“We must move forward,” Representative Jim Jordan wrote in a letter to his Republican colleagues as he works to lock up the votes he needs to become speaker, lay out an agenda of empowering rank-and-file lawmakers and expand the fragile House majority.
Following a surprise call for a weekend-long recess, Jordan has been herding the cats in his conference. After facing what seemed like long odds to secure the gavel on Friday, Jordan made several key strides, securing backing from former foes like Representatives Vern Buchanan, Ken Calvert, Mike Rogers and Ann Wagner, the latter a fierce ally of his rival last week, Steve Scalise.
Right now, Jordan is the only announced candidate for speaker — and pulling former critics on board is a sign of some much needed Jordanmentum. As former speaker Kevin McCarthy knows, the difference between 96 percent of House Republicans voting for you and 97 percent is whether you secure the speaker’s job or not. Tomorrow’s vote looms large for Jordan — many of his current backers are waiting in the wings if he falls short.
On our radar
TRUMP SHTUM Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a gag order on former president Donald Trump Monday, limiting how he can talk about Special Counsel Jack Smith.
CARTEL CRACKDOWN Following increased pressure from US law enforcement, the Sinaloa drug cartel has issued an edict to its members: “Stop Making Fentanyl or Die,” as the Wall Street Journal phrases it.
HAMAS HOSTAGES The terrorist group Hamas has released videos of hostages that it took during its incursion into southern Israel last Saturday.
The Squad vs Lindsey Graham
On Thursday, Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Republican South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham for using “textbook rhetoric of ethnic cleansing” following the senator’s comments regarding Hamas’s attack on Israel. AOC responded to a clip from Graham’s Tuesday appearance on Fox News’s Hannity on Tuesday, where the senator said that “We’re in a religious war. I stand with Israel. Do whatever the hell you have to do to defend yourself, level the place.”
“This is textbook rhetoric of ethnic cleansing that cannot be accepted in any civil society, let alone the United States. It is an affront to humanity to weaponize this horrific trauma to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,” the New York congresswoman responded on X.
Similarly, Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota labeled the expulsion of more than 1 million Gazans “ethnic cleansing” in a tweet this Friday. “The UN has already said this is ‘impossible’ and will have ‘devastating humanitarian consequences,’” the congresswoman said, urging for diplomacy and warning against complacency with Israel. Additionally, last week Democratic representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Cori Bush of Missouri were torched by fellow Democrats after calling for an end to US assistance to Israel.
The progressive wing of Joe Biden’s party is publicly demanding a policy of restraint toward Israel. Still, the president continues to present himself as a staunch supporter of the Jewish state.
–Juan P. Villasmil
Pod save America
Commentary editor and noted media scion John Podhoretz this afternoon made a dramatic return to Twitter/X due to the conflict in Israel, after a lengthy stint off. “Hello. I haven’t tweeted in more than four years,” he wrote. “I’m back because at @Commentary we’re publishing important things and I want to show them to you.”
Podhoretz, you may recall, departed the app in 2019 after tweeting that two controversial left-leaning journalists “teaching at NYU J school is the best argument yet that J Schools should be neutron bombed and their buildings given to Rick Singer for no show side door people.”
Don’t expect more pugilism from JPod, though: “I’m not here to get into quarrels and I’m not here to make jokes,” he concluded. “I would be grateful for your attention.”