Harassment and intimidation have always been a part of the MAGA playbook. Therefore, it is not surprising that Jim Jordan’s supporters resorted to them after two failed votes. But in this case, the strategy seems to be backfiring.
Listen To This Story
Harassment, intimidation, threats of violence, and, of course, actual violence have been a staple of the MAGA movement almost since its inception. Anybody perceived to be a danger to Donald Trump and his agenda often found themselves at the receiving end of them — regardless of whether they were judges, witnesses, or even his own vice president.
Now that list also includes lawmakers who are opposing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as House speaker and apparently, in some cases, their spouses.
After the right-wing lawmaker failed once again to get enough votes, some of his supporters took it upon themselves to issue threats to at least a few of the Republicans who dared to oppose their (and Trump’s) choice to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), for example, who switched her support from Jordan to Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) in the second round of voting after “it became abundantly clear early in the roll call vote that Jim Jordan still did not have the votes necessary to become Speaker,” found herself on the receiving end of the kind of tactics the MAGA movement has become known for.
“Since my vote in support of Chairwoman Granger, I have received credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls,” Miller-Meeks declared in a statement, adding that the proper authorities had already been notified.
She also made it clear that an intimidation campaign will not work.
“I did not stand for bullies before I voted for Chairwoman Granger and when I voted for Speaker designee Jordan, and I will not bend to bullies now,” Miller-Meeks stated.
She is not alone.
The office of Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) shared screenshots of harassing text messages the lawmaker’s wife had received.
Notably, Jordan on Wednesday called on his supporters to stop this intimidation campaign.
“No American should accost another for their beliefs,” he tweeted. “We condemn all threats against our colleagues and it is imperative that we come together. Stop. It’s abhorrent.”
No American should accost another for their beliefs.
We condemn all threats against our colleagues and it is imperative that we come together.
Stop. It’s abhorrent.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 18, 2023
This appears to be a newfound position for Jordan. He certainly didn’t seem to be as concerned about these things on January 6, when MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol.
That would have been a good time for somebody worried about “threats to our colleagues” and “Americans accosting each other for their beliefs” to say something.
He did not, of course, and even defied a subpoena to testify about his role in the events of that day.
In any case, this time, the strategy seems to be misfiring. Many of the lawmakers who did not back Jordan in the first two rounds of voting have said they are now even more entrenched in their opposition because of the attempted bullying tactics of his right-wing supporters.
That’s not a great position for someone to be in who can only afford to lose four votes. However, it appears as though Jordan will keep trying. After all, maybe it just takes time for all of that harassment and intimidation to work.