Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Recently I had a conversation with a woman about her 1970s college days. She told me that a very unpleasant aspect of that time was dealing with men who felt they were absolutely entitled to go out with her or sleep with her, simply because they wanted to. Over the years I've had my consciousness raised about sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking by ex-partners, but I hadn't really thought about this and how common it is. It may not rise to the level of criminal behavior, but it's annoying and exhausting even when it's not intimidating and frightening.

I'm thinking about that conversation as Jim Jordan persists in his campaign to be Speaker of the House. Today he subjected the House to a second vote, even though he was no more likely to win today than yesterday. (He just lost again, getting fewer votes than on his first try.)

Last week, when Republicans chose Steve Scalise over Jordan in an initial caucus vote on the speakership, Jordan rejected the outcome, telling his fellow Republicans, "America wants me." I don't know what delusion persuades men to pester women who are clearly uninterested, but I know why angry right-wingers delude themselves this way: They live in a bubble. They associate only with like-minded ideologues, their media diet is Fox News and other outlets that constitute an extremist echo chamber, and they don't regard anyone who disagrees with them as a genuine American. They disdain Democrats, swing voters, and even supporters of "establishment" Republicans.

So they believe everyone thinks like them -- and when they're rejected, they believe the natural order of the universe is being rejected. Obviously what they want should happen!

It's hard to know whether Donald Trump really believes he won the 2020 election, but his followers clearly believe it, and when they tell us this, they really don't think we have the right to say no to them. Hence the insurrection.

And now Jordan and his allies are responding to "no" in an unhealthy and toxic way:
Politico reporter Olivia Beavers shared several screenshots of the text messages sent to [Reprensentative Don] Bacon’s wife from anonymous senders who refused to identify themselves.

“Why is your husband causing chaos by not supporting Jim Jordan? I thought he was a team player,” read one text, to which Bacon’s wife responded, “Who is this???”

The anonymous sender then warned, “Your husband will not hold any political office ever again. What a disappoint [sic] and failure he is.”
No means no. But the angry right will never accept that.

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