We might have guessed. The Arshinkoff Party, lightly known as the once-moderate Summit County Republican Party, has poked deeply into the conservatives’ prized Speakers Bureau for its Lincoln (!) Day Dinner on March 28. I refer to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan who represents the Fourth Congressional District that weirdly stretches across Ohio from Lima to the lake. (See the district map sheltering a Republican congressman that was sculpted with the precision of Leonardo’s David.)
Jordan is the chairman of the House Freedom Committee, and when you see the word freedom in a title, no further explanation is needed to define its hollow purpose among right-wingers. Suffice it say that he’s considered one of most conservative denizens in the hallowed halls of Congress with a perfect score from the American Conservative Union.
His appearance in Akron – complete with a drumrolled shoutdown of the Obama “trainwreck” – with the county party’s blessing reminds us again that the locals have moved to the extreme right from the days of Ray Bliss. Indeed, as recently as 2008, George H.W. Bush was the speaker, a moderate in today’s terms whose date in Akron is still the main feature of the county party’s home page.
Since then, there has been a steady procession of wingers, including the memorable arrival of Rick Santorum as Arshinkoff’s guest in 2012 that included an in-house straw poll that cast Santorum as the presidential favorite. Really? What does that tell you?
A generation ago, my boss, Jack Knight, used to press me to write another analysis of what was wrong with the county GOP. If he were alive today, he’d still be asking that question.