A video is making the rounds today of U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, asking Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards a question and then repeatedly interrupting her with same question each time she tries to answer. He did so 19 times in five minutes.
I imagine Jordan walked out of that room feeling like a tough guy, proud and serenely unaware of what a fatuous boob he looks like in the video.
The whole thing centers, of course, around this summer’s sting video of Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the donation of fetal tissue to medical science. Anti-choice activists edited this video to make it look as though Nucatola was talking about the selling of aborted fetuses, thus sparking controversy.
Republican Party extremists like Jordan have since been using the manufactured controversy to push for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and are now threatening to shut down the government over it.
During the exchange, Jordan repeatedly asks Richards why she issued a video statement apologizing days after the sting video was released.
Richards attempts to explain several times that the Planned Parenthood administration had not had time to see the non-manipulated version of the video, and that she was apologizing at the time for Dr. Nucatola discussing such matters in a nonclinical setting.
Jordan would not let Richards finish her thoughts and ignored her point whenever she managed to get it out.
REP. JIM JORDAN: If the videos were selectively edited, if this was entrapment, all untrue, then why did you apologize?
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CECIL RICHARDS: Well, Congressman, first, everyone has agreed they were heavily edited —
JORDAN: My question is: why did you apologize? —
RICHARDS: The perpetrator agreed they were done undercover. I spoke with Dr. Nukatollah featured in one of the videos and I thought it was important in my opinion, in my opinion, it was inappropriate to have a clinical discussion anything a nonconfidential, nonclinical setting. And I told her that.
JORDAN: What were you apologizing for?
RICHARDS: That she used I think, in my judgment, it was bad judgment to have a clinical discussion in a nonclinical setting.
JORDAN: The first video comes out July 14th. Two days later you issue an a apology. You said it is “unacceptable.” I personally apologize for the tone and statements.
RICHARDS: That’s what I felt like —
JORDAN: No. Here’s the question. What statements were you a apologizing for?
Holy hell, how many times does she have to say it, Jim? She apologized that Dr. Nucatola was making any statements at all in an inappropriate setting. Not wearing her doctor’s smock, ya dig?
Badgering the witness, your Honor, asked and answered.
Nevertheless, Jordan pressed on, ad nauseam, clutching desperately to the word “statements,” making a farce of the hearing and—as I’ve said—a fatuous boob of himself.
He wasn’t the only one.
The Republicans at the hearing generally comported themselves with as much dignity and grace as an inflamed hemorrhoid.
They were cantankerous, volatile, dismissive, self-righteous, misogynistic, thoughtless, and hypocritical. All the hits, all the favorites.
They had the gall to question Richards over her pay, and what they painted as gaudy expenses by Planned Parenthood on business trips and company events.
The preposterous thing about this false grievance is how enabling and defensive they are of Major Corp CEOs who get fat government subsidies and tax breaks, and make over 700 times more than their average workers (not lowest-paid workers, average workers). Regarding their truly garish displays of wealth, Republican Congressmen have no problem.
This is the same hypocrisy we see when politicians go after the “greedy” teacher’s unions while they’re busy selling out the public pension funds to their criminal friends at the corner of Wall Street and K.
Jordan has been leading in this latest bone-headed effort against Planned Parenthood and says he wants to shift it’s federal funding to community health centers, as quoted in USA Today.
Community health centers, in this case, is code for religious-based organizations that don’t advise women of anything about their reproductive health that they and people like Jim Jordan do not approve.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is busy fully educating women, many of whom are low-income and have no other place to turn for such unbiased medical consultation. Each year, Planned Parenthood averts roughly 500,000 unintended pregnancies through contraceptive education, and averts over 200,000 abortions through contraceptive services.
But never mind that, Jim Jordan and his want to shut down the federal government, stop paying our bills, close national parks and services, and cost the country untold billions in a misguided and impossible attempt to defund this critical resource.
FULL VIDEO BELOW
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.