Far-Right Republicans Gain a Foothold in Congress – What Next?

As the Republican Party regained control of the House of Representatives, disruption and uncertainty took hold in Washington and in the press. Although Kevin McCarthy is himself a right-wing politician who has enabled Trump and far-right radicals in the House, a group of at least twenty even further right-wing, Republicans refused to vote for him as Speaker of the House. For nearly four full days, the House remained in limbo, unable to swear in new members, or even pretend to do anything useful as the faction used its needed votes to win some significant concessions from McCarthy.

These twenty or so Republicans want even larger spending cuts than most Republicans in Congress, especially cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which offer at least some relief to working people and the poor. Many Republicans in this faction support or even have connections to far-right militia groups who participated in the January 6 riot at the Capitol. They have a racist, xenophobic, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ agenda.

The Democratic Party leadership likes to claim that it is different from the Republicans and plays by the rules and represents the interests of most people. But this is not true. Even when they play by the rules, they still represent the interests of corporations and the banks and not working people. Plus it is the very rules that they claim to follow that have allowed this far-right faction to push their agenda in Congress.

The Democrats will tell us that the answer lies in doing nothing, counting on them, and waiting for the next election. But it couldn’t be any clearer that as representatives of the same system, they, just like the Republicans, are also moving further and further to the right in order to do the bidding of the 1%.

In the end, it should make no difference to working people whether the attacks are coming from Democrats, Republicans or a far-right faction within the Republican party. Either way, none of them will represent the interests of working people, and in either case, what is required to defend our interests is the same — we have to rely on our own forces. We do the work to make society run, and that gives us a tremendous power to resist the attacks that they may try to get away with.