Jim Jordan’s Dangerously Blind Loyalty
We’re learning a lot about loyalty these days. President Trump has said, “I value loyalty above everything else.” It’s no secret that he needs and expects loyalty.
Loyalty has its limits, though. Loyalty to a boss or commanding officer doesn’t make it okay to obey an order to commit an immoral, criminal or unethical act. In short, blind loyalty is dangerous.
That brings me to Jim Jordan. He’s not just loyal, voting with the President more than 93% of the time, he’s reckless in his allegiance. His loyalty to the President has blinded him to the proper limits of his office. Most recently, he crossed a sharp line in threatening the Deputy Attorney General with articles of impeachment unless that official turns over material from the ongoing criminal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Jordan shows no concern that his threat is in effect obstructing justice. For months before this recent extortionate demand, Jordan’s been mounting a persistent attack against Justice Department officials, the FBI, and the Mueller probe in defense of the President. Many who’ve wondered if there’s any limit to his blind loyalty to the President were stunned to hear him tell CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he’d never heard the President lie or make false claims. Really?!?
We think of loyalty as a virtue. But whatever feelings of genuine loyalty Jordan holds, he has higher duties. He has a duty to represent his constituents, not to work as a member of the President’s legal team. Most importantly, he has a duty expressed in his oath of office: to support and defend the Constitution and the rule of law. But Jordan’s lost sight of that duty, and is actively undermining respect for the rule of law by mounting reckless attacks on our law enforcement agencies and in working to discredit and undermine an ongoing investigation that has already netted several guilty pleas. His kind of blind zeal risks pushing us toward a constitutional crisis.