Republicans who voted against Rep. Jim Jordan as House speaker have gotten death threats. Rep. Don Bacon’s wife slept with a loaded gun following threatening phone calls. Jordan’s allies don’t see the problem.
To Rep. Scott Perry, a Jordan backer, threats are “nothing new to any member of Congress,” so talking about these specific threats is a “red herring.” But it does not sound like Bacon’s wife sleeps with a loaded gun every night, which suggests there is something new and different about these threats. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks referred to “credible death threats,” which are different from statements like “you should die.” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who has voted for Jordan but doesn’t think he can win, told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “These attacks have become extremely vicious. They’re different. I have been the subject of a lot of attacks from the far right. These are different.”
Fellow Jordan ally Rep. Warren Davidson went further in dismissing the threats, according to Punchbowl News’s Jake Sherman. At the House Republican meeting Thursday, Davidson “said it's not Team Jordan's fault that holdouts are getting death threats. They are getting the death threats, he said, because they voted against Jordan,” sources told Sherman. In a separate tweet, Sherman reported that “Davidson also said this will continue as long as people oppose Jordan for speaker.”
They had it coming. If they just would have done what Jordan wanted, they wouldn’t have been threatened. It’s not going to stop. They shouldn’t talk about it because it’s a red herring.
Does that sound like Team Jordan is not responsible for the threats, at least in part? They know these are their supporters, and they don’t see a problem with it. Jordan himself has cultivated this political environment. Crenshaw also told Tapper, of Jordan’s online allies attacking the holdouts, “they’re often paid. Nobody should think that they’re principled people with their own opinions.” The death threats may not be coming from paid influencers, but those influencers have created the environment in which death threats proliferate.
But while Perry wishes the Jordan opponents would stop talking about their irrelevant little death threats, there is something he wants to hear from them. “If you’re not voting for Jim Jordan, you at least owe it to the American People to tell them the REAL REASON,” he tweeted. The wording is calculated to encourage conspiracy theorists to believe there’s some nefarious secret reason for opposing Jordan, which isn’t going to tamp down the death threats one bit.
Is it so hard to believe that some Republicans simply oppose the idea of Speaker Jim Jordan? Personally, I can come up with so many reasons—House Minority Leader and leading vote-getter Hakeem Jeffries laid them out clearly, like Jordan’s stances on abortion, Social Security, and Medicare—but you don’t have to be a Democrat to see problems with Jordan. Quite obviously.
Rep. Ken Buck’s reason is clear: He won't vote for an election-denier for speaker. He’s given Jordan chances to reverse course on the 2020 election, and Jordan won’t do it. Bacon, who represents a district that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, doesn’t like how Republicans got to this point where Jordan is their choice—and the threats have only hardened his resolve. Rep. Kay Granger tweeted, “Steve Scalise is an honorable man and has earned my vote for Speaker. This was a vote of conscience and I stayed true to my principles. Intimidation and threats will not change my position.”
These Republicans have reasons not to vote for Jordan! They are not my reasons (many of these lawmakers would doubtless be fine with banning abortion nationwide and slashing Social Security and Medicare), but they’re not hiding some sneaky “REAL REASON.” Perry’s implication is just going to lead to more personal attacks and threats. And he and Davidson have made it clear: They really don’t care.