordan will find a way to pull it off, not because it’s a clear or obvious path to victory for him, but because the alternative for the GOP and the country seems absolutely insane: a speakerless House for a long stretch leading to political paralysis.

But that, my friends, is almost the definition of wishful thinking.

Never Forget …

Former Speaker Denny Hastert already broke the glass ceiling for sexually abusive ex-wrestling coaches. Jim Jordan is accused of ignoring abuse in the Ohio State wrestling program when he was an assistant coach, not participating in it. But it’s all worth another look:

  • Sports Illustrated: Jim Jordan Speaker Candidacy Roils Ohio State Wrestling Community
  • A Jordan ally is asked to address the allegations:

Illinois Boy Brutally Slain In Anti-Muslim Violence

A 6-year-old Palestinian American boy in Illinois died Saturday after being stabbed 26 times with a serrated military-style knife, allegedly by his 71-year-old landlord, in what police say was an anti-Muslim hate crime.

The boy’s mother was stabbed a dozen times and remains hospitalized in serious condition. The landlord was charged with state-level hate crimes, first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

President Biden said he was “shocked and sickened” by the attack and deplored Islamophobia.

Israel-Gaza Watch

  • The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues, with the death toll in retaliatory strikes since Oct. 7 rising to 2,750, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
  • The death toll in Israel from the Hamas attack stands at more than 1,400 people. A total of 290 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting.
  • Israel now says that number of hostages held by Hamas stands at 199.
  • Thirty Americans have been killed in the violence, and 13 remain unaccounted for, the State Department said Sunday.
  • Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken returned to Tel Aviv Monday
  • Blinken promised Sunday that the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt would be opened to allow humanitarian relief through, but as of midday Monday the border crossing remained closed.
  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that Israel has turned water on to part of Gaza, but on Monday Gaza’s Interior Ministry said there remains no water.
  • Biden: Israeli reoccupation of Gaza would be a “big mistake.”

Busy Day Ahead

  • Jan. 6 case: U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan holds a hearing at 10 a.m. ET in federal court in DC on whether to impose a limited gag order on former President Trump in his Jan. 6 case.
  • Georgia RICO case: The judge holds a hearing Monday on the jury questionnaire to be used in the trial of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell. The jury pool is expected to report to court on Friday, with jury selection set to start next Monday.
  • NY fraud case: The NY state civil fraud case against Trump, his two adult sons and some of his business entities enters day 10 today.

Rudy G Just Keeps On Losing

The federal judge overseeing the defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani by Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman ordered Friday that the jury in the upcoming trial could draw a whole series of negative inferences against Giuliani for his failure to have complied with discovery demands.

What Egypt Allegedly Wanted From Menendez

Reporting by TPM’s Josh Kovensky suggests that the claims of American roller skater April Corley, strafed by the Egyptian military in 2015, really are at the center of the case against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Jeff Landry Wins Louisiana Governorship

Louisiana flips from a moderate Democratic governor to a dyed-in-the-wool, far-right, Trump-endorsed MAGA governor in the form of Jeff Landry, who won an outright majority in the state’s jungle primary Saturday.

2024 Ephemera

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) played xenophobia card, coming out against accepting refugees from Gaza into the United States: “If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all antisemitic.” 
  • The liberal advocacy group Climate Power is planning an $80 million ad campaign to tout Biden’s record on the environment.
  • Pence campaign is saddled with $620,000 in debt.

Sums It All Up

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