Here’s the headline: Ohio is losing one of its 16 U.S. House seats.
Here’s the question: Will anyone notice?
After all, because of rigged congressional districts, and not just in Ohio, the British House of Lords seems like an edgy experiment in democracy.
Yes, voter-passed “redistricting” reforms are supposed to induce the creation of fair congressional districts in Ohio. But even fair (actually, less-unfair) districts won’t keep Ohioans from peopling the U.S. House with historically unremarkable people.
Well-publicized people? Yes. But anyone whose departure from Congress would affect the well-being of a single Ohio family besides his or her own? No.
True, by losing a U.S. House seat, Ohio will also lose one electoral vote. And that says something about Ohio, which, as late as 1940, still had more residents than California — albeit just 225 more. Meanwhile, over, say, the last 100 years, the men and women Ohio has sent to the U.S. House (some directly from the Statehouse) have been at most middling. The only book most will appear in is Mr. Webster’s dictionary — as illustrations next to the definition of “forgettable.”
True, in the last 100 years, two Ohioans became U.S. House speakers: Cincinnati’s Nicholas Longworth, and suburban Cincinnati’s John Boehner. A third Ohio Republican, U.S. Rep. William M. McCulloch of Piqua, in Congress from late 1947 through 1972, was a sterling champion of civil rights for all people. McCulloch was Ohio House speaker from 1939 through 1944. A bronze bust just outside the House’s chamber honors McCulloch.
Some readers likely think one Ohioan now in the U.S. House has star quality and will long remain in the national spotlight as a GOP champion: Rep. Jim Jordan, the Urbana Republican. That may be a fair assessment, keeping in mind that (with one crucial exception) Jordan probably couldn’t be elected dogcatcher outside Ohio’s GOP-rigged 4th Congressional District.
The exception: If Republicans regain U.S. House control in November 2022 (which is certainly possible), Jordan may be a contender for House speaker.
Any Ohioan who says Jordan could never become speaker may have once said Donald Trump could never become president.