By Larry Levine –

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives of his own party called him “a political terrorist” and added, “I never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart, never building anything, never putting anything together.”

That’s pretty damning commentary about Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who failed narrowly this week in the latest chapter of his quest to become Speaker, but still had the support of 200 of his Republican colleagues.

Jim Jordan, who in 16 years in Congress has never passed a piece of legislation.

Jim Jordan, who was a vocal denier of the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential Election result.

Jim Jordan, a participant in the insurrection that tried to block the counting of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021.

Jim Jordan, a founding member of the extremist House Freedom Caucus.

Jim Jordan, who tried to prevent the investigation that produced indictments of hundreds of those who sacked the U.S. Capitol on that riotous January day.

Yes, that Jim Jordan. The man the Republican house caucus put forward as its nominee to be their leader, Speaker of the House. The man 200 Republican members of congress thought would be just fine as second in line for the Presidency of the United States. That Jordan couldn’t muster the support of a majority of the house, even with his party holding a majority of the seats, is no tribute to the integrity of the Republican Party. Two-hundred of them said with their votes they were willing to put this man in a position to become President of the United States.

To the general public the ongoing fight to become Speaker may look like a nasty campaign to be president of the fraternity. To those who actually received the benefit of a civics education, it’s more than that. Much more.

Sooner or later the Republicans in the house will realize how foolish and impotent they appear and they will figure out who to elect speaker. That person will be put in office by the same fragile coalition that put Kevin McCarthy in the speakership and was able to dump him as soon as the mood possessed them. The next speaker will be the captive of the whims of that same right wing cabal that runs the Republican Party and dumped McCarthy because he committed the sin of working with Democrats to get things done, things the Jim Jordans of the world oppose. It won’t be Jim Jordan, but the Speaker who emerges from this chaos is certain to represent the same regressive political dogma, perhaps with a softer edge.

Actions have consequences and in this case the Democratic leadership will be derelict in their duty to the nation if they don’t hold all those who voted for Jordan accountable in next years election.

Those 200 Republicans voted to put in line for the Presidency a bully (OK, we have another very recent example of that), who would repeal the Affordable Care Act, block women from obtaining abortions, pummel any of the LGBTQ+ community, repeal Social Security and Medicare, and shutdown the government. Those 200 should be held to answer for that vote during the 2024 campaigns. If the Democratic candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee don’t hold to the fire the feet of those 200, then those Democratic campaign operatives should be charged with malpractice.

That’s what’s on the line in the 2024 congressional elections. Not just numerical control of one house of congress, but also who will stand second in line behind the President of the United States.