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Rep. Zoe Lofgren on an 'Insurrectionist' Being Second in Line to the Presidency

Zoe Lofgren and Jim Jordan
Reps. Lofgren and Jordan via Shutterstock

The California congresswoman and January 6 committee member on the dangers posed by Jim Jordan holding the speaker's gavel.

It’s Halloween season, the time of year for devil’s night, tricks, treats, Frankenstein costumes, and haunted houses. There are an estimated 1,200 haunted attractions each year in the United States, according to,

The top haunted house in the United States is the Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas, reports USA Today. It’s “known as Hell’s Half Acre,’” the paper notes. “This 100-year-old abandoned meatpacking plant takes visitors on a 55-minute haunted experience with its twisting corridors and multiple stories of live actors and special effects.”

For over 200 years, no one has ever considered the U.S. Capitol, specifically the House chamber, as haunted. To be sure, there have been ghoulish characters in its history. I recalled the gay-hating, anti-AIDS funding California Congressman William Dannemeyer. Then there was Newt Gingrich — even his name is spooky. And more recently, Texas Rep. Paul Gosar, a.k.a. the boastful bigot.

On January 6, 2021, the House chamber was more a “Hell House” than “Haunted House,” but now, in its aftermath, extremists are rearing their ugly heads and trying to shove democracy into the proverbial Coffin Occupant, where the undead body lies trapped.

Perhaps USA Today should reconfigure its list of top haunted houses this year, because at number 1 is surely the U.S. House. There's currently one villain rising above the rest.

“He is loathsome" is how January 6 committee member and California Rep. Zoe Lofgren describes Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. The latter legislator not only resembles Frankenstein's monster in how he moves; he also roars with a ferocity that makes him look like a failed B actor.

“He was a key figure in the plot to overturn our government,” Lofgren says. “He was on that boat, not standing idly on the bay. According to our records and information our committee uncovered, he was on numerous phone calls, attended meetings, including the war room in the Willard Hotel the day before January 6, and he participated in the planning of the march on the Capitol."

“We were all on the floor that day when the attack happened,” Lofgren recalls. “We were in the aisle, and Jordan came over to us and Liz Cheney about helping us get to a safe place, and she turned to him and said something to the effect of, “You f’ing did this, it’s your fault.”

Lofgren also said that after January 6, he was active in meetings with Rudy Giuliani and others about ways to overturn the election including how former Vice President Mike Pence could — illegally, of course — make that happen.

“Jordan tried to overthrow our government. There’s a trove of evidence of that. He was one of the key players in the House trying to help Trump and who continued to deny that the election was free and fair and the safest in our history. The fact that he has the potential to be the second in line to the presidency is jaw-dropping.”

Lofgren said that the vote, again for Jordan as speaker, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern tomorrow, and even she’s uncertain about what lies ahead. “I have some Republicans telling me that the longer this goes on, the less likely it is that Jordan becomes speaker.”

She also says the minority leader, New York Rep Hakeem Jeffries, has indicated to Republicans that Democrats are happy to come together and find a way to move forward. “But in the meantime,” she points out, “we have to double down on preventing extremism from taking over the House. I’m also talking to many Republicans who are very unhappy with the way this is all unfolding.”

She says there has been talk of giving a temporary leadership role to North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, the interim speaker. “We have made clear that any important agreement about a way to move forward must be made with our leaders and their legitimate leaders, and not some random members of the Republican caucus.”

“This whole thing certainly doesn’t look good, does it?" Lofgren asks. “We can’t govern during such a difficult time while the world is on fire. At some point, the Republicans have to figure out a way for us to govern."

Lofgren says she had an interesting conversation with one Republican, who will remain nameless. “That person told me that if Jordan becomes speaker, the Republicans will be down to 165 votes in the next Congress.”

“They are the majority, and we are not. As a result, they are entitled to conservative leadership; however, we all desire someone emotionally as well as mentally well-balanced to lead the House.”

In other words, no extremists in the speaker’s chair that will forever haunt the history of the U.S. House.

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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John Casey

John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.
John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.