There exists in Congress a small contingency of fringe radicals intent on holding their party hostage simply out of personal vendettas or in order to make grandstanding declarations, only to come up short. At the same time, the party establishment runs roughshod over their far-fetched dreams of shaking up the system.
Of course, we’re talking about “The Squad” — comprised of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashia Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), among others.
In light of the 20 McCarthy holdouts securing essentially all of their demands last week, it would appear that leftists are wondering when these so-called “progressives” will start battling the Democratic leaders effectively as well. According to some, the holdouts provided a roadmap for victory.
That raises the question, when is the last time — if ever in living memory —that Republicans were credited by their opponents for their political strategy?
“In the last week, the Republican right fought Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become Speaker of the House and showed everyone how to play political hardball to build power,” Jacobin writer Neal Meyer observed. “The Left, with growing socialist caucuses at the state level and a growing bench of progressive representatives in DC, needs to learn some lessons.”
Meyer —obviously — does not support the goals of the Freedom Caucus. He wants America to become more socialist. Yet, he gives credit to the GOP representatives who successfully negotiated Congress to become more conservative.
“They deserve every decent person’s scorn,” Meyer said of folks like Congressmen Chip Roy (R-TX) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). “But when it comes to tactics, one has to admit that they know how to play.”
The author also does a terrific job of highlighting the concessions secured:
McCarthy agreed to add three members from the Freedom Caucus to the House Rules Committee. That will allow the far right to help shape the issues to be considered by the House. McCarthy’s own PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, agreed not to intervene in open primaries against far-right candidates. McCarthy agreed to bring back the Holman Rule, which allows legislators to propose defunding specific federal programs, to fire specific federal officials, and to slash officials’ pay.
Most significantly, he agreed to bring back the “motion to vacate the chair,” which will allow just one Republican to call for a snap vote to remove the speaker.
The Jacobin writer is correct to say that the ability of only one Republican to be able to bring forth a vote to remove McCarthy, or another Speaker, is the “most” significant victory.
Well, that’s what gives the conservative base actual leverage under a McCarthy speakership. Should he backtrack on his promises, then McCarthy will almost assuredly find himself without the gavel shortly thereafter.
This “motion to vacate the chair” is actually a return to how Congress operated before ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) won back the position in 2018.
Meyer claims that the goals sought by the 19 members of the Freedom Caucus and their one ally outside the group are “detestable.” Yet, he is fair enough to recognize that “every one of the concessions granted to the Right bolsters the morale of its base and will strengthen its hand in Congress in the months to come.”
Indeed, looking at the rhetoric of AOC, Omar, and the others who promised to change D.C. to help the marginalized, you have to wonder if they mean it at all. They certainly have little to no victories to show their supporters. Pelosi and other party leaders have, for lack of a better term, dog-walked “The Squad.”
In typical leftist fashion, Meyer states that conservatives now can “propagandize” from “bully pulpits.” He wants the Left to copy them to spread democratic socialist propaganda from the same position.
Of course, that would imply that he wants the Left to mislead Americans to adopt a collectivist society and fundamentally change the way our capitalist system operates. That’s how socialism always works — the implementation of it relies not on truth and data, rather, it depends on willfully selling a false product to the masses that sounds nice to useful idiots but does not deliver as promised.
Most Republican voters, at least those who support the reforms introduced last week, simply want the federal government to tell the truth, for Republicans to stay true to their campaign promises, and want to stop with the Left in its tracks while offering a conservative vision of the country.
If you’re a Democratic voter who supports a socialist agenda, you must be asking if you have any real representation in Congress at all. For the first time in a while, the grassroots don’t have that problem.
Of course, well done is better than well said. So the real fruit of the Speaker’s battle will be seen in the years to come based on whether or not we start to see the federal government shift more conservative.
It’s a long battle, but at least it seems there are Republicans who are not only “prepared to fight” but win for their voters. “The Squad” can’t say the same right now.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.