It’s no secret that Rep. Jim Jordan’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is flailing. In fact, the Ohio Republican and his conspiratorial panel have already confronted criticisms from disappointed GOP insiders, Republican-aligned media, and influential leaders from the conservative movement.
Some of the more common words and phrases associated with the effort thus far have been “dud“ and “amateur hour.” It hasn’t helped that when Jordan has tried to get the “weaponization” crusade back on track, he’s managed to make matters worse.
But it’s not just the right that’s raised concerns. Take Rep. Stacey Plaskett, for example.
The non-voting delegate from the Virgin Islands is the top Democrat on the “weaponization” panel and she told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi this week that she now sees the entire endeavor as a “political stunt.” She elaborated on those concerns with The Washington Post:
“[After being] named ranking member, we reached out on more than one occasion to [Chairman] Jim Jordan to talk with him about having weekly meetings [and] to try and negotiate between ourselves and our staff areas that we could both look at. He came to my office. He listened to me politely and said he would have to talk with the other members and he would get back with me. He didn’t do that. I sent a follow-up letter saying, ‘Look, these are areas I’m interested in. There may be one or two of those that I think that we can work on together, or others that we could work on together that you might suggest.’ No response to that, either.”
On the surface, it might be tempting to think her criticisms are simply a matter of partisanship and ideology. After all, Jordan is a far-right Republican and Plaskett is a progressive Democrat. It stands to reason that they won’t see eye to eye.
But in this instance, that’s a little overly simplistic. Plaskett has not only had good working relationships with other GOP committee chairs, she also presented Jordan with constructive ideas that a serious and impartial “weaponization” committee could tackle in a bipartisan way. From her interview with the Post:
“There [were] news reports about the indictment of an FBI special agent who they believe was colluding with the Russian government. I thought, ‘That’s definitely something that we could work on together.’ Another was reporting that the IRS disproportionately audits working-class people, working families, in particular African American families, in comparison to wealthier Americans. I also suggested that we look at the attempted weaponization of the Department of Justice by Bill Barr when he was attorney general. I didn’t think he would have liked that one as much. But the first two I thought would be areas we could agree on.”
Plaskett went on to note that the GOP chairman keeps referencing “whistleblowers” who do not meet the definition of actual whistleblowers.
The fact that Jordan continues to do this “lets me know that he’s not an honest broker,” she concluded. “I’m going to always have to be prepared for the worst, unfortunately.”
Two months after Republicans created the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, Jordan and his panel are off to a great start, aren’t they?